Target market and target audience are similar, overlapping terms. However, there are key differences between them, mostly related to the practical implications each has on your business.

A target market impacts all decisions a small business makes.

Products or services are developed to meet the needs and desires of the target market. Packaging and pricing decisions are made to appeal to the target market. And sales processes are structured around the target markets’ shopping preferences.

However, a target audience only impacts decisions related to specific marketing messages.

For this reason, target markets are usually comprised of the end user of a product or service, whereas target audiences may or may not be.

Target Markets and Target Audiences Can Be The Same

Often the target audience for a marketing message is the same group identified as the target market.

For example, a yoga leggings brand may identify a target market of single women, age 24-34, who regularly frequent gyms, and have a demonstrated interest in yoga.

In this example, the target audience will be the same as this target market.

However, marketers can hone in further on the target audience. For example, marketers may decide to use Instagram advertising to reach their target market.

So now the target audience may be further defined as Instagram users, who follow accounts such as Yoga Girl and Yoga Inspiration, have recently purchased products online, live in Portland, Oregon, and value fair trade products.

Instagram Targeting


Okay, now let’s talk about why targeting is so crucial to success.

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