The Beginner’s Guide to Targeting the Market vs Target Audience4 min read
What is a market target?
As a business owner, you would typically have your target market identified during your planning phase.
If you haven’t launched your business yet or are in its infancy, thinking critically about who your target market would be now will help flesh out your marketing plans later.
What is a target audience?
Now that you know what a target market is, highlighting what a target audience is should help you begin to realize the differences between the two.
Within some target audiences, there will likely be two subsets of people: you will have a decision maker and a supporter. Let’s take a closer look at the different target audiences to get a better understanding.
In the case of Lego, their target market is creative consumers who want to create fun models to play with. This would make you think that children between the ages of 5 and 15 would be the target audience, but this group does not have purchasing power.
This means that it is possible to create ads aimed at both parents and children. Lego often advertises its products in an educational way, yet exciting enough to hold the attention of young consumers.
McDonalds: McDonald’s is another interesting real-world example to look at. Due to their marketing tactics, the Happy Meal has become the most popular children’s item on their menu.
Again, we see parents act as the target audience and children are the supporters. McDonald’s uses a two-pronged approach to market these two groups. They engage parents using nutritional and other health information about mealtimes and include a themed toy to engage the child’s interest.
How to identify possible target audiences?
Learning about markets and target audiences is the easy part, putting those lessons into action will be another story.
Identifying potential audiences to target for your business will be necessary if you want to run effective marketing campaigns. You could create the best product in a market and still struggle to succeed if you don’t position your brand effectively.
There are a variety of methods used by marketers to identify relevant target audiences. Let’s take a look at a few that you can use for your business.
Target market analysis
Analyze your existing customer base
If you’ve already been in business for a while, you can use existing data to make future decisions. If you can, extract customer data such as age, income, area, interests, etc.
However, collecting this data can be inconvenient. Going forward, including online surveys or questionnaires with purchases is a great way to learn more about your top consumers.
Conduct market research
Looking at the entire industry is a great way to identify potential target audiences within a target market.
Looking at what your competitors are doing should give you an idea of who you should target and how .
Create detailed buyer personas
Over the past few years, buyer personas have become a hot topic in the marketing world. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional outline of specific types of customers who would use your products or services.
Buyer personas are essentially narrow views of very specific consumers who interact with your brand . For example, McDonald’s target audience is parents who want a convenient dinner for the whole family.
But, a buyer persona for this situation might be a single dad who wants to be the “cool parent.” Creating buyer personas is a process and requires data to be accomplished effectively.
How do you reach your target audiences?
Now that you’ve established a target market and an audience you want to reach, you need to design a marketing campaign that will resonate with the right people.
It’s the hardest part of the marketing process, but with the right mindset, you can do it. We’re not going to describe how to create a complete marketing campaign here, but we’ll give you some tips and tricks to help you come up with a better strategy.
Provide additional help
It doesn’t matter if you’re a brand new startup or if you’ve been in business for a year or two, giving extra help can improve your marketing efforts in a variety of ways.
As you prepare to find new marketing talent to bring into your business, take the time to put a hiring plan in place to help guide your efforts. A basic hiring plan will include the following elements:
The cost of hiring a few new recruits will be high, but worthwhile. If you’re worried about having the funds to hire top talent, it might be worth looking into different types of loans that can often be used for business purposes.
Funds from a loan or other outside source will help you manage hiring costs now, without depleting any savings you may have accumulated. Establishing a budget early on will help you stay in control once you start recruiting talent.