Target audience definition: Types, examples and how to find your own audience
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Target audience definition: Types, examples and how to find your own audience

Target Audience Definition

Refining your target audience definition is one of the most valuable things you can do to improve the impact and potential of your business. After all, no company appeals to every customer. Try to sell to everyone, and you’ll end up connecting with no-one. 

Successful companies thrive because they understand exactly who their “customer persona” is. They know the goals and pain points of their customer base, the steps of their buyer journey, and even what influences their purchasing decisions. 

This ensures these organizations can create content, marketing strategies and sales campaigns that resonate emotionally with the people who benefit most from their products and services. 

Knowing your specific audience gives you the power to personalize your interactions with them, paving the way for a deeper sense of affinity and loyalty. In fact, studies show marketers see a 20% increase in sales when using specific, personalized content.

So, how do you define your target audience? What are the different types of target audiences you need to consider, and how do you use this data to your advantage?

Here’s everything you need to know about defining your audience.

Target Audience Definition

Target audience definition: What is a target audience?

A target audience is the specific group of people you want to reach with your marketing message and sales tactics. They’re defined by certain demographics, behavioral characteristics, and psychographics. 

While a target audience is made up of various different people, they share common traits. For instance, the target audience for a high-end brand might be affluent individuals between the ages of 30-40, with an interest in luxury goods. 

Finding the right audience for your company means determining what type of people are likely to be interested in whatever you offer or sell. Think of your target audience as the perfect avatar for your company, one that resonates with your brand identity, goals, and mission.

Often, when defining a target audience, companies conduct research into demographics like gender, age, profession, location, or income level. 

However, it’s also worth going beyond demographic data, to look at consumer behavior, pain points, goals, and ambitions. The more you know about your target audience, the more you can ensure your message connects with them on an emotional level. 

Target Audience Definition

Target audience vs target market: What’s the difference?

The terms “target market” and “target audience” may appear the same on the surface, but they have a slightly different meaning. Your target audience is a specific group of people, with the strongest connection to your products or service. 

A “target market” is a little broader in scope. Your target market includes not just your ideal target customer, but also anyone else who might be interested in your product. 

For example, if your company sells children’s toys, your primary target audience might be parents of children aged between 5 and 10. However, your products could also appeal to other family members, such as aunts, uncles, and siblings who might want to buy gifts. 

While the majority of your advertising campaigns may focus on your primary market segment, you may also create other strategies to appeal to your broader target market too. 

Target Audience Definition

What are the benefits of targeting an audience?

So, why do you need a target audience definition in the first place?

Simply put, today’s companies are living in a competitive world. There are dozens of organizations out there selling different products to a wide range of people. A successful business owner realizes their brand message won’t resonate the same way with every potential customer. 

Understanding the customer most likely to connect with your brand means you can strengthen the impact of your marketing campaigns. Customers will feel more connected with your brand because you can create messages that are specific to them.

Gaining clarity on the specific group of people you want to reach is the best way to enhance your marketing efforts, strengthening the impact of your copywriting, content marketing, emails, social media posts, and more. 

It also means you can save money in your marketing budget, by ensuring you don’t target customers that may not want or need your product or service. 

Target Audience Definition

What are the different target audience types?

Depending on your product, service, and industry, you may encounter many different “types” of target audience. Many companies actually have more than one target audience, segmented into different groups based on factors like behavior, geography, and interests. 

You might separate your target audience into groups based on:

Purchase intention

Purchase intention, or buyer behavior, looks at how your customers search for products and services, and make decisions on what to buy. If you sell more than one product, knowing what exactly your customers are looking for will help you to create better marketing campaigns for each offering.


Understanding your target customer’s interests, hobbies, and values can help you connect with them in a more relatable way. Defining interests helps you to unearth buyer motivation and behaviors. For instance, you may know your audience is interested in self-care. 

This means you can create marketing campaigns or content that shows potential audiences how to look after their health and wellbeing, to increase brand awareness and sales.


Subcultures are an interesting type of target audience. They may not have the same demographic characteristics, but they identify with a shared experience, such as a love of a specific type of music, art style, or television show. 

For instance, Netflix markets to subcultures of people who are interested in certain types of content, with unique social media accounts, and personalized campaigns. 

Target Audience Definition

Can a company have more than one audience?

While your company might only have one “ideal customer”, it could have more than one target audience. This is particularly true if you don’t just sell one specific product. 

