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

There are so many marketing terms popping up all the time, that as a newbie entrepreneur or marketing person, you might end up feeling overwhelmed by the lingo.

Of course, the purpose of all these marketing terms is to create a sort of camaraderie between marketing folks. But it might not always work that way.

A particular nuance that escapes many new small business owners is the difference between target audience vs target market. Are you confused about this as well? Do not fear – keep reading our article below for a brief but effective explanation of the two terms.

Target Market

As a small business owner, you know that you can’t be all things to all people. That’s where market segmentation comes into play. This is usually the first thing any marketing team will do before building a marketing plan or creating a marketing campaign.

The marketing audience has to be defined. The target market is that segment of the consumer population that the marketing team plans to target with their marketing activities.

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For example, if your company sells baby toys in Seattle, your target market could be all the mothers in the city of Seattle.

Target Audience

A target audience, on the other hand, is much more specific. It is going to relate to a group of consumers that are being targeted by your advertising or marketing campaign. For example, if you have a new teething product going on out soon, then you are going to target all new mothers (not all mothers in the region).

How to Identify Target Audience

It’s easy to define a target audience because it will be related to the product you are advertising. As seen in the example above, you will not target ALL mothers in Seattle, because all mothers don’t need teething products, only new mothers do.

Whereas, if you were advertising a baby sling or baby carrier, you might target all mothers of babies 4 months and up (babies younger than that should not use baby slings).

The great thing about identifying a target audience is that it’s constantly permuting. That’s why you constantly need to ask, ‘Is your marketing on target?’

You could be targeting a particular segment of the population with your advertising and realize that a completely different audience is ACTUALLY interested in your product. That’s when you would change your marketing tactics based on market feedback.

Target Audience vs Target Market – Now You Know

It’s easy enough to believe that if you have been in the business for a while that you don’t need to worry about marketing terms like target audience vs target market. But the more you can hone your marketing lingo, the easier it will be for you to create effective marketing campaigns targeted to the right audience or market.

If you are looking for more marketing knowledge, then keep browsing our articles.


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