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What is the target audience, ways and methods of its definition

Thefirst thing to do before creating a website is to define your target audience (TA), because no business can exist without understanding its customers. It is important to know who your client is, what he needs, etc. This is necessary so that the project develops correctly and you do not tear in different directions. We will tell you how to define your target audience in this article.

What is the target audience?

Let’s start with the definition. A target audience or target group is a group of people with similar interests and needs who are likely to be interested in a particular product or service.

The value of the target audience for business is that representatives of the selected group will want to buy a specific product. This is successfully used by marketers, as they form ads taking into account the characteristics of this target group. Thus, the effectiveness of advertising is increased.

And by the way, the more you know your target audience, the more chances to satisfy it. “Men and women 25-30 years old” is not enough.

Why is it important to correctly identify the target audience?

Knowing the end user, you can create the right, and most importantly effective communication strategy. Agree, it is difficult to meet the needs of people with different interests.

It is important to focus on the main audience to effectively concentrate your efforts. And yes, the importance of defining the target audience is necessary in order to:

  • reduce costs;
  • bypass competitors;
  • learn about the customer base;
  • find growth potential.

And now for each item in more detail.

1. To reduce costs

Ineffective marketing advertising, which was not thought out in advance, will waste nerves and money. Believe me, you will not win by running ads in large quantities.

It is important to address your message correctly and correctly. Competent analysis of the target audience allows you to properly set up targeting and allocate the budget.

2. To bypass competitors

Due to the wrong marketing strategy, companies lose their customers who become customers of competitors. Of course, if a person is looking for a product, he will definitely buy it, but not the fact that it is from you.

It is important to find the target audience, identify loyal customers and build trusting relationships with them. According to statistics, regular customers (2-3 people) can bring higher profits than a dozen buyers who bought once. It is regular customers who can attract new ones.

To get to know the customer base better

The customer base is a narrow, specific audience. Let’s go straight to the example: you offer online learning and setting up targeting you focus on students. But to segment the audience, you need to specify the subject being studied, the level of language proficiency, age, etc.

It is the detailing that allows you to adapt advertising campaigns for users. The probability of buying a product or service increases significantly.

To find the growth potential

It is logical that every entrepreneur wants to develop their business by increasing profits. As practice shows, even a small group of customers can contribute to brand promotion.

For example, if you are a manufacturer of dairy-free ice cream, then focus on people who are lactose intolerant. Believe me, they will share their reviews on the Internet, which will help you find channels to expand your business.

Types of target audience

The target audience is divided into two main types: primary and indirect. The first type includes all consumers who are actively looking for a product and are interested in purchasing it. They make decisions and buy. Speaking about the second, these are people who can influence the buying process, but do not buy it themselves.

Here is an example: an online store of children’s goods, their main audience is parents, and indirect – children. It is logical that children cannot buy goods themselves, but they influence the decisions of their parents.

To determine the main and indirect audience, you need to take into account a sufficient number of factors. The most important ones are:

  • Geodata. This information is of great value to the company. For example, you offer equipment for surfing or diving. In this case, it is better to exclude the northern countries, focusing on the South.
  • Demographic data – age, gender, marital status, income, religion, etc. Basic knowledge that is not so difficult to collect, but it plays an important role for targeting.
  • Behavioral data. To collect this information, you need to track user behavior on the site. That is, you can create an advertising campaign based on products that are often added to the cart.
  • Psychographic information. Here we are talking about the user’s lifestyle, interests, hobbies and beliefs. You can collect it through e-mail newsletters or from the subscription form.

How to define your target audience?

To define your target audience, follow the list that consists of the following points:

  • basic indicators;
  • consumer interests;
  • solvency;
  • tasks, that is, ask what problems your product will solve.

Yes, the longer this list is, the larger is the target audience, the better you set up advertising, the higher the conversion. But there are special techniques that help to determine the target audience. Here we will tell you about them in more detail.