For instance, Microsoft doesn’t just sell productivity tools for employees, they also sell gaming consoles, computer systems, and various types of software. Each product or solution sold by the company appeals to a different customer avatar. 

Similarly, you may have different target audiences if you sell in more than one geographic location. Each region comes with its own cultures and demographics to consider. 

The more you invest in your target audience research, the more you’ll learn about the components of your full target audience definition. You’ll begin to recognize patterns among different groups who connect with your marketing and sales strategies in different ways. 

Target Audience Definition

Defining your audience: Finding your audience

While most companies know that defining their target audience is crucial, not every company fully understands who their ideal customer is. One study even found only 42% of companies know the basic demographic characteristics of their audience. 

Defining your target audience takes time and effort. You’ll need to gather a lot of information about your ideal prospects, from their age and gender identity to their income and education level, pain points, interests, and goals. 

Here are some of the ways you can collect information about your niche market

1. Dive into market research

If your company is relatively new, one of the best ways to start collecting information about your audience is with market research. This basically means looking at your industry, the trends in your niche, and how customers are interacting with brands. 

There are various companies that produce reports online with insights into statistical information about customer preferences, purchasing trends, and more. Examining these reports can help you to understand a little more about your ideal buyer. 

2. Conduct an internal data analysis

If you’re not starting a new company from scratch, you may already have some information about your target audience. Every sale you make and marketing campaign you create reveals information about your audience, and potential buyers. 

Looking at your past campaign performance data, your sales insights, and even channels like Google Analytics, can help you to determine common characteristics. You can pinpoint demographic information about where your customers come from, and what they buy.

Ask yourself what kind of content your customers consume on your website, what terms they’re searching on Google, and where they’re visiting your website from. 

3. Talk to your customers

While data from tools like Google analytics can reveal a lot of useful information, it’s also worth collecting “qualitative insights” from your existing customers. You can use interviews and surveys to ask your customers about their interests, goals, and challenges.

Connect with your loyal customers and ask them questions about their needs, and why they like your brand. 

Examples of informative questions might include:

  • What problem were you trying to solve with our product/service?
  • What issues have you had with other vendors in the past?
  • How did you find us, and what terms did you search for?
  • What social media platforms do you use?
  • What made you choose us over the competition?

4. Examine your social media profiles

Social media isn’t just a great way to spread brand awareness and promote marketing campaigns, it’s also packed with useful data. Most social media platforms come with analytical and reporting tools that provide access to audience information. 

You can use your analytical tools to determine the location of your target audience, their hobbies and interests, career titles, age, and more. You could even consider running polls and surveys on social media, to collect more information about your followers. 

5. Conduct a competitor analysis

Regardless of the product or service you sell, every company has competitors. Your direct competitors (companies selling similar solutions to you), will likely target a similar audience to yours. 

A competitor analysis allows you to learn more about the customers you want to reach, by examining the competition. You can use analytical tools like SEMRush to find out what keywords your competitors are targeting in their content. 

Alternatively, you can look at who your competitor is interacting with on social media, what kind of language they’re using in their ads, and how they’re presenting their brand.

Target Audience Definition

How to define your target audience: Questions to ask

Once you’ve defined the sources of data you can use for a target audience definition, the next step is converting that data into a customer avatar, or profile. Gather all of the data you’ve obtained from Google analytics, social media platforms and market research. 

Then, you can start asking questions to build out your buyer persona

The most important questions to ask include:

1. Who are your customers?

First, identify exactly who your customers are from multiple angles. Consider their average education level, their marital status, age, gender, and even geographic location. The more demographic information you have, the easier it will be to create a powerful, engaging brand. 

Once you’ve identified demographic characteristics, move on to thinking about the behaviors and psychographics of your audience. 

For instance, ask yourself:

  • What channels do your customers use to purchase products?
  • What kind of social media platforms are they active on?
  • How do they engage with other brands and companies?

2. What are their pain points and goals?

The next step is figuring out why your customers might buy a specific product or service. The mission of any successful brand should be to help customers reach their goals, or overcome problems. The only way to do this is to understand your customer’s priorities. 

Your survey data and interactions with customers should help you to answer these questions. Think about why your customers chose you over a competitor, what they wanted to achieve with your solution, and what encouraged them to buy an item. 

3. Who do they already interact with?

At this point, it’s time to think about how your customer avatar interacts with other businesses and vendors online. You’ll need your competitor analysis insights for this. Take a closer look at the kind of companies your customers buy from. 

