Finding Your Ideal Customer: How to Define and Reach Your Target Audience

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A significant portion of a retailer’s time is frequently spent attracting customers’ attention in addition to offering them goods and services to buy.

One of the main objectives of practically every business is to get their valuable products in front of as many people as possible. What if, though, you could maximize your marketing efforts?

Knowing your target demographic and then focusing your marketing efforts on them is one approach to connect with both current and potential customers.

This manual will show you how to identify, connect with, and retain your target market in order to boost sales and customer loyalty in your company.

Find your target audience 

  • What is a target audience?
  • Why find your target audience?
  • Target audience types
  • How to determine your target audience
  • Target audience examples
  • 4 easy ways to reach your target audience
  • Reach a specific audience with your marketing messages
  • Target audience FAQ

What is a target audience?

The group of persons at whom your marketing and advertising activities are directed is referred to as a target audience. Choosing your target market is crucial when running an online store. It makes it simpler for you to find new clients and attracts potential customers to your website, increasing conversion rates and revenue.

Why find your target audience?

It helps you market smarter

Knowing your audience allows you to promote more successfully and use strategies that are more compelling. Retailers may increase their investment in successful campaigns and reduce their spending on unsuccessful ones by having knowledge of what works and what doesn’t.

When marketing to your different audience groups, you need to be more smart about your messaging, your use of images, the promotions you push on which segments, and the channels you use to reach your target audience.

This is really significant: Customers who receive offers and recommendations that are pertinent to them are more inclined to purchase from brands, according to 91% of customers, while 66% of consumers said they would avoid making a purchase if they came across impersonal information.

For instance, you won’t have much success using a direct-mail campaign to sell a retirement community home to a millennial.

It influences product development

Knowing your clients better can help you comprehend both their long-term goals and day-to-day issues as well as challenges they face. You can make your products better if you put yourself in their position.

Going down rabbit holes can lead to the best ideas, according to Amanda Natividad, a marketing architect at SparkToro. “How do I locate them? Use a tool for audience research like SparkToro to identify unusual markets and powerhouses.”

Amanda advises using SparkToro to conduct queries to find out more about your target market. discover more about their lifestyle, hobbies, and other interests by asking them about them. You can take advantage of the possibility to delve down those rabbit holes if your search turns up commonly used words or hashtags associated with your product lines.

“Say you’re a DTC drink manufacturer and you’re thinking about a new flavour,” she continues. I would start by asking a broad question, such as, “My Audience regularly talks about: soda.” Then I would observe that there are additional hashtags and expressions that people who frequently discuss soda use.

According to Amanda, she conducted this study on her own and “discovered a couple of niches to explore exploring further: people who enjoy craft sodas and those who mix drinks. I might start thinking to myself, “What flavour profiles of mixers might people want to make new drinks with?”

The product development team benefits from gaining this level of understanding of your consumer base. It is simpler to build and test goods that are directly relevant to narrow market segments by specifying those obstacles and aspirations.

It increases revenue

The rise in sales is arguably target marketing’s most glamorous positive outcome. Retailers can concentrate their efforts and audience segments that lead to the highest revenue by using target marketing.

It’s not enough to only concentrate on the large spenders, though. Retailers might investigate the factors influencing the other market segments’ lower expenditure. Exists a more effective technique to promote to them? Or do you need to update your buyer personas to accommodate a more pertinent audience subset?

Using email as an example According to a Campaign Monitor study, marketers who deployed segmented campaigns typically market to three audience categories at a minimum and reported revenue increases of up to 760%.

Target audience types

Not everyone will find a marketing campaign appealing. What interests a single, 55-year-old woman in the city will be very different from what intrigues a suburban, married, 25-year-old man.

You may establish unique target audiences and customised selling pitches by understanding these contrasts and similarities. Depending on your business, you can create groups with any size and set of characteristics. However, in this instance, we’ll focus on three significant business sectors for e-commerce entrepreneurs.


Demographic groups divide the market into small categories based on traits such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Income
  • Level of education
  • Occupation
  • Marital status

The most popular method of segmenting a market is by demographics because the data is simple to obtain. You might take advantage of customer insights, analytics tools like Google Analytics, and free census data. An example of a demographic target market might be 30- to 40-year-old women with master’s degrees who are married with kids and business owners.


Location-based groups segment the market so you may provide superior customer service in a particular region. It is based on regions like nations, states, and cities, but it also takes into account things like climate, population size, and cultural preferences.

For instance, the company SUGAR Cosmetics caters to Indian women. In response to the region’s hot, muggy, and rainy monsoon season climate, it creates items that endure all day.


