Target audience - what does it mean and how to define it

A Guide to Audience Research

Today we are going to discuss the topic that takes central place in marketing. Target audience profiling means identification of who these people are, what they want and how to make them love your product (say “brand”) and, logically, to reason them buy your goods again and again.

Target audience are the people who will buy your products and you should put maximum of your marketing efforts.

Mind that there are two different notions: purchase and consume. They seem to be quite similar, but in fact, they are very different by meaning. Not all marketers pay attention to this, but it is really important. Let’s see why it is significant by two simple examples.

Example number one. Baby food is produced for infants – they are consumers. However, exact buyers are parents, grandparents or foster family etc. They, people who care about little children, make target audience.

Example number two. Cat food, like Whiskas, was designed for your cat, however it is unlikely to buy it directly, that means the owners make target audience.

There are dozens of examples to complete this list. Target audience identification depends on the product or service themselves and a manufacturer and especially marketer should take it into account while developing marketing or branding strategies.

Why the understanding of these things is important? First of all, it will help to spend your budgets reasonably and in correct way.

Just think. There is no need to catch all the fish from the sea when we are talking about budgets.

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Additionally, if you are able to track the tendencies and moods of your clients and you know how to adapt to the changes – it means you will be the first to offer the most suitable solution for buyers.

Secondly, you should have clear understanding and ability to tell your clients, why you are better than competitors and buyers should prefer you.

Who is the audience you need and how it can be identified?

In the matter of fact, the bigger your description is, the better. It should certainly contain basic factors like age, gender, occupation, marital status, hobbies, location, income level, habbits and other facts…

Ideally, if you could reproduce what is a typical day for your intended audience. By doing so, you will see the situations when your clients use your product, where ad message can reach him or her and how to offer the best options for obtaining the item.

The seemingly clear situation, however, may have a certain pitfall. The point is that real end-user and actual buyer in the supermarket can be representatives of two different groups. There different ideas for marketers to tackle the problem, for example:

  • study the business of your competitors who offer similar products to get understanding how potential audience may look like and how it can be treated;
  • launch an opinion poll among your potential target audience and ask whether they would buy such product. Little lifehack: you can make this investigation for free and ask your friends and family members in case you feel lack of money.
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When potential client is finally found – talk to them to find out all the information we have discussed. The options here are versatile: interviewing, focus-group, cookie talk with a glass of wine or other suitable variants. The more people you ask – the better for you, as you will get more detailed image of your target audience and you can later divide it into groups.

What are further steps?

The goal seems to be achieved. However, the game is in progress now. Currently you should understand why people like your products and what you can do to intensify these features. Next step is to send the message to your clients via relevant advertising platform and to offer convenient ways of obtaining your items.

Of course, you should stay in touch with tendencies and fashions, moods in the society and all this human factor. It will help you to make timely upgrade of your offer and offer improved version of the product even before the customer has wondered about it.


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