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Why Target Market Needs Target Audience: Start to Determine Who is Who

May 17, 2017

A target market and a target audience affect a sales volume and number of customers. So, these terms are often confused. However, they have different marketing objectives.

A market is always connected with customers and sales. And contacts with an audience may not affect customers or sales.

Understanding a target market and a target audience helps build marketing, sales and relationship with customers and non-customers.

Let’s find out when it is necessary to work with a market, as well as with an audience.

What is a target market

Businesses compete for the attention of buyers and consumers. To do this, they develop new products and services, choose marketing channels, do advertising. There is one goal above all efforts — to encourage a customer to buy.

A purchase hides material or emotional benefits to a customer. So, businesses are trying to provide maximum value to customers. To do this, they study the needs of buyers and consumers.

To understand the needs of customers, their portrait is drawn up. Such a portrait is formed per certain demographic, geographic, psychographic and behavioral characteristics.

Buyers and consumers with similar characteristics are grouped together. These groups are called market segments.

One or more segments is selected by size, availability and possible sales volumes. These segments are called target segments.

For each target segment are formed sales goals, marketing goals, strategies and communications.

A target market is segments of potential and existing buyers and consumers, who can give the maximum sales volume.

А target market

Working with a target market is profitable for customers and businesses. Customers get the maximum benefits. Businesses get the maximum profit

A target market sets requirements for marketing, prices, promotion, sales, production and maintenance. This reduces the costs for non-target customers.

Indicators of work with a target market are the volume of sales, profit, a number of sold products, a number of customers, loyalty level and others.

What is a target audience

Businesses form messages to motivate buyers or consumers to act: articles, posts, letters, presentations, commercial offers, photographs, advertisements, videos, websites, landing pages and banner extensions.

Such messages can be targeted to buyers, consumers, persons who make a purchasing decision or persons who may affect buyers or consumers.

At the same time, buyers and consumers are in different states. These states depend on a company awareness, product awareness, attitude to a company, attitude to a product and an interaction stage.

So, the states of message recipients must be considered so that a message is as accurate as possible addressed to its recipients.

Example. A new customer is directed to a landing page.

Example. A customer, who is buying, can be offered an extended warranty or related products and services.

A target audience is recipients of the message, which are expected to perform the target action.

A target action can be an appeal to buy, to follow a link, to share a link, to view a post, to comment a post, to leave a contact or to subscribe to a newsletter.

A target audience

The variety of target audiences for a target market. Reds and blues are the target market. To communicate with reds and blues used different approaches — so there are TA4 and TA5. The TA14 isn’t a client, but it may affect customers.

A target audience forms marketing communication goals, a message format and message communication channels.

Indicators of a target audience are a reach, an engagement, a conversion rate, a result of target actions, a number of target actions, a cost of target action and others.

Who is bigger and more precise

A target audience can be more precise than a target market. This happens when a target market is defined in general terms, and a target audience is revealed by additional criteria (geographic, social, behavioral) and specified a customer portrait.

Example. Carl’s Barber Shop is going to organize a special action for the audience of the concert of Ida Corr.

Target market: males aged 16–99 years.

Target audience: males aged 16–99 years, who will come to the concert of Ida Corr.

A target audience can be less precise than a target market. Here is the opposite situation. A target market is painted to the smallest details, but a target audience simplifies a customer portrait. This may be due to technical limitations, a desire to attract non-target customers and increase a reach.

Example. Come On Boys Fitness Center invites men to pull up the body before the summer.

Target market: males, 20–40 years old, work in the office, home to 4 km from the fitness center, earn 7 000 dollars per month, visit the fitness center 2–3 times a week.

Target audience: males, 20–60 years old, living in 10 km from the fitness center.

A target audience may not be included in a target market. A target audience is persons who do not buy but affect the behavior of buyers or consumers.

Example. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth Colgate. Dentists (target audience) recommend a toothpaste to their patients (target market) after professional teeth whitening.

Comparison table

Target market

Includes buyers and consumers.

Determines a market size and a number of customers (consumers).

Is determined for new products.

A product should give maximum value to customers.

Affects business processes: marketing, sales, production, service.

The main indicators are a sales volume and a number of customers.

Target audience

Includes message recipients.

Determines a number of message recipients and a message response.

Is defined for a new message.

A message should reach an audience as precisely as possible.

Affects the message: a goal, a format and a communication channel.

The main indicators are an audience engagement and a number of target action.


Set a target market (customers) for a product.

Form a target audience (message recipients) for a message.

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