What is a Target Audience?

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Starting a business is a challenging and exciting journey. The essential steps in starting a business include setting up a business plan, finding financing options, and adhering to legal requirements. Understanding these key points will help you get your business off the ground and running smoothly. Additionally, having an experienced mentor or business advisor can be invaluable during this process. Another critical step at the startup stage is determining the target audience for your business’s products or services.

Whether you are launching a new business or have a longstanding business, having a solid understanding of your audience is vital. Otherwise, you might end up marketing your company to the wrong audience and miss out on potential sales revenue. In this Balboa Capital blog post, we explain target audiences, how they work, and how they can help you develop practical advertising and marketing efforts.

What is a target audience?

A target audience is a group of people that marketers aim their products or services at. Depending on the product or service offered, it can be as specific or as broad as necessary. By knowing your audience and understanding their needs and interests, you can create marketing messages that will capture their attention and encourage them to take action.

There are several factors that make up a target audience. These factors include demographics such as age, gender, occupation, and income level; psychographics such as values, attitudes, and interests; geographic location; buying behavior; and customer loyalty.

How to identify your audience.

Identifying your target audience is one of the most critical steps in business planning. By researching your market area’s population, you can understand the needs and preferences of your potential customers. You can also use customer segmentation strategies to identify different customer types and create a tailored message for each one. By investing in market research, you can pinpoint your business’s ideal audience to help maximize your marketing efforts’ effectiveness.

Let’s use a fictitious pet supply store as an example. The store is located in a small town with a population of 5,000 with no competitors other than online pet supply stores. The store’s owner hired a marketing consultant to research the market area, and the findings revealed that 6 in 10 households own one or more pets and spend an average of $700 per pet each year on pet food, toys, and supplies. So, the pet store’s target audience consists of the town’s existing pet owners aged 18 to 65. The store’s marketing efforts targeted existing pet owners (the primary audience) and prospective pet owners (the secondary audience).

Come up with the right marketing message.

Once you have identified your target audience, the strategic marketing process can begin. If you do not have an in-house marketing manager or team, this can be handled by a marketing company or independent marketing specialist. A crucial step in any marketing campaign is crafting a compelling message that resonates with your audience. In addition to being interesting and informative, the content must be tailored to your audience’s specific needs and interests.

So, ensure that your marketing and advertising efforts speak directly to your audience with copywriting and images that are as relative as they are value-driven. Many marketing books and websites feature strategies and methodologies relating to traditional and digital marketing messages. That said, these are commonly used tactics among marketers in most business industries:

  1. Identify your target audience’s motivations, needs, and expectations.
  2. Develop marketing that addresses your audience’s motivations, needs, and expectations.
  3. Differentiate your business’s products or services by highlighting their unique benefits.
  4. Explain what separates your business and your products or services from the competition.
  5. Establish a unique value proposition for your business and your products or services.

A good strategy engages with your intended audience at every stage of the buying journey and creates meaningful relationships. This can help you increase customer loyalty, drive more sales and, ultimately, grow your business.

Multiple target audiences.

Depending on the types of products and services that your business offers, you might have more than one target audience. It is common for companies to have primary, secondary, and even tertiary audiences. For example, a group dental practice that caters to adult, teen, and pediatric patients has three distinct audiences. In this example, the dental practice’s primary audience is adults and parents of children and teens. The practice’s marketing efforts will include a full range of services for family members of all ages so parents can make an informed decision about their family’s dental care.

Targeting multiple audiences can help you reach a broader range of potential customers. You can tailor your message by understanding each audience’s needs and wants. Moreover, targeting more than one audience can help you gain insights into how other groups perceive your product or service differently, which could impact your decisions regarding future marketing efforts.

The role of social media.

A targeted and engaging social media content strategy can help you reach your intended audience, attract new followers, build relationships, boost website traffic, and drive conversions. When developing a social media strategy, ensure the messaging and images are relevant to your intended audience and follow your business’s brand guidelines. It will also help if you include a link to your website in your social media posts.

You can save time by setting up a social media calendar. It helps you plan and schedule your content in advance, ensuring it reaches the right audience at the right time. You can also track upcoming holidays, events, and other important dates that warrant social media posts.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.