Method “5W”

This is the most popular method that was invented by the founder of the consulting company Added Value M. Sherrington. The essence is simple to the point of impossibility.

5W is 5 questions that need to be answered:

  1. What? (Type of product, for example, bottled water from wells).
  2. Who? (Portrait of a potential buyer, for example, supporters of proper nutrition).
  3. Why? (Motivation for buying, e.g. to keep healthy).
  4. When? (Conditions of purchase, during training, to enrich the body with water).
  5. Where? (Place of purchase, for example, offline or online stores).

Method “from the opposite”

The essence of this method is that the starting point is the end result. You need to determine what the client should get by contacting you, or rather for your product or service.

Next, describe the path that a person will take to get the result. And think about what can motivate a person to go all the way to the final result.

Method of determining the possible target audience from the product

You can also look for the target audience based on the product’s capabilities:

  • identify the key properties of your product/service;
  • conduct a survey of customers to find out about the requests;
  • conduct a SWOT analysis that shows the properties and disadvantages of the product/service;
  • determine the types of target audience;
  • segment the target audience;
  • make a plan of marketing activities.

Method of determining the target audience from the market

If you enter a market that is unknown to you, it makes no sense to study the existing customer base. In this case, the best option would be to study the market and potential customer, and then select target groups. And work on them.

How to determine the target audience depending on the goal

Knowing your target audience is important when you need to interact with people. You can also define the target audience depending on the goals. Let’s talk about this in more detail.


How to determine the target audience of the site

Having your own website, you can collect enough information about your visitors.

Google Analytics. It allows you to collect the following information: interests, demographic characteristics, traffic source, mobile device data.

And if you have a website under development, then use the SimilarWeb service, where you can collect all the useful information about the target audience.

How to determine the target audience in social networks

One of the best ways to get information about your target audience is to use the statistics of popular social networks. Facebook and Instagram can tell you a lot about the interests and needs of users.

They help to narrow the audience with the help of demographic data, age, gender, interests. In addition, these social networks have powerful business tools that allow you to create effective advertising.

How to determine the target audience of the product

It is important to be able to divide the target audience into consumers and buyers. For example, products for children, the consumer is a child, and the buyer is a parent. It is important to understand that the commercial offer depends on the audience segment.

How to determine the target audience for business

This point is interconnected with the previous one. And we have already written above that in general, two types of target audience can be distinguished:

  • Main
  • Indirect

If your company offers online English language learning for children, it is logical that parents will pay for the course. That’s where you need to direct your advertising, because they are the main target audience.

Effective strategies for reaching the target audience

The effectiveness of an advertising campaign directly depends on how much you know and understand your target audience. We will give you some working strategies that allow you to reach the target audience:

  • Always listen to potential customers. It is important to learn more about their problems and interests.
  • Adapt. You need to be ready for rebranding at any time, because the world is dynamic and the needs of the target audience often change. Be mobile and follow the trends.
  • Communicate with customers. Use social media to communicate with your customers.
  • Choose the right channels for effective advertising. You can choose one or more platforms to achieve your goal. But remember, in order not to annoy the target audience, do not duplicate promotions on the same channel.
  • Increase the level of trust. Tell about your achievements and success stories. Share positive feedback about your company. This way you will increase your credibility. Be sure to emphasize that you are an officially registered entity (if applicable).


Before we move on to the conclusions, it is worth noting a number of mistakes made by businessmen and inexperienced marketers.

  • The entire purchase chain is not taken into account. Remember that effective advertising takes into account the entire process of buying a product or service.
  • Overestimation of the target audience. Often, business marketers for the VIP audience a little idealize their target audience. We recommend to look at the situation soberly.
  • No segmentation. The correct division of customers allows you to upgrade the product / service for different categories.

From the above we can draw one important conclusion: the search for the target audience is point number 1 at any stage of development of the online store. If the portrait of your potential customer is blurred, it will be difficult for you to find a buyer for your product.

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