目标市场是20世纪60年代美国著名营销学者Jerome Mccarthy首次提出的，他认为消费者是一个特定的群体，是目标市场。特别是通过市场细分，明确目标市场，并运用市场营销策略来满足目标市场的需求。也就是说，企业准备满足一个或几个子市场的需求与合适的产品和服务的市场分割后。 菲利普·科特勒，现代营销学之父，在他的书中营销管理定义目标市场：应用、规划、实施和控制，对合格有效市场的部分（那些有兴趣，收入，对于一个特定的提供访问，和资格），公司决定追求。
Target Market was first promoted by Jerome Mccarthy, a famous American marketing scholar, in 1960s. It is his opinion to regard consumers as a specific group, which is target market. In particular, it means to be clear about the target market through market segmentation, and to satisfy the needs of target market by applying with the marketing strategy. That is to say, enterprises prepare to meet the needs of one or several submarkets with appropriate products and services after the market segmentation.
Philip Kotler, the father of modern marketing, defined the target market in his book Marketing Management: Application, Planning, Implementation and Control, as the part of the qualified available market (those with the interest, income, access, and qualifications for a particular offer) that the company decides to pursue.