Target Market vs. Target Audience - How Are They Different?

Target Market vs. Target Audience - How Are They Different?

Sami Jenkins

Sami Jenkins

23 Aug 2021 | 1 min read

The terms Target Market and Target Audience are often used interchangeably, but they don’t always mean the same thing. Having a clear understanding of the differences between the two is important for any business.

Take the time to ask yourself: What is your target market? Who is your target audience? 

If you don't already have clear answers, this article will discuss everything you need to know about Target Market, Target Audience, and why they are important. And ultimately, help your business thrive! 

No Business Can Target EVERYONE. 

First, let’s discuss why we even need to think about targeting. 

It’s simply impossible for your brand, product or service to appeal to every single person. 

Targeting in marketing is a strategy used to break down a large market into smaller segments based on unique characteristics. This allows businesses to focus their resources on forming meaningful connections with the right people. 

Think about who your brand might attract? Who would use your products? Whose problem is your brand solving? 

Target Market

Your Target Market refers to a specific, well-defined segment of the consumers that you plan to serve with your products or services. This usually refers to the end consumer who you want to attract. 

For example, let’s say you are a software developer, creating a Learning Management System (LMS) for universities. Your target market will likely be university students and teaching staff, as they will be the ones using the LMS. 

Or, if you’re an Australian family health insurance provider, your target market will include children, adults and seniors. The health insurance must be suited for the needs of each family member. 

Target Audience 

Your Target Audience is more niche and narrow, referring specifically to the group of consumers targeted by your messaging and marketing efforts.

Using the same examples from above, your target audience as the LMS developer will be universities seeking to upgrade their LMS softwares. 

Or if you are the insurance provider, your target audience will likely be Australian adults with children who are searching for health insurance for their family. In other words, you will be targeting those who directly make the purchasing decision. 

Can They Be The Same? 

In some scenarios, your Target Market and Target Audience could be the same. 

For example, a new fitness app may identify young fitness enthusiasts aged between 20-35 as both their Target Market and Target Audience. 

However, if the fitness app decides to run a marketing campaign on Instagram, the Target Audience will be further refined. The new target audience may become frequent Instagram users who follow fitness accounts and fitness influencers.

The Key Differences Between Target Market and Target Audience

Target Market and Target Audience are similar and often overlap. Telling the two apart can be challenging and confusing. 

The key difference between Target Market and Target Audience is based on their practical implications, and how they influence each step of the business. 

Target Market impacts all your business and marketing decisions, including: 

On the other hand, Target Audience typically influences decisions related to marketing and advertising messages. 

Who’s More Important? 

Now that you know the difference between Target Market and Target Audience, how do you identify them? 

In order to effectively determine who you should target, think about what problem you have solved. Then, think about who might be related to this problem. 

You can further refine your Target Market, by dividing the cohort into smaller approachable segments:

  1. Demographic - creating groups based on elements such as age, gender, income levels and race.
  2. Geographic - sorting the market based on geographical regions and boundaries. 
  3. Psychographic - dividing the market based on personality traits, beliefs, values and interests. 
  4. Behavioural - taking into account behaviours such as media consumption and purchasing habits.

Creating Target Personas will also significantly help in identifying your Target Audience, and how to appeal to them in a meaningful way. This helps you put a face to who you’re targeting, and focus on creating messaging that speaks to them.

At Mo Works, we believe having a clear understanding of your Target Market and Target Audience sets a solid foundation for success. If you need help with determining your target or any marketing needs, contact us today!  k