Target Audience: What It Is and How to Define Yours for Improved Marketing Results

A closeup of a person drawing a red circle around icons of people to illustrate the concept of a target audience.

Just like consumers can’t possibly buy from every business, businesses can’t possibly capture every consumer’s attention. Instead of spending your money and resources trying to market to every consumer, you can define a demographic of people that are most likely to be interested in your company’s product or service. By marketing directly to this group of potential customers, you’re able to stretch your marketing budget more effectively and see a higher return on your investment.

Continue reading to learn more about what a target audience is, why you need one, and how to find yours in order to effectively reach people who are likely to do business with you.

What Is A Target Audience?

Your target audience is the demographic of people most likely to want your product or service.

Can you think of who would most benefit from your product or service? You want your target audience to be focused on people whose lives can be benefited from what you’re selling. When you are intentional about who you’re marketing to, you have a much higher chance of turning them onto your product.

The scope of target audiences varies greatly from wide to narrow. For example, let’s say you own a specialty dog boutique with high-end supplies for the die-hard pooch enthusiast. Your audience is going to be narrow compared to a general pet supplies store that is geared towards a wider audience of all pet owners.

Regardless of what your company does or produces, every business needs a target audience and a strategy for how to reach them.

A graphic containing the quote, "Without strategy, execution is aimless. Without execution, strategy is useless," by Morris Chang.

Why You Need A Target Audience

Why are target audiences vital to the success of your business? To market or advertise your business, you first need to know who you want to reach and where to find them.

Marketing to a small group of people rather than a large audience may seem counterproductive, but marketing to just anyone can be a shot in the dark. You want to ensure your budget is being used efficiently in order to target people who could actually become a customer. By working smarter instead of harder, you will receive more business and experience more growth by focusing your efforts on a targeted audience.  

Once you’ve defined a target audience, you are able to more intentionally and effectively reach those you’re looking to gain as customers by:

  1. Crafting your messages to resonate with them
  2. Making relevant connections between the potential consumer and your brand
  3. Focus budget dollars on mediums you know are more likely to get results
Man looking at charts on paper and holding cellphone.

How to Get It

Now that you know what a target audience is and its importance, you need to find yours. Thorough market research is key here, whether that means hitting the pavement to do your own legwork or gathering data from research companies.

Ideas for market research include:

The goal is getting to know your potential consumers, what problems they experience, and how your product or service can make their life easier. Learn the ins and outs of where they get their information and outline strategies for how to best reach them.

After you’ve done your research, where you decide to market is essential in reaching your audience. A product such as an online project management program for small businesses will most likely reach its target audience through digital marketing – website, blogs, social media, online ads, email marketing, etc. – vs. a rural supermarket targeting a specific local area with weekly offers. For the supermarket, more traditional methods like print ads, direct mail, or TV commercials, may be a better fit.

If you need help defining your target audience and developing a marketing plan for how to best reach them, our team at Stray Media Group would be happy to create a custom marketing strategy for your business. Learn more about our work and how we can help you grow your brand by contacting us today!