Target audience - aim first, then shoot! Practical information

Service Business

It should be obvious to any business owner that selling is paramount. To be or not to be a company depends on the level of sales. Hence, entrepreneurs go as follows to think: The more I sell my goods, the better. And it would be best if everyone bought my product. Unfortunately, there are no products that everyone buys. Therefore, if we want to sell effectively, we need to adopt a specific action strategy. Our advertising, or more broadly speaking, marketing communication should be directed exactly to those people who may be potential recipients of the product or service. In other words, the recipient of the message should be the most precisely selected target group.

What is the target audience?

The target group is a group of people or companies to whom we direct or plan to direct our marketing and sales activities. And we want to do it because we believe (ideally if we are sure) that they will buy our products or services.

It is worth remembering that not always the people who will use our product are exactly the target group of our marketing message. Let's say we sell baby pacifiers. It is not difficult to guess that the recipient of our advertisement should be the mother of such a child, not the child itself.

The theoretical notion of the target group has a very practical meaning. In short - after making the right choice of target and carrying out appropriate advertising and sales activities, planned precisely for such a selected target group, we significantly increase the likelihood of our product being purchased by representatives of this set.

Target audience - who or what?

It is worth remembering that in marketing considerations, the target group, i.e. a set of individuals with specific characteristics, does not necessarily have to consist of people. In the area of ​​relations between companies referred to as B2B (business to business), the unit considered will simply be the company. Then, companies with the following characteristics may be selected as the target group:

  • with specific annual revenues (e.g. over PLN 50 million),
  • with a specific profile (e.g. only distribution companies),
  • from a specific region (e.g. only from voivodships in the western part of Poland).

The target group and the company's strategy

The company's strategy should provide for the selection of the target group. Why? Due to the very practical translation into the company's operations and methods of selling the offered product.

To clarify this issue, let's discuss the above-mentioned example of the target group: production companies with annual revenues above PLN 50 million based in western Poland. Which company will select its target group in this way?

It can be a company that is a producer of software intended for production management (therefore only production companies). Due to the costs of producing such an IT system (PLN 40-60 thousand) individually tailored to the needs of a specific enterprise, only companies with specific income can afford to buy it. Therefore, there is no point in directing an offer and engaging traders to solicit companies with income below PLN 50 million - they will not buy our goods anyway. The discussed software producer is based in Poznań. When planning the sales and customer acquisition process, the company took access into account. From Poznań, it is the closest to the voivodships located in the western part of Poland. It is also worth taking into account the fact that this region is much richer than the eastern part of our country.

As you can see, the target group and the method of selecting it have a direct and very practical impact on the company's operating strategy, which wants to attract customers with specific characteristics.

The target group and its selection criteria

When selecting a target group, we assume that this group has certain common features that make it more likely to buy a specific type of product.

A simple example - who will buy a FIFA computer game? Here you do not need any marketing research to quickly come to the conclusion that they will be people interested in sports, specifically football, mostly men, with a gaming console; we can also assume that they are rather younger.

Various criteria are used to precisely select the target group. The most common terms are geographic, demographic, psychographic and, finally, behavioral.

Start a free 30-day trial period with no strings attached!

Geographic criteria

In this case, the matter is obvious. It's all about geographic location. We can talk about the following features here:

  • region - a specific country, voivodship, part of the country (e.g. southern Poland), city district, etc.,
  • place of residence - village or city,
  • city ​​size - e.g. up to 100,000 inhabitants, from 100 thousand. up to 500,000, over 500,000 e.t.c.,
  • distance - e.g. from the company's headquarters.

Demographic criteria

Demographic criteria are characteristics that can be easily determined or measured. And some of them (e.g. age) translate directly into behaviors and lifestyle that may determine consumer preferences. Among the demographic criteria, we distinguish:

  • age,
  • sex,
  • income,
  • household size and / or number of family members,
  • education,
  • profession,
  • professed religion,
  • nationality,
  • generation, e.g. generation X, Y,
  • social class.

Psychographic criteria

Both geographic and demographic criteria can be defined as hard, that is, specific and relatively easy to grasp. However, they are not always able to describe a potential customer due to his willingness to buy. Therefore, groups of potential clients are considered in terms of psychographic criteria, which include:

  • lifestyle,
  • personality,
  • professed values.

Behavioral criteria

Behavioral criteria are another measure that helps in gaining knowledge about the recipient of our product. They concern the attitudes of buyers towards the product, i.e. how they can behave in relation to our offer and the goods offered to them.

For the purposes of selecting the target group, the following elements of this division are distinguished:

  • occasions, i.e. situations that may affect the purchase, e.g. the first job often determines the need to open a bank account,
  • product features - those that will be attractive to the user, e.g. fast food eaters expect quick consumption, and the regulars of vegetarian restaurants expect healthy and, in addition, meatless dishes,
  • user status, i.e. information whether a given person uses our product, may be using it for the first time or used to be a consumer of it, but now it is not, etc.,
  • product loyalty - the degree to which the consumer is attached to the brand,
  • the intensity with which the product is used - e.g. a customer who buys chocolate of a given brand every day is better than ten who do it occasionally,
  • readiness or lack of it to purchase a product, as well as all intermediate phases between the decision to buy a given product and the lack of awareness of its existence,
  • attitude towards the product - it is easier to persuade someone who has a positive attitude to the offered product than someone who treats it with suspicion or even hostility, e.g. in a vegetarian, it will be difficult to evoke enthusiasm for dishes offered by American fast food brands.

Other terms related to the term "target audience"

In recent years, the concept of the target group in Poland has been replaced by a short word borrowed from English, used on a daily basis in the jargon of people working in advertising agencies or marketing departments - target.

In industry terminology derived from marketing studies of the Western market, the concept of the target market is used rather than the target group.

Terms such as target group or target market are directly related to the concept of market segmentation, which is the next step in the customer acquisition strategy. We will definitely talk about it in more detail in the next articles.

In addition, the method defined by the term persona is increasingly used. Persona is a kind of personification of a model representative of the target group. It is a description of a specific person with specific characteristics and needs. Persona serves as a tool to help create a better marketing message, because when we have a specific person in front of our eyes, it is easier for us to understand them. This analytical tool is such an interesting method that we will certainly describe it on our website in the near future.

Summarizing our considerations on the target group, we can say that regardless of whether you run your own sole proprietorship or you have a company with an annual income of millions of zlotys, you should start your business strategy and customer acquisition plans by determining what your group is. target.

If you target a well-chosen target, you won't waste time or money on misplaced marketing campaigns and trying to sell your product to someone who doesn't need it. However, you will hit the point, that is, to those people or companies that are likely to become your clients.