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    Target Market vs Target Audience: What’s the Difference?

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    target market vs target audience canada

    If you’re looking to tailor your marketing strategies to the needs and wants of your customers, understanding your target market and target audience is crucial. Learn more in this informative article.

    Marketing is an essential aspect of any business, regardless of its size or industry. It is the process of identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customer needs and wants through the creation, promotion, and distribution of products or services. One of the most critical components of marketing is identifying and understanding your target market and target audience. While these two terms are often used interchangeably, they have different meanings and applications. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between target market and target audience and why it is crucial to understand both.

    Related Read: How to Do Proper Market Research for Startups


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    What is a Target Market?

    A target market is a group of consumers who share similar needs, wants, and characteristics that a business aims to serve. It is a broad group of people who are most likely to buy a company’s products or services. A target market is typically defined by demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioural factors.

    • Demographic factors include age, gender, income, education, occupation, and marital status. For example, a company that sells luxury cars may target individuals who are at least 35 years old, have a high income, and are married.

    • Geographic factors refer to the location of the target market. It includes countries, regions, cities, and neighbourhoods. For instance, a company that sells winter clothing may target people who live in colder regions.

    • Psychographic factors are the personality traits, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles of the target market. For example, a company that sells outdoor gear may target people who are adventurous, environmentally conscious, and health-oriented.

    • Behavioural factors are the actions and behaviours of the target market, such as buying habits, brand loyalty, and product usage. For instance, a company that sells skincare products may target people who frequently use skincare products and are loyal to a particular brand.


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    Why is it essential to identify your target market?

    Identifying your target market is crucial because it helps you tailor your marketing strategies to the needs and wants of your customers. By understanding your target market, you can create products or services that meet their specific needs, develop marketing messages that resonate with them, and choose the most effective marketing channels to reach them. It also helps you allocate your resources more efficiently and effectively by focusing on the most profitable segments of the market.

    Target market example

    Suppose a company that sells baby products identifies its target market as new parents who are between 25 to 35 years old, have a high income, and live in urban areas. In that case, it can develop products that meet the specific needs of this group, such as organic baby food, eco-friendly diapers, and smart baby monitors. It can also create marketing messages that appeal to this group, such as emphasizing the safety and health benefits of its products. It can then use marketing channels that are most effective in reaching this group, such as social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

    Related Read: 17 Marketing Ideas to Promote Your Business


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    What is a Target Audience?

    A target audience is a specific group of people within a target market that a business aims to reach with its marketing messages. It is a narrower group of people who are most likely to respond positively to a company’s marketing efforts. A target audience is typically defined by psychographic and behavioural factors.

    • Psychographic factors include the personality traits, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles of the target audience. For example, a company that sells luxury watches may target people who value quality, prestige, and exclusivity.

    • Behavioural factors are the actions and behaviours of the target audience, such as buying habits, brand loyalty, and product usage. For instance, a company that sells athletic shoes may target people who are frequent runners, participate in marathons, and are loyal to a particular brand.

    Why is it essential to identify your target audience?

    Identifying your target audience is critical because it helps you create marketing messages that resonate with them. By understanding your target audience, you can develop marketing messages that address their specific needs, wants, and preferences. It enables you to communicate more effectively with your customers and build stronger relationships with them. It also helps you focus your marketing efforts on the most profitable segments of your target market.


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    Target audience example

    Suppose a company that sells athletic shoes identifies its target market as people who are between 18 to 35 years old, live an active lifestyle, and are health-conscious. In that case, it can identify a specific target audience within this group, such as marathon runners who are loyal to a particular brand. It can then create marketing messages that appeal to this group, such as emphasizing the durability, comfort, and performance of its shoes. It can also use marketing channels that are most effective in reaching this group, such as running magazines, social media influencers, and running events.

    What are the differences between Target Market and Target Audience?

    The main difference between target market and target audience is the level of specificity. A target market is a broad group of consumers who share similar needs, wants, and characteristics, while a target audience is a specific group of people within a target market who are most likely to respond positively to a company’s marketing efforts. A target market is defined by demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioural factors, while a target audience is defined by psychographic and behavioural factors.

    Another difference is the purpose of identifying them. Identifying a target market helps a business tailor its marketing strategies to the needs and wants of its customers, while identifying a target audience helps a business create marketing messages that resonate with them. Identifying a target market helps a business allocate its resources more efficiently and effectively by focusing on the most profitable segments of the market, while identifying a target audience helps a business communicate more effectively with its customers and build stronger relationships with them.


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    Why is it crucial to understand both?

    Understanding both target market and target audience is crucial because they work together to create effective marketing strategies. A business needs to identify its target market to develop products or services that meet the specific needs of its customers, choose the most effective marketing channels to reach them, and allocate its resources more efficiently and effectively. It also needs to identify its target audience to create marketing messages that resonate with them, communicate more effectively with its customers, and build stronger relationships with them.

    For example:

    Suppose a company that sells organic food identifies its target market as health-conscious consumers who are between 25 to 45 years old, have a high income, and live in urban areas. In that case, it can identify a specific target audience within this group, such as vegans who are environmentally conscious and value sustainable farming practices. It can then create marketing messages that appeal to this group, such as emphasizing the ethical and environmental benefits of its products. It can also use marketing channels that are most effective in reaching this group, such as vegan blogs, social media influencers, and environmental events.

    Knowing your target market and target audience is important, but it’s just as crucial to make sure your business is insured. APOLLO offers customizable business insurance that’s designed to protect Canadian small businesses. Get your free quote on our simple online platform and we’ll send your documents right to your inbox.

    Looking to learn more about business insurance? Read our article How APOLLO Can Support Your Small Business to find out more.


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    Originally published May 24, 2023, updated August 25, 2023

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