What is a target audience?

The target audience is the portion of the public that is most likely to purchase a company’s products or services. It could be an ethnic or gender demographic, or some other qualifier such as homeowners or dog owners

How target audience works

  1. Product delivery

    Companies identify their target audiences based on the types of products they produce and want to deliver. They build their marketing strategies around attracting interest for their products or services and getting them in the right hands.

  2. Product development

    Target audiences can be influential in helping companies develop new products or tweak features of existing products. Over time companies will gather useful data from consumers that can help them refine and expand their product offerings.

  3. Targets vs. broader audience

    While companies focus on their target audiences that doesn't mean the broader audience can't get the message. Target audiences also evolve and a company is likely to refine or expand its target audiences as it learns more about consumer behaviors.

Why target audiences matter

  1. Determines marketing strategy

    A company can't begin to shape a marketing strategy without having a deep understanding of its target audience. Channel selection and content for marketing activities and campaigns is almost entirely dependent on who a company is trying to reach.

  2. Influences product development

    A target audience provides an important feedback loop for product development. It allows companies to make more personal connections with consumers and opens a dialogue with consumers about how products can be improved or what new products should be developed.

  3. Keeps companies focuses

    When a company knows that the vast majority of its sales are to a specific audience, it stays focused with its marketing and sales efforts. Understanding the target audiences keeps a company from getting distracted and offers opportunities to expand market share.