Target Audience: What is and how to define it

The target audience is the demographic cut of a certain group and is defined by elements such as age range, gender, geographical location, educational level, purchasing power, social class, and consumption habits. Knowing this data is the first step in a good marketing strategy since it provides us with information about who our ideal client is. Let’s discuss it.

What is a target audience?

Definition: A target audience is a group of people with common interests, demographics, and behavior. Market researchers need to collect consumer feedback on certain products and services.

Collecting feedback from random people who aren’t your customers or those with no interest or knowledge about the research subject will not help you solve problems. To gain valuable business insights, targeting the right people for your research is crucial. Analyzing your target audience is an essential part of building your marketing strategy.

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Types of target audiences

You can define your target audience based on various attributes. Gender, age, education, and income are just a few examples of your audience segmenting. For the best research results,  divide these audiences into three categories – demography, interests, and purchasing intentions.

Audience based on demography: Demographics are socio-economic factors that describe individuals. Demographic factors include attributes like age, education, geographic location, gender, income, and so on.

For example, for conducting a research study on the impact of the pandemic on young students, target students between the age of 18-24, both male and female, form counties with a population of more than 25,000.

Audience based on purchase intentions: E-commerce businesses use a lot of purchase intentions data. This is a crucial piece of information that they must possess to understand the buying intentions and interests of potential customers. 

For example, researchers group individuals based on the products they specifically look at or show interest in. This helps them target individuals to capture their feedback on the expectations of the products and services to enhance them further.

Audience based on personal interests: Interests make up an individual’s hobbies, passions, behavior, things they read about and looking for. It can be anything from movie types to music genre, to cars, books, and dance to name a few.

For example, you can offer a new action movie to action movie enthusiasts and get their feedback on different parameters you set to collect genuine feedback.

Characteristics of a target audience

Researchers must sample the right target audience to make inferences about the entire population. It is impossible to survey the whole population due to logistical concerns, budgetary limitations, and time constraints. Dividing the entire population into smaller bits and drawing inferences from them is the most scientific way of researching a large population.

The quality of the research results directly depends on who your target audience is. Your market research will yield actionable results if you get the target audience mix right. 

Here are three attributes that researchers must keep in mind to create a sample from their target audience:

Target Audience Charachteristics

  1. Diversity: Always ensure the sample is diverse. Ensuring the diversity of a sample can be difficult in some cases because it is difficult to reach some portions of the population or convince them to take part in the survey. For a sample to represent the population truly, it must be diverse. A sample that fails to be diverse and representative of the entire population has serious research consequences.
  2. Transparency: The structure and the size of the population depend on various factors. Researchers must discuss these constraints to maintain a level of transparency about the sample selection procedures. Researchers must be transparent so that the survey results can be viewed with the correct perspective.
  3. Consistency: Researchers must understand the population thoroughly and must test the consistency of the sample before launching the survey fully. This is extremely crucial for research studies that monitor changes across space and time, especially where we need confidence that any variation we notice in our research data reflects a similar trend across comparable and consistent samples.

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Determining a sample size from your target audience

In research, it is impossible to survey your target audience. It is also not advisable to target everybody in your target audience. You must derive a sample from this target to make inferences of the whole population. Here are some tips to determine your sample size:

  1. Identify your research objective: First set your research goals. Know exactly what you want your research to achieve. Will the research be used to make projections about the entire population that reside in your target location? Have clarity about these areas.
  2. Precision level: Have an expectation in mind about the precision level you want to achieve with your research. You can adjust your sample size based on the size of your population.
  3. Confidence level: Confidence level is proportional to risk. If you want your risk to be minimum, your confidence level must be high and vice versa. Choose your confidence level on the criticality of the research.
  4. Response rate: Ascertain the response rate you’re likely to receive. If your population is huge, and you expect a low response rate, increase your sample size. A small sample, especially in a diverse population will just not give you the accuracy you’re looking for.

Do you need help to calculate the size of your sample? Don’t worry, we have created a free tool to do that calculation for you.

Free Sample Size Calculator

Choose your target audience appropriately. Get it right in the first go. Avoid re-researching to save time and costs. Also, with some marketplaces evolving daily, research conducted in today’s scenario will not hold in the foreseeable future.

Knowing what our target audience is and correctly defining it is essential to draw up a business strategy that is as effective as possible. In addition, it gives us an advantage over our competitors when targeting actions toward those users who are potential customers.

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