What Is A Target Audience and How To Find Yours

With texts, emails and social media constantly at our fingertips, today’s consumers are buzzing with connection. In the midst of this frenzy, businesses are seeking to communicate directly with their target audience. 

As marketing and PR professionals, it’s our job to break through the noise to make a lasting, meaningful connection. To make an impact, we need to communicate with an audience who actually resonates with our brand.

What is a target audience?  

A target audience is a group of consumers who have interest in your brand or content — the consumer of your product. These audiences share similar characteristics categorized through demographics, geographics and/or psychographics.  

These traits can include, but are not limited to:  

  • Age
  • Gender 
  • Location 
  • Hobbies 
  • Income 
  • Education 
  • Lifestyle

What is the benefit of a target audience?  

A clearly defined target audience lies at the root of every successful marketing campaign. Having a comprehensive understanding of your audience allows your brand to cultivate intentional strategies that speak directly to your core group of customers.  

Instead of casting a wide net to captivate every consumer, focus resources on bold and purposeful content. This helps to create content that resonates with people who are most likely to engage, support or purchase. Next, you’ll need to know how to find your target audience.

Get to Know Your Customer Base

Understanding your current customer base is foundational to defining your target audience. This can be done through one-on-one interviews, surveys or focus groups. These methods can provide qualitative data about your target audience and their life experiences.  
Think big and ask: Who is engaging with my brand? What do they value about that experience? What do they care most about my brand?  

Gathering quantitative data is also important to understanding your consumer base. Online market research can be done using Google Analytics (GA), social media analytics and search engine optimization research.  

Google Analytics (GA) is a go-to tool to discover important data about the audience that visits your website. Search engines are a typical starting point for people to discover and learn more about brands, products or services. Learning what keywords are driving the most traffic to your website can help you develop customer personas of your target audience.

Get detailed and ask: What pages get the most clicks? What are the demographics of the people visiting those pages with the highest engagement? 

Dive Deep Into Research 

Research is imperative for an informed target audience strategy. Once you have a clear understanding of who your primary customers are, it’s important to dive into demographic and psychographic research to learn more about what makes your audience tick.  

First, learning about their motivations, goals, and frustrations helps shape your strategy and better understand how your audience makes purchasing decisions. Next, look to gather as much information as possible about your audiences’ lifestyles, desires, needs, habits and preferences.  

Additionally, identifying industry trends and analyzing competitors is a great way to garner helpful data.   

Use Data to Create Purposeful Strategies 

The key to successful market research is to look beyond the data to connect with a powerful strategy that will actually move the needle for your business.  

Once you have developed a comprehensive picture of your target audience, use this data to create customer personas. These personas will serve as the guideposts for marketing strategies that command results. 

Moving forward, these customer personas should serve as the foundation for campaigns and all marketing elements should relate back to your target audience findings. 

With a clear picture of who your audience is, you can tailor each message to deliver results that will impact your business.