Target Audiences & When To Expand (or Narrow) Them

Jul 5, 2019

When creating marketing messages, it’s important to know who you’re creating them for. Think about how different a baby diaper commercial is from a sports car commercial. These ads are different because these ad creators have thoughtfully targeted a certain audience. They know that dark scenes of fast cars racing through New York City won’t sell diapers because that’s not what we want babies to be involved in. On the other hand, they know that these sleek visuals will sell sports cars. This act of focusing on a certain audience to create relevant marketing messages is what target audiences are all about. Read on to learn about target audiences & when to expand (or narrow) them.

Target Audiences & When To Expand (or Narrow) Them

What is a target audience?

Target audiences are the group of people you are focusing on with your marketing message. To help explain, consider how target audiences are used in the entertainment industry. Think of any TV show and the group of people that generally enjoy it. For a simple example, Sesame Street is commonly watched by kids between the ages of 2-5 while Dancing with the Stars is most popular with adults 50 and over. These shows have clued into who watches them and creates TV content that they will enjoy. In the same way, target audiences in marketing aren’t meant to be exclusionary. However, they are helpful when crafting content and marketing messages.

How do I find my target audience?

Since target audiences are a defined and intentional audience to focus on, your target audience should not be “everyone.” Identifying with a particular niche allows you to stand out and shine in that niche. To help with defining your target audience, here are 3 simple steps:

  1. Collect data on your current customers/contacts. This data could include age, location, interests, job roles, and industry.
    • Look at your website, email, and social media analytics to help find this information.
  2. Look at other companies in your industry. Find who their target audiences are and how they’re reaching them.
  3. Brainstorm who your ideal contact would be. (Think of your dream customer).

Create a target audience profile from the information that you’ve collected in those 3 steps. When creating your marketing messages, keep this profile in mind. Then create your marketing campaigns and test them out on your target audience. This way you can see how (and if) they respond.

When do you narrow a target audience?

After testing out a marketing message on your defined target audience, you can re-evaluate. You might need to expand or narrow a target audience. Your target audience is too broad if you are defining it only as “women” or “Wisconsinites” or “Baby Boomers.” The populations of these groups are varied in their interests, ages, needs, and wants. Aligning yourself with a more defined target audience will allow you to more effectively market. You’ll want to focus on various demographics like industry, job roles, interests, and location, for instance.

When do you expand a target audience?

Your target audience is too narrow if you can only find a handful of people interested in it. Finding out if your target audience is too small comes with practice. This is because there’s a sweet spot between too small and too big. Keep in mind that your audience can expand as your company grows. If you start your target audience with a smaller, specified audience, you can expand it as your company expands. When your company grows, your marketing reach will grow. This means that you can then expand your target audience.

As you work with your target audience, you can figure out more and more what marketing messages are effective. Keep evaluating your impact and analytics and adjust as necessary.

For information about marketing campaigns and what your specific company can do to expand its reach, contact RedMoxy.