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Getting Started with Audience Targeting

Written by:

Kathleen Fletcher

January 19, 2018
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Who are the people you’re trying to reach? Why are you trying to reach them? How will you reach them? What do you want them to do once you reach them? These are important questions that every marketer should ask themselves before distributing a message. We’re discussing why understanding your audience is critical to campaign success.

Having a well-defined target audience is important for every product or service. The success of the business depends on driving the right consumers to your door.  When you have a clearly defined target audience you can more easily determine where and how your message gets delivered, ensuring it hits the right people at the right time.

Spoiler alert: Targeting the wrong audiences mean you’ll attract the wrong customer and not the right leads for your business, meaning your marketing dollars were not as effective as they could’ve been.

According to a study by Convince and Convert, successful marketers are 242% more likely to report conducting audience research at least once per quarter. Maybe the more shocking stat though, is that 65% of marketers rarely conduct research at all.

Getting Started with Audience Targeting

Defining Your Target Audience

More often that marketers would like to admit, they start building their target audience by looking at their existing audience. While your current customers may give you some good indicators, don’t miss out on the opportunity to really explore your actual target.

Some questions to answer: what problem does your product or service solve? Who would benefit from having this problem solved? Is there a specific industry, price point, company size? If it’s a consumer product, is there a lifestyle or culture that you tie well in to?

Instead of taking a guess on whom you are trying to reach, its more effective to use actual tools to gather insights from your audiences.

Engage a focus group to ask a cross-section of your audience what makes them tick, what they like and dislike, their worries, their hobbies, etc. This in-the-moment research can provide important insights to use in marketing materials.

Focus groups can also help you better understand demographics, psychographics, financial information, industry, values and beliefs, media consumption, buyer behavior, communication preferences, problems, and solutions. Talk about a gold mine.

In addition to in-the-moment focus group feedback, explore the use of surveys and third-party research software to help you understand the construct of your target persona.

How to Use Target Audience Insights You’ve Gathered

Now that you’ve gathered raw data from focus groups, surveys and third-party software programs, you can develop your target persona.

Building a target persona is taking the data that you have gathered from your research and building a personality for that person. Giving each of your target audiences a name and personality helps make them seem “real” and more tangible. 

As you begin to develop your campaign you’ll know your customers’ likes, dislikes and media habits, making choosing your marketing strategies and tactics far more cost-effective and more effective then just throwing darts at a wall!

When to Re-Visit Your Target Audiences

You’ve launched your campaign, and business is booming. Wouldn’t that be great if that happened each and every time you launched a marketing campaign?

But, if you are seeing little increase in business, sales, etc. it may be time to revisit who you think your core target audience is. It’s also a good practice to re-visit the audience even if everything is going well.

This can happen mid-way through a campaign or at the end of the campaign to help develop the next one.

When re-evaluating, always go back to “whom do we think our core customer may be” and think hard about who the best customers are – you want more of them!


Lindsay St. Lucia serves as Account Supervisor for Tipping Point Communications. She brings extensive audience targeting, media experience and expertise to the position. Contact Lindsay at or (585) 340-1119.


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