The term “target audience” is narrower than “target market.” It refers specifically to the group of consumers targeted by marketing messaging.

Advertising specialist Tom Duncan explains: A target audience is “a group that has significant potential to respond positively to a brand message.”

Your target audience may or may not be the end users of your product, but they are the people you plan to direct your marketing to.

To communicate effectively with your target audience, you need to understand who they are, and what their true needs and desires are.

Why?

Because, “no matter what your product is, you are ultimately in the education business,” said Robert G. Allen. “Your customers need to be constantly educated about the many advantages of doing business with you, trained to use your products more effectively, and taught how to make never-ending improvement in their lives.”

What’s more, remember what author and marketing guru Orvel Ray Wilson said: “Customers buy for their reasons, not yours.”

Orvel Ray Wilson Quote

Let’s revisit the McDonald’s example we looked at above.

Target Audience Example

Although one of McDonald’s key target markets is children, there’s a big problem with this target market: Children don’t have any purchasing power.

In other words, it’s not the children who buy McDonald’s products — it’s the adults in their lives.

So, McDonald’s create the Happy Meal to serve their target market of children. However, they create advertisements promoting the Happy Meal aimed at their target audience of parents.

This is clearly shown in the video advertisement below.

The ad highlights things that kids aren’t interested in, but are important to parents: Such as “no artificial colors, flavorings, or preservatives,” and charitable donations.

What do kids care most about?

The toy, of course! But this gets only a scant mention near the end of the video.

When it comes to Happy Meals, children might be McDonald’s target market, but they’re clearly not the target audience.

Read more blogs 

How to Identify Your Target Market

Now that you understand exactly what target markets and target audiences are, let’s look at how you can uncover the market segments you should be targeting. Step 1: Identify the Key Benefit that Your Business Provides Get this right and your ideal target market should...

The Power of Targeting

Many people believe that casting a wide net is the best way to catch more fish. But the most successful fishermen know what type of fish they plan to catch ahead of time. They make nets with this specific size of fish in mind. And they know exactly where to find these...

The Key Differences Between Target Market and Target Audience

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...

What is a Target Market?

A target market is a specific, defined segment of consumers that a company plans to serve with its products or services. Identifying the target market is an essential step in the development of products, services, and the marketing efforts used to promote them. Plus,...

Why you desperately need a defined Target Market and Target Audience

Who is your target audience? What is your target market?  Why? If you don’t have incredibly specific answers to these questions, you could be in big trouble. What’s more, if you answered something like “we target everyone,” or “we cater to a wide range of people,”...

The top 5 most popular website questions answered.

We've received loads of questions about how we make websites. Here are a few of your questions - answered.   1. What do you use to make a website? We use WordPress. Why? Simply because the traditional way of designing websites takes about 10X longer. With...

Why do you need a Website?

 Think about how you look for things? You want to get a new car. Do you take a drive to the nearest dealership and walk around? Nope! You jump on the internet; start browsing for car brands; check out the pricing; see something you like and click the ‘book a test...

Black Friday – Are you ready?

What is Black Friday? Popularised in the US the Friday after thanksgiving masses of people would flock to malls and online stores to shop and purchase discounted goods. Businesses around the world noticed this hype and the increase of sales. Naturally businesses...

What is a website?

This post is defining a website. Getting the technical jargon out of the way for the future posts.

Answering Common Website Questions

This website blog series will answer all the questions you may have about websites. We will be focusing on: What is a website? Why do you need a website? How do they work? Who needs a website? When do you need a website? What do website cost? What website should you...