Business Pivoting Series Part 1: The difference between target markets and audiences

less than two minutes.

While we know that target markets and target audiences are similar, there are a few key differences between them.

We would explain a target market as a clearly defined segment of customers that your products and services will appeal to. 

A target audience is a little narrower and makes up the people you expect actually will purchase the product or service. These are people your business intends to respond to specific marketing or advertising efforts.

Diving a little deeper will explain the key differences.

A target market will impact many of the decisions your small business is going to make. For example, products or services are developed to meet the needs and desires of the target market. Pricing determinations are then created off the back of an analysis of your target market. Finally, marketing and sales strategies are structured around the target markets’ purchasing behaviors.

However, a target audience impacts decisions related to specific marketing messages. This is where segmented messaging will come in to play, especially if you have multiple groups of customers. 

For this reason, target markets are usually combinations of people with similar problems your product or service may solve. In contrast, target audiences may be a specific end-user of the product or service.

Here’s an example of a target market vs. target audience: 

Target market: single women in Coffs Harbour, under the age of 40, with no dependents, work full-time with a disposable income, and love supporting local brands.
Target audience: These women also love international travel and often shop for quality, sustainable brands to wear while travelling. They also love shopping with friends, but are time-poor and generally miss out on the in-store bargains, as they are too busy at work and live out of town. Instead, they shop from local online stores that ship directly to their door and donate a percentage of the sale to a social cause! They have a medium-high tech proficiency and have even set-up their own Afterpay account to make future purchases so they can shop more often without feeling like they’re spending too much in one hit!

Coast are experts at providing our clients with ways to connect their products and services to clients, customers and fans. Please get in touch to find out how we can help you achieve this.