A target audience is the intended audience defined by certain demographics and behaviors most likely to be interested in a company’s product or service. Businesses will often use the information they have about their target audience to create user personas, or a fictional representation of an ideal customer. These user personas guide a business’s decision on marketing campaigns. Typical demographic information that shapes a target audience include:
- Income or education level
- Marital status
A business defines a target audience so they can be more intentional and personal in their outreach to consumers. Instead of spending money, time, and resources on catering to every customer, defining a target audience allows a business to specialize their marketing efforts to those who are more likely to purchase their products and services in the first place.
How to identify a target audience
Defining a target audience takes ample research and consideration of both the audience and the business. The business should consider the problems their product or service addresses. This will narrow down the audience to those who might be experiencing the problem. For example, a baby food company solves the problem of feeding babies food they are able to eat. Their target audience would likely consist of new mothers and fathers.
A business should take their competitors into account, as a competing business’s target audience is likely similar. In addition, using an analytics tool such as Google Analytics gives specific, demographic insight into who is using a business’s website. This helps shape a target audience by providing factual information about consumers.
Target audience vs. target market
A target market is a group of consumers who are most likely to buy a company’s products or services. Knowing the difference between a target audience and target market is critical for marketers or entrepreneurs. The target market is the whole group of people a business wants to sell to. In contrast, the target audience is much narrower. It’s a particular group of people the business expects to buy the product.
A target market is the specific group at whom a business’s products are aimed. A target audience defines that group using demographics, interests, and buying history.