|This article does not cite any references (sources). (December 2009)|
A target audience is the intended audience or readership of a publication, advertisement, or other message. In marketing and advertising, it is a specific group of people within the target market at which a product or the marketing message of a product is aimed (Kotler 2000). For example, if a company sells new diet programs for men with heart disease (target market), the communication may be aimed at those men but also perhaps at their spouses (target audience). Targeted marketing and targeted advertising strive for narrowcasting rather than broadcasting.
A target audience can be formed of people of a certain age group, gender, marital status, etc., e.g. teenagers, females, single people, etc. A combination of factors, e.g. men aged 20–30 is a common target audience. Other groups, although not the main focus, may also be interested. Discovering the appropriate target market(s)and determining the target audience is one of the most important activities in marketing management (Niewenhuizen et al. 2000). Perhaps the biggest mistake it is possible to make in targeting is trying to reach everybody and ending up appealing to no-one.
A target market is a group of customers that the business has decided to aim its marketing efforts and ultimately its merchandise. A well-defined target market is the first element to a marketing strategy. The target market and the marketing mix variables of product, place (distribution), promotion and price are the four elements of a marketing mix strategy that determine the success of a product in the marketplace.
Once these distinct customers have been defined, a marketing mix strategy of product, distribution, promotion and price can be built by the business to satisfy the target market.
Strategies for reaching target markets
Marketers have outlined four basic strategies to satisfy target markets: undifferentiated marketing or mass marketing, differentiated marketing, concentrated marketing, and micromarketing/ nichemarketing.
Mass marketing is a market coverage strategy in which a firm decides to ignore market segment differences and go after the whole market with one offer. It is type of marketing (or attempting to sell through persuasion) of a product to a wide audience. The idea is to broadcast a message that will reach the largest number of people possible. Traditionally mass marketing has focused on radio, television and newspapers as the medium used to reach this broad audience.
For sales teams, one way to reach out to target markets is through direct marketing. This is done by buying consumer database based on the segmentation profiles you have defined. These database usually comes with consumer contacts (e.g. email, mobile no., home no., etc.). Caution is recommended when undertaking direct marketing efforts — check the targeted country's direct marketing laws.
Target audiences are formed from different groups, for example: adults, teens, children, mid-teens, preschoolers, men, women.
To market to any given audience effectively, it is essential to become familiar with your target market; their habits, behaviors, likes, and dislikes. Markets differ in size, assortment, geographic scale, locality, types of communities, and in the different types of merchandise sold. Because of the many variations included in a market it is essential, since you cannot accommodate everyone’s preferences, to know exactly who you are marketing to.
To better become acquainted with the ins and outs of your designated target market legend, a market analysis must be completed. A market analysis is a documented examination of a market that is used to enlighten a business’s preparation activities surrounding decisions of inventory, purchase, workforce expansion/contraction, facility expansion, purchases of capital equipment, promotional activities, improvement of daily operations and many other aspects.