A target audience is a specific segment of the market chosen for a marketing campaign to cater towards. They are the demographic group that is meant to be converted through these marketing campaigns.

When speaking of marketing, one of the most important things to take note of is that marketing does not and cannot ever target the entire market. Instead, every marketing campaign defines its own target audience, focusing its efforts on a smaller subsection of the market to generate a greater conversion rate. If several competitors were to focus on the same target audience, the ones with better marketing strategies will, therefore, generate better results.

The target audience can be defined by demographic variables such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Location
  • Marital status

For example, student services and products will be aimed at students who are typically young, carefree, and unmarried. Life insurance companies, on the other hand, will most often be aimed at older men and women at risk of sudden health issues and so on. By crafting a custom message to the specific target audience, it will speak directly to them and lead to better campaign results.

In today’s digital age, social media allows companies to have unprecedented access to user information, including demographic data but also user interests. Immutable facts, such as date of birth, do not necessarily define user interests, which is why having social media data that shows what the target audience does in its free time is invaluable. The better defined the data is, the smaller the marketing campaign can be and still have impeccable results.

Research is often costly, which is why analyzing the company’s list of competitors and adopting their best marketing practices has become such a powerful business strategy. Ideally, a small company would want to follow trends while a bigger company would want to be the trendsetters when it comes to defining the target audience.

Even if a product or service is of superb quality, there will be no conversion unless the target audience has been properly defined. In fact, it is a much better return-on-investment to precisely define the target audience since the start of a campaign.

Have another view, an anecdote that you would like to share, or just a question for the author? Feel free to comment below!

in Branding DefinitionsGeneral Marketing Definitions
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