The foundation of interest groups is psychographics. They cover the lifestyle, attitudes, personality, interests, and interests of your target market. This can include anything that your customers appreciate or are passionate about, like books, movies, dancing, and hiking.

Understanding a target audience’s interests helps you:

  • Serve more relevant ads
  • Create content buyers care about
  • Develop more interesting products

Purchase intents

The frame of mind that your audience has while making a purchase is called purchase intent. Users who have recently interacted with your business or sought for a product are used to segment these audiences. It implies that they are interested in purchasing something from your store, but may require a little prodding or additional information.

Purchase intentions take into account a variety of factors, including behavioural data, demographics, channel usage, and device, to depict the route to purchase for customers. As a result, you can retarget adverts or content at certain intent groups to encourage people to make a purchase.

Examples of purchase intent audiences include:

  • Using the search box to look for products
  • Session length on product or category pages
  • Abandoned cart
  • Watching 75% of a video ad

Not always do these groupings exist independently. You can concentrate on one sort of target audience, such as demographics, or combine various types to create a specific target audience.

Understanding a target audience’s interests helps you:

  • Serve more relevant ads
  • Create content buyers care about
  • Develop more interesting products

Purchase intents

The frame of mind that your audience has while making a purchase is called purchase intent. Users who have recently interacted with your business or sought for a product are used to segment these audiences. It implies that they are interested in purchasing something from your store, but may require a little prodding or additional information.

Purchase intentions take into account a variety of factors, including behavioral data, demographics, channel usage, and device, to depict the route to purchase for customers. As a result, you can retarget adverts or content at certain intent groups to encourage people to make a purchase.

Examples of purchase intent audiences include:

  • Using the search box to look for products
  • Session length on product or category pages
  • Abandoned cart
  • Watching 75% of a video ad

Not always do these groupings exist independently. You can concentrate on one sort of target audience, such as demographics, or combine various types to create a specific target audience.

How to determine your target audience

Retailers can define their target marketing plan with the aid of a number of reliable marketing and advertising companies and organisations. However, there are some crucial measures to follow and it should be incorporated into your marketing strategy for businesses that wish to do it themselves.

1. Define your marketing goals

What are you attempting to achieve? These key performance indicators (KPIs) are more evident for some brands than others, like sales. But KPIs can also be the expansion of your email subscriber list, a rise in brand recognition, or more clients that fit a particular demographic.

Your target marketing is more successful if you’ve established those objectives. Knowing what you want your audience to do will make it easier to develop your messaging. This keeps your marketing team on the same page and helps you focus your marketing efforts.

2. Do audience research

At the core of target marketing is the idea of building buyer personas to better understand your audience. This is where the market segmentation comes in.

There are various ways to create buyer personas, but combining as many as you can will increase the usefulness, research, and definition of your personas.

Best Buyer Personas founder Adrienne Barnes advises companies to “employ more than one source of information. Don’t rely solely on surveys, digital intelligence, or interviews. She says, “Using various sources aids in clearer clarity of verification of ideas, behaviours, and motivations.”

Purchase history

This is one of the best sources of information if you collect client information for each transaction. Make sure to include information about their spending patterns and purchases.

Digital analytics

Look at who is visiting your website. Take advantage of those groups to learn as much as you can about your ideal customers. Include your website, email list, social media accounts (paid and organic), and any other online properties where your brand is present.

Consumer surveys

Encourage customers and non-customers to take a survey. Incentivize it to get more responses.

These interviews can be conducted in-person, over the phone, over email, on your website using a prompt, or online. Conducting a range of interviews using different channels is a good idea because each approach will target different customers or potential customers.

Try using a platform like SurveyMonkey to design, disseminate, and then gather replies to your questions if you prefer using an online questionnaire.

To build a complete picture of your client and prospect base, ask simple questions about their age, family, occupation, incomes, and gender. It’s crucial to get to know them, so find out about their interests, convictions, passions, values, and challenges. Include inquiries that are relevant to your sector.

Most importantly, find out who makes the purchasing decisions and where they make those purchases.

Industry research

Studies on consumer trends and behaviour are often undertaken. These are excellent sources. Although Pew Research Centre and Nielsen are two of the most well-known, numerous other market research firms also fund and carry out these surveys. Google searching should help you find what you need.

Competitive analysis

Look at the audiences of your competitors after identifying them. Although you cannot access any back-end data, you can look at their social media profiles to determine the demographics of the most active users. Additionally, they can have press kits with useful material available.

3. Identify key info

From this point, marketers and retailers may create and maintain buyer profiles. Personas provide basic demographic information, such as age, gender, job title, and salary, as well as other traits that are typical of that particular group. These characteristics could apply to your brand, product, or service generally or specifically.

