Target Audience in Marketing: Understanding Their Roles and Identifying Them

Digital Marketing
Target Audience in Marketing: Understanding Their Roles and Identifying Them
Article by Bisera Stankovska
Last Updated: October 12, 2022

Customers have the buying power in their hands. Numerous brands compete for customers' attention; to grab it; marketers must create personalized, targeted experiences for people.

When brands and marketers deeply understand their ideal buyer, they can make more informed decisions about messaging, media, and timing. This article defines the target audience and highlights their roles and importance in marketing.

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What is Target Audience in Marketing?

The target audience in marketing is a specific group of customers who are likely to want your products and services. Therefore, they are the group of people who you should see in your ad campaigns. They can be dictated by age, income, location, gender, interests, or a variety of other factors.

The target audience can be a niche or broader, based on your business's offerings. For instance, if you have a shoe brand, your target audience is expansive, including men, women, and children of all ages. Contrarily, if you sell high-performing running shoes, your target audience would be niche – athletes or people interested in running between the ages of 20 and 40.

It is necessary to define and segment the target audience to create messages that resonate with them and point to the channels they prefer.

Identifying the target audience helps in personalized and contextual marketing. Personas, in turn, help advertisers find relevant industry publications or magazine titles.

Why Must You Know Your Target Audience?

Knowing your target audience is vital as a marketer because this information guides you through every marketing strategy and plan you execute. Sometimes, you might choose an ad place where a maximum number of people can see the ad, but the channel might be expensive. You might not be sure whether some viewers would be interested in the product.

Selecting the right media is imperative for achieving ROI on your marketing efforts. Identifying your target audience helps you locate the shows or the publications they are most likely to watch. For instance, running magazines might be a suitable channel for you if you sell running shoes. Fewer people might view your ad, but they are the right people.

Alongside maximizing the ROI, understanding your target market enables you to build relationships and better communicate with consumers. Brands can develop creativity that speaks to specific personas and coincides with the values and interests of people willing to purchase the product.

This is especially relevant when 80% of consumers say they are more interested in purchasing from a brand that promises personalized interactions.

Understanding the Target Audiences' Role in Marketing

A crucial step in understanding your target audience is to move beyond learning their demographic information and analyzing their role in their path to purchase. These roles can be divided into the following two categories:

The Decision-Maker

This is the person who will make the ultimate purchase decision. They can be the same as or different from the supporter.

In 2010, the Old Spice brand revamped its product to appeal to the younger generation. During the research, they discovered that while men wear the product, women often make the purchases, leading them to focus on this target audience.

The Supporter

The supporter might not have the power to decide but will usually strongly influence whether an item is purchased.

For instance, a child is a supporter because he may not directly buy but influence the purchasing decision of a particular Christmas present. That is why it is essential to develop messaging that speaks to consumers as a decision-maker and supporters.

5 Steps to Finding Your Target Audience

So, now that you realize the importance of finding the ideal customer profile, here are the essential steps to reaching your target audience:

Step #1: Research Your Competitors

This is an easy but crucial first step. Brands must perform detailed competitor research and discover their weak spots and overlooked market segments.

A meaningful way is to read the comments on your competitors’ social media posts and see how you can fill in where they are missing opportunities.

You should learn more about your target audience and how your competitors market their products to potential customers. This will help you create content that stands out.

Brands must use their expertise to find out the following:

  • Who is buying from your competitors?
  • What segment of people are your competitors targeting?
  • What type of customers are your competitors attracting?
  • What segments of the market are they missing out on?

Social media is the best place to find this information. You can find out the precise audience demographics they are targeting by gathering information from the Facebook ads they are running.

Step #2: Identify the Wants, Needs, and Pain Points of Your Target Customer

Understanding your customers’ perspective is critical because what is excellent for you might not be so for your customers. When defining your prospective customers’ wants, needs, and pain points, you must put yourself in their shoes.

The advantage of hiring an internet marketing service provider is that it enables decision-making based on real-time data instead of assumptions and opinions.

You can use existing customer data, previous experiences, and potential behavior to identify problems your products can solve.

An earlier survey, sales teams’ reports, and reviews are also great ways of learning what your present customers think about your brand.

Step #3: Leverage Existing Data

Existing data is of substantial help in conducting micromarketing and finding the target audience. You can study your website traffic and how it interacts with your content to find such data. This helps determine how well your target audience aligns with your brand and message.

If you have a blogging business, you should look at the top-performing blog posts and keywords to determine what your audience is most interested in.

Offline data, such as face-to-face interactions, are also valuable and relevant information sources.

In terms of social media, use Facebook ads, ensuring that the Facebook pixels are accurately installed to track your audience patterns.

Step #4: Utilize Google Analytics

Google Analytics does wonders for your brand.

It offers you all the information about your website performance while helping you find and refine your target audience. For instance, the audience overview report lets you know much about your audience.

Using Google analytics is easy. You need to visit the dashboard, find the left navigation menu, and click on the ‘Audience’ button.

The report tells you the percentage of visitors returning and the new ones. Additionally, you get to see the page view numbers, users, sessions, bounce rate, new session percentage, and so on.

Google Analytics enables categorizing the audience based on demographics. It lets you distinguish the data by browser, screen resolutions, and operating systems.

It is insightful to find where your current traffic is coming from and the language they speak. After getting the information, you can go to the other advertising platforms to develop well-targeted ads to gain new customers, much like those already engaging with your content.

Step #5: Define Who the Target Audience is Not

One efficient way to identify your potential customers is to determine people who are not your target audience. The term ‘negative audience’ applies to this technique.

Hostile audiences are people you do not want to do business with, excluding them from your marketing and advertising efforts. This way, your target audience becomes niche and easier to target.

While defining the hostile audiences, consider your unhappy customers who are not fit to use your products/services.

With paid advertising, less is more. So, make sure not to invest much time in a hostile audience.

Takeaways on Target Audience in Marketing

It is easier and quicker to define the target audience for some business models.

However, most brands must adopt a granular approach to define their target audience. This is because a product can be valuable to buyers with different needs, goals, and characteristics.

A one-size-fits-all marketing approach will not work if businesses want to reach the right people online.

The information and tips will help you identify the different types of buyers and get a firm grip on the target audience.

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