Difference Between Target Market and Target Audience

Target Market Vs Target Audience

To become successful in promotional activities, the organization should meticulously choose its target audience. People often misconstrue the target audience for the target market but there is a difference.

Further, to select the right target audience, the marketer needs to be familiar with the two – products as well as the market. Moreover, the marketer should also be aware of – how the consumers make decisions as to the product.

That segment of the population, to whom the company has particularized its marketing strategies is the target market. Whereas the target audience is the primary audience for an advertising message. This represents the group that can possibly buy the company’s product.


What is Target Market?

The target market is a broader concept, which comprises a group of consumers that the company aims to buy and use its products and/or services or get through by way of marketing activities. This is that group which the company perceives that their needs will be satisfied by the company’s offerings.

In simple terms, the target market is that chosen group of potential consumers on which the brand decides to use its marketing strategies so as to sell its product or service.

Defining the ‘target market’ forms the first step in the process of market segmentation. Now the question arises what is market segmentation? Well, market segmentation is a process in which the market is classified into different segments depending on a number of factors like interest, needs, gender, characteristics, age, etc. This is to appropriately apply the marketing mix to the individual consumers and achieve the desired results.

  • It is a device used by companies to ascertain the set of consumers to which the company intends to direct its efforts and reach out to them through its marketing messages.

In addition, it must be noted that selection of the target market is a primary decision for any firm because it is the group of consumers, for whom the promotional activities are tailored. After the company has distinguished its target market, it can develop the product and service to fulfill the needs and wants of that target market.


Zara is known for its perfumes for women. So, its target market is the entire female audience of different age groups.

Key Points

  1. A target market is a selected group of consumers with common characteristics and needs.
  2. Further, there are four groups in which the marketer will divide the characteristics – geographic, demographic, psychographic, or behavioral.
  3. After the company defines its target market, the company aims its product, services, and market activities toward the consumers, in a manner to persuade the customers to buy the product or service.
  4. This will result in a desirable marketing strategy.

What is Target Audience?

Target Audience refers to that specific portion of the consumers within the target market, for whom streaming of the advertisements takes place. It covers those people that actually want what the company is offering and so the ad campaigns are dedicated to them. These may be classified on the basis of age, sex, income, geographical location, interest, etc.

In short, the target audience for a specific advertising message contains only a small portion of the total market. The marketing plan defines this segment. Upon meticulous analysis of this marketing plan, it will help marketers in the process of ascertaining the right target audience for a specific advertising campaign.

Further, Target Audience means the intended audience or viewership/readership of an advertisement, publication, or message. It represents that specific group present in the target market, which we call the targets or recipients of the specific advertisement. Companies with a large target market will concentrate on a certain target audience.

For Example, Dove advertisements focus on women between the age group of 15 to 45 years.

One must take note that the target market accounts for the same determinants as a target market. However, this group of audience is very specific and is likely to be affected by the other factors.

Key Points

  • The target audience is the group of people that the marketer has in mind at the time of advertisement.
  • Of all the people there in the target market, you want this group to view your brand’s advertisement message.
  • Companies develop various advertising messages and media strategies to get through to the maximum target audience.


Let us take the example of McDonald’s. In its advertisement it uses anthropomorphic brand characters – Ronald McDonald and Hamburgler to direct it at children. On the other hand, for adults, it uses messages that stress convenience and quality.

Quick Comparison

BasisTarget MarketTarget Audience
MeaningThe target market is the entire group of people which the company wants to sell its products or services.The target audience is that specific group of people for whom the company makes that product and who are supposed to buy it.
What is it?The pool of potential consumers.A particular group of buyers.
InfluencesMarketing DecisionsAdvertising Decisions

Differences Between Target Market and Target Audience


A target market is the largest collection of people that the company attempts to approach for selling its offerings. This determines the maximum number of people that the company can reach through its marketing activities.

As against, a target audience is a specific group, which is comparatively smaller in size We could also say that it is a subset of the target market. It comprises those people who actually want the brand’s products.


As per their definition, the target audience implies the intended audience for a particular advertisement or message in any media be it broadcast, publication, or social.

Conversely, the target market is a collection of all existing and potential consumers of a product, service, or brand.

Related to

The target audience is related to the marketing message of the business that tends to highlight the advantages and benefits of the company’s products and services.

On the other hand, the target market is that chosen consumer group having common characteristics and needs. Marketers can divide these characteristics into different groups based on demography, geography, psychography, and behavior.


The target market influences marketing decisions. Whereas the target audience influence advertising decisions.


A kid’s book may have a target market of kids between 4 to 6 years. Then, this book can be marketed to target audiences which comprise people who would like to buy the book for the kids. This might include parents, grandparents, teachers, and college students learning kids’ literature.


In a nutshell, we could say, the target audience is a subset of the target market. The target market is the consumer group to which the marketer is looking to sell its offerings. As against, the target audience is the intended recipient of the marketing message.

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