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We’ve listed some of the major elements to define below for each of your personas:

  • Location: Where do people from this persona live?
  • Age: What is the age range of this persona?
  • Gender: What is the gender of people in this persona?
  • Interests: What are the interests of people in this persona?
  • Education level: What is the education level of this persona?
  • Job title: What field of work do your customers work in and what types of job titles do they carry?
  • Income level: What is the income range of this buyer persona?
  • Relationship status: What is the relationship status of this buyer persona?
  • Language: What languages do people in this persona speak?
  • Favourite websites: Why type of websites do people in this persona frequent?
  • Buying motivation: What are the persona’s reasons for buying your product?
  • Buying concerns: What are the persona’s concerns when buying your product?

Remember that you don’t have to respond to all of these inquiries for each of your personalities. You can choose to respond differently to each question. To communicate more effectively, the goal should always be to better understand your ideal customers.

This makes it easier to choose your messaging, who you’ll target with which items, how to get in touch with them, and what problems you can address. As a result, your marketing initiatives will be more applicable to and appealing to each of your target consumer groups.

4. Market to your audience

You’ve put in a lot of effort to identify your target audience, their needs, and the best way to contact them. You must now develop a plan and carry it through.

Find the goods that address those requirements or desires once you’ve identified the pain locations. Be sure to emphasise how your product will improve their lives.

You must understand where to send this message, though. Find out what gadgets individuals use, where they shop, and how they connect with brands as you construct your personas. Instead of waiting for them to discover you, put yourself in front of them.

5. Analyze performance

Refer back to those defined KPIs. The success of your target marketing should be judged against those numbers.

Track everything, expand on what is effective, and address any shortcomings. Your campaigns’ analytics can enable you over time to discover insights and trends.

It’s possible that the target audience you had in mind isn’t engaged. Try contacting them using a new strategy or medium. If it still doesn’t work, you could not be the correct persona for that one. It’s acceptable for them to evolve.

Target audience examples

Now that you know how to identify your target audience, let’s look at two real-world examples of brands doing target marketing right.

SUGAR Cosmetics

Finding market gaps is a necessary step in locating your target audience. Women in the Indian market, which was underserved by existing cosmetics brands, were among the target demographic for SUGAR Cosmetics, according to founder Vineeta Singh.

Prior to SUGAR, the majority of beauty companies failed to satisfy local consumers. The monsoon season, heat, and humidity of India make it difficult for most well-known brands to be worn, and their tints and colours were created with lighter skin tones in mind.

According to Vineeta in a Shopify Masters episode, “we found that there were a lot of millennial women who couldn’t find that beautiful nude lipstick or a perfect red lipstick during the time we were running our online business between 2012 and 2015.” Many of the colours were ideal for, instance, Caucasian complexion, but they didn’t suit the darker Indian skin tones.

Based on these observations, Vineeta developed the brand’s target audience:

  • Indian woman between 20 and 27 years old
  • Lives in metropolitan areas
  • Consumes a lot of digital content
  • Inspired by global trends
  • Wants these trends Indianized for her

Liquid lipsticks, the company’s first big hit, were the result. Our best-selling item, according to Vineeta, is a liquid lipstick that is incredibly long-lasting and matte. You put it on, but you can’t take it off.

When we initially started working on liquid lipsticks, which was around the time when SUGAR was launched in 2015, we felt that this would be the ideal product for India since we discovered that ladies in India wanted a rich colour that would last all day. The requirements were quite different from those in other Southeast Asian markets or Western nations.

With the knowledge that its target market spent a lot of time on social media, SUGAR concentrated on attracting new clients via Facebook and Instagram. India’s opposition to online buying, particularly for cosmetics, presented SUGAR with a dilemma. The brand failed to overcome this feeling even after utilising influencers to develop trust with its target audience.

Because consumers weren’t truly persuaded to try a new brand merely because an influencer told them it was a wonderful lipstick, Vineeta believes that “they [customers] would come to the website two or three times and not buy it.”

In order to allay a customer’s anxiety and increase sales, aSUGAR provided cash on delivery. After three years of just operating online, the risk of shipping led SUGAR to develop and expand its retail locations

Success has come from SUGAR’s commitment to comprehending and adjusting to its target market. The brand developed from an internet presence to more than 10,000 retail touchpoints and has since disrupted the market, raising $21 million in Series C funding.


Insulated can coolers, tumblers, and other drinkware are sold under the well-known name BrüMate. First, BrüMate’s creator Dylan Jacob developed the concept based on his own experiences.

