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Target Audience – One of the Four P’s

Do you know who your target audience is? If you don’t know, you are not maximizing your advertising and/or marketing efforts.

A marketing strategy blends the elements of the marketing mix, also known as the four P’s (product, price, placement, promotion). The promotion element involves communication, and one type of communication is advertising. The advertising strategy combines the elements of a creative mix. This mix includes the target audience, product concept, communications media, and the advertising message.

In order to create an effective advertising message, it is important to know who your target audience is. The target audience includes the end-user, the person who makes the purchase, and the one who influences the purchasing decision. For instance, McDonald’s target audience is made up of children and their parents. The children influences their parent’s purchasing decision. Therefore, McDonald’s advertising message is directed toward the children, as well as their parents.

The process of determining who your target audience is begins with segmenting the consumer market; finding the right niche. This process begins with identifying groups of people with certain shared characteristics within a broad market. The categories of characteristics are geographic, demographic, behavioristic, and psychographic. Then combine these groups into larger market segments according to their mutual interest in the product’s utility or benefit. From these segments, choose your target market. Your target audience includes your target market. The target market in the previous McDonald’s example is the person(s) who makes the purchase. Target audience is larger than the target market.

Segmenting the business market is just as complex as segmenting the consumer market. Business markets are identified by using many of the same variables used to identify consumer markets. Additional variables used are business purchasing procedures, SIC Code, or by market concentration.

The product/service market consists of all types of consumers; however, groups of consumers have similar needs and wants. Begin with market research; identify your groups with shared characteristics; combine these groups into larger markets; and select your target audience which includes your target market. Before you create an effective advertising message, it is important to know who you are talking to. Do you know who your target audience is?

Rita J. Cartwright is a Virtual Assistant and owner of RJ’s Word Processing Services. She received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Marketing from Arizona State University. More information about Rita and her company can be found at http://www.rjswordprocessing.com

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