1. What Is a Target Audience?

      Your target audience refers to the specific group of consumers most likely to want your product or service, and therefore, the group of people who should see your ad campaigns. Target audience may be dictated by age, gender, income, location, interests or a myriad of other factors.

    2. The Benefits of Knowing Your Target Audience

As a marketer, understanding your target audience is vital. This information will define every marketing plan and strategy you execute. Airing an ad during the Super Bowl might seem like a great way to be seen by as many people as possible, but it is also expensive. Furthermore, only a quarter of the viewers would actually be interested in your product. Knowing that your target audience reads a certain publication or watches a certain show means that your ad will be seen by fewer people, but the right people. For example if you sell running shoes, ads in running magazines may be a better fit for your target audience. Selecting the right media is essential for achieving marketing ROI on your effort

    1. The Difference Between Target Audience and Target Market

A target market is the set of consumers that a company plans to sell to or reach with marketing activities. A target audience is the group or segment within that target market that is being served advertisements. This makes the target audience a more specific subset of a target market. To go back to the running shoe example, your target market is marathon runners, but say you are having a deal at your Boston location. The target audience for an ad promoting the sale would be prospective runners in the Boston Marathon, not all marathon runners.


    1. Understanding the Roles of Your Target Audience

The Decision Maker: This is the person who ultimately makes the purchase decision. In some cases, the decision-maker is the same as the supporter, but in other cases they are different. When different, you must acknowledge this and gear ads to the decision- maker. Take, for example, the transformation of the Old Spice brand in 2010. The brand wanted to revamp their product to appeal to a younger generation. While researching, the team discovered that while men may ultimately wear their product, women were making the purchases, leading their creative team to focus on this target audience.

The Supporter: The supporter may not have the power to make the decision, but they will have a heavy influence on whether or not an item gets bought. For example, a child may not directly make a purchase, but if they want something for Christmas, they influence that decision. This is why it is important to develop messaging that speaks to consumers in both of these roles.

    1. 7 Ways to Determine Your Target Audience

  1. Analyze Your Customer Base and Carry Out Client Interviews
    One of the best ways to determine who your target audience is to look at who already buys your product or service. How old are they, where do they live, what are their interests? A good way to learn this is through engaging on social or distributing customer surveys.
  2.  Conduct Market Research and Identify Industry Trends
    Look at the market research for your industry to determine where there are holes in service that your product can fill. Look at trends for similar products to see where they are focusing efforts, then hone in further on your products unique value.
  3.  Analyze Competitors
    Marketers can learn a lot by looking at competitors to see who they are commonly selling to, and how they go about it. Are they using online or offline channels? Are they focusing on the decision maker or the supporter?
  4.  Create Personas
    Creating personas is a great way to drill down into the specific segments that make up your target audience. This is especially helpful if you have a product that appeals to a wide swath of consumers. Personas allow you to determine the general demographics, personalities and needs of your target consumers. The persona of “Fran First-Time Runner” will speak to different needs than “Sam Seasoned Pro.” Personas are created based on data, surveys, digital engagements and any other information marketers can pull from to give a more complete view of the buyers. This might include favorite hobbies, television shows, publications, etc. It is recommended that marketers develop between three and five personas.
  5.  Define Who Your Target Audience Isn’t
    There will certainly be consumers who are close to your target demographic, but who will not act on messaging. Try to be specific in determining who your audience is and who it isn’t. Is your demographic women, or women between the ages of 20 and 40? Knowing this will keep your teams from devoting ad dollars to segments that will not yield returns.
  6.  Continuously Revise
    As you gather more data and interact with customers, you will get an increasingly accurate understanding of your target audiences. Based on this information, you must constantly optimize and hone personas to achieve the best results.
  7.  Use Google Analytics
    Google Analytics offers extensive data about the users visiting your site. This information can be leveraged to determine key insights such as what channels your target audience is coming from or what type of content they’re engaging and connecting with the most, allowing you to make more data-driven decisions during the media planning process.