In a Shopify Masters episode, he explains, “I had just turned 21 and I saw this reoccurring theme everywhere I went. “My beer was continually getting warm, whether it was on the boat or tailgating, and everyone else’s was too, but instead of attempting to figure out how to keep it cold, people were just throwing the beer away.”

Dylan further investigated this issue by talking with other people to understand their pain points. He found that most people were experiencing the same thing, but not just with beer. People had issues with keeping wine and cocktails cold, plus bringing alcohol to glass-free zones like pools or the beach. That’s how BrüMate was born.

Initially, BrüMate was a brand geared toward men. Men-specific messaging and design were used. Dylan introduced the Hopsulator, an insulated beer holder, but quickly discovered that reaching this target market was expensive. He continues, “We were going to be a very manly firm, and we were going to have items for ladies too, but that wasn’t going to be the main focus.”

After launching the Winesulator, an insulated wine container targeted toward women, the product was a hit.

The brand’s Facebook post earned over 20,000 shares in addition to decreased acquisition costs. He observed that women were responding to the brand with greater passion and used Facebook ads to lower BrüMate’s cost per click.

Dylan overnight changed his target demographics for females in his messaging, imagery, and digital marketing budget. After some consideration, he determined that women between the ages of 30 and 55 were the primary consumers of BrüMate goods. Due to the personality change brought about by this finding, sales of BrüMate increased by $21 million the following year.

4 easy ways to reach your target market

Run Facebook ads

Regardless of budget, the majority of ecommerce firms employ Facebook ads. With these social ads, anyone who is willing to grasp the fundamentals of Facebook advertising can connect with their target market and promote growth.

Facebook uses sophisticated ad targeting to locate customers with high intent. Every user’s activity on Facebook and Instagram builds up a thorough user profile that you can use for Facebook marketing. To identify the ideal audience for your advertisements, you can match your products along a variety of demographics, interests, behaviors, and more.

What’s best? From Facebook’s advertising platform, you can effortlessly deliver advertisements to Instagram users. With only one advertisement, you may interact with various audiences on several platforms.

Want to advertise on Facebook to your intended audience? Read A No-Nonsense Guide to Facebook Ads for Beginners: How to Advertise on Facebook.

Work with influencers

The quickest method of reaching your target audience is through influencer marketing. It entails collaborating with individuals who have developed reputations within a particular niche. They develop content for their platforms, advertise your company, and in exchange you generate more sales. Consider them as brand ambassadors who double as online celebrities.

Since 75% of the companies surveyed by Influencer Marketing Hub believe influencer marketing to be beneficial, they will allocate a specific budget for it in 2021.

Good influencer marketing channels include:

  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • YouTube
  • Snapchat

Additionally, you aren’t necessarily required to pay for influencer material. Online jewellery retailer Nominal sends free merchandise to potential influencers for promotion on social media.

Although we didn’t pay them, now we have [branded] content that a lot of people follow and see. We build that credibility through a famous person wearing our product.

Akram Abdallah, co-founder of Nominal

Create a referral program

A referral program is a strategy that motivates current consumers to tell their friends and family about your goods. Referral programs are developed by e-commerce firms to reach their target market. Happy consumers are encouraged to spread the word about your goods in exchange for gift cards, cash back, future discounts, free products, and other incentives.

At every point of the sales funnel, referrals were recognized as the most successful marketing strategy. Through referrals, you gain new clients who already believe in your company. The most trustworthy kind of advertising, according to a dated but still relevant Nielson study, is word-of-mouth advertising.

Small businesses can easily set up referral programs thanks to tools like Referral Candy. Additionally, Referral Candy fully automates the procedure, making it simple for your clients to sign up and refer others to your business. After that, prizes are automatically sent for each purchase that was referred.

Use hashtags on social media

On social media platforms like Instagram or TikTok, the appropriate hashtags can increase your reach and draw in your target demographic. Your posts can include hashtags, and they will appear in a discovery feed.

Then, users visit this feed to discover fresh material and emerging trends relating to the hashtag subject. If a user finds the content in your feed interesting, they can click through and read the whole post.

There is no one-size-fits-all hashtag. For your posts to connect with the correct audience, you’ll need a hashtag strategy. Read Get Seen on IG: 370+ Top and Trending Instagram Hashtags to Increase Likes and Followers to understand how to use hashtags for your brand.

Reach a specific audience with your marketing messages

As you gain new knowledge, your target market is likely to shift, and as your company expands, you might even find totally new customer personas.

Your ad targeting and communication stand a far greater chance with specified buyer personas. By spending the time up front to establish your buyer personas, you can help your online business succeed by better recognizing and understanding your key clients, which may lead to improved interaction on your social media channels and a larger ROI for your online marketing.


Reach Your Target Audience
Reach Your Target Audience


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