What is the Target Audience, Ways and Methods of Determining it?

Alexander Gorodov
Alexander Gorodov Head of Marketing Department
4 min read

Any project begins with defining the target audience (TA), because no business can exist without understanding its consumers, their problems and interests. It is important to study customers in order to understand what kind of news to share, whose needs to consider, who to target. In order not to be torn in different directions, it is necessary to understand what TA is and how to define it correctly.

How to Determine the Target Audience?

The target audience or target group is a group of people who may be interested in the company's offer and in the future will order a particular service or product. It can become a potential consumer, so it is on the target audience that all advertising efforts and communications should be directed. The marketer should create an advertising campaign taking into account the features and tastes of the target audience, which will greatly increase its effectiveness.

The heart of the target audience is the nucleus, which includes the most active buyers who bring most of the profit. There are different types of target audience:

  1. Primary - the key audience, the initiator of the purchase, which can be influenced.
  2. Secondary - participants in the purchase process, for example, they can pay for it. Secondary target audience - opinion leaders who influence the primary audience.
  3. Tertiary - includes organized groups that influence the first two types.

In addition, the target group can be broad or narrow. For example, broad is coffee consumers, and narrow is latte buyers. Also, the group can be designed for the B2B (business to business) or B2C (consumer business) market. In the B2B sector, fluctuations in demand are not so noticeable, and it is easy to assess the market capacity and the target audience itself.

Defining the target group gives an opportunity to find out socio-demographic characteristics, type, segments of the audience, coverage of interested persons, factors, which influence purchase decision. How to determine the target audience? The algorithm of actions will depend on the specifics of each product or service.

What is the Target Audience, Ways and Methods of Determining it?

How to Segment the Target Audience?

Segmentation - the division into smaller groups based on different characteristics. These include:

  • Geographic - region, city, nationality, country.
  • Socio-demographic - family status, age, gender, occupation, education.
  • Economic - financial literacy, income, ability to pay. Here we also take into account what segment of the goods the customer prefers (premium or economy), what brands, where they buy most often and at what time.
  • Social and psychological - include outlook, values, hobbies, as well as habits and lifestyle.
  • Motivation and list of needs - it is important to answer what needs can be satisfied by this or that service.

There are different methods of TA segmentation. The simplest scheme will include such components: the division of the target audience into categories (potential customers, at the stage of purchase and current customers who may have made a purchase at least once), finding out the motivation and the process of purchase, category analysis in terms of advertising costs and preparation of an offer, advertising on specific groups.

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How to Gather a Target Audience?

You don't have to invent new ways to gather an audience - start with the sources you have at your fingertips. For absolute visualization and to create empathy, a persona creation technique is used. A virtual persona is created that embodies the brand's audience. She is endowed with a specific name, biography, habits, job, family and similar attributes relevant to the brand and lifestyle of the TA.

In order to create a persona, you need:

  • communicate with your clients;
  • follow them on social networks;
  • conduct marketing research;
  • use data from open research of the Ukrainian audience.

During the creation of "Persona" you can divide information about the virtual consumer into such headings: general information, lifestyle, life values, social status, hobbies, field of activity for the brand, for what purpose uses the product / service uses.

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Tools to Gather TA

Gathering tools - methods and techniques to help identify the target audience. Description of the target audience will help to analyze the client's needs. To do this, you need to study the incoming calls, answering such questions: what problems customers most often address, ways of solving that have been used, objections, resentments.

The most effective methods to determine the target audience:

  • researching data from public sources;
  • conducting surveys;
  • drawing a portrait of the audience;
  • interview method;
  • analysis of data on people's behavior or statistical method.

Another good tool is to collect feedback by calling or sending it out. Analysis of groups in social networks can also help. You can get a complete set of information that will help you make mind-maps on all the characters. In other words, there will be direct "access to the goals" of clients.

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The Main Mistakes in the Work of the Target Audience

  • The main errors in the work of the task force include:
  • The entire buying chain is not taken into account. Before creating content and advertising, it's important to understand the product buying process.
  • The target audience is overestimated. This is a common mistake for VIP businesses. Instead of taking a sober look at their target audience, marketers begin to idealize it.
  • Lack of segmentation. If you divide customers, you can modernize the product or service for different categories of buyers.

More important key parameters for defining the target group are its habits and hobbies. The product or service must solve the buyer's problem. He has a need that needs to be satisfied, you have something that contributes to it. The task of the company is to become part of such a formula: when I need, I remember the brand.

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At any stage of project development, it is advisable to make finding your target audience one of the items on your list of priorities. A blurry or inaccurate portrait of your target audience leads to the fact that you simply won't find customers for your product. You should always think about your target audience: when creating a product, evaluating advertising campaigns, developing pricing policies, and choosing sales channels. By understanding who your target audience is and what is important to them, you can create in-demand products and effective communications.

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