What are the common characteristics of their most trusted brands? Do they have a specific marketing plan that helps them to connect with their customers? What kind of tone of voice or language do they use in their campaigns? How do they serve and support potential buyers?

Looking at reviews from customers on sites like Amazon can give you an insight into how and why your customers make specific purchasing decisions.

4. Why will your company appeal to them?

Now, it’s time to dive into your unique selling points, and determine why your intended audience might choose to interact with you. What benefits do you offer your ideal prospects that other companies can’t provide?

How do your products or services help your specific target audience address their problems, or achieve the goals you discovered above? What do your customers say when you ask them why they chose you over the competition?

5. What would damage your connection with your audience?

This part of a target audience analysis is frequently overlooked, but it’s important to ensure you can retain the right relationship with your customers. After you’ve considered what your customers want and need from you, think about what they want to avoid. 

What caused them to abandon a competitor if they decided to switch to your service? What prompts them to write negative reviews online? Is there anything you could do that would stop them from trusting you and your solutions?

Target Audience Definition

Using a target audience in advertising: Creating a profile

Once you’ve collected as much information as possible and answered the questions above, you should have all of the data you need to create your customer profile. This is the guide that will direct you towards creating more effective offline and digital marketing campaigns. 

Your profile should outline all the demographic factors, behavioral information, and other components that make up your target audience definition. 

Give your customer a name (to help you connect with them emotionally), and create a bio for them that covers things like:

  • Their location.
  • Age range.
  • Gender identification.
  • Industry / job title.
  • Average income.
  • Hobbies / interests.
  • Buying behavior.
  • Online browsing behavior.
  • Needs and goals.
  • Pain points.

The more specific your defined target audience is, the more powerful it will be. Remember, you might need to create different profiles for your ideal prospects from different locations. You might also have various profiles for each product or service you sell. 

Target audience examples

If you’re struggling to identify your ideal customer, sometimes looking at examples of target audiences chosen by other companies can help. While many companies don’t share specific information about their target customers, you can still find insights online. 

Looking at the ad campaigns of other large and small businesses, the language they use in their blog posts, and even the customers that interact with them on social media channels can help. 

For instance:

Target Audience Definition

1. BMW

BMW has a very specific target audience, focusing on customers in search of “sheer driving pleasure”. This indicates the company wants to connect with people who are passionate about their cars, and driving in general. 

On the BMW Instagram page, we see evidence of the company’s commitment to creating a “community” for its customers. Followers are encouraged to use a branded hashtag for a chance to be featured on the page. The high-quality photography also demonstrates a focus on luxury.

Target Audience Definition

2. Lego

Lego has a number of different target audiences, but they focus primarily on a younger audience, those who have a playful disposition and a creative streak. The company uses a fun and comedic tone of voice on their social media channels, to connect with this modern audience. 

The brand also has a strong commitment to serving its various sub cultures. There are Lego Twitter accounts for everything from “Lego Ideas” to specific Lego games. Lego stands out because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s humorous and down to earth.

Target Audience Definition

3. Target

Target is another company with a clear target audience. The company focuses on families and everyday consumers. To connect with a wide range of shoppers, the brand differentiates its content on different social channels, but maintains a laid-back tone of voice. 

Target also regularly showcases its target audience with user-generated content. It constantly showcases the top trends and videos shared by its audience on a month-to-month basis. Constant interactions with customers help the company to send the right message to its fans.

The importance of a target audience: Finding your specific audience

Refining a clear target audience definition can be a complicated process. It requires companies to collect a huge amount of data about existing and potential customers alike. What’s more, as your company grows and the industry evolves, your audience can change.

This means businesses need to ensure they’re keeping up to date with the latest preferences and specific needs of the customers they want to serve. Your profiles may evolve significantly over time, particularly as you collect more data from marketing channels. 

However, while defining your target audience can be complex, it’s also necessary. It ensures you can connect with your customers on a deeper, more emotional level. 

With a clear view of your target audience, you can ensure your marketing strategy resonates with the most valuable people in your community, and increase your return on investment.

Don’t underestimate the power of a clearly defined target audience. 

Fabrik: A branding agency for our times.

Stewart Hodgson
Stewart Hodgson
Our co-founder, Stewart, is responsible for content strategy and managing Fabrik’s publishing team. It’s up to Stewart to bring Fabrik to busy marketers’ attention. As a regular contributor to Brand Fabrik, Stewart creates articles relevant to anyone in branding, marketing and creative communication.

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