What's the difference between target audiences and buyer personas?

Emma Lynch | 24 September 2020 | 05:00

Target audiences and buyer personas. If you weren’t already well versed with these terms, then you would probably think they were more or less the same thing. Do not be fooled! Target audiences and buyer personas are not interchangeable and are not just different names for the same thing.

Whilst the differences are subtle, understanding how to distinguish one another is the first step in being able to use each one so effectively, that they become one of your business’ greatest assets. Let’s dive into each of them.

Target Audiences

A target audience is a particular group of consumers within your market who will care about your product the most. Typically, target audiences are more popular among B2C companies than B2B.

The leader in chocolate; Cadbury, aimed to target kids between the age group of 5 to 10 with their “glass and a half of milk” promotional campaign. Although their target market is obviously much broader, the messaging of this particular campaign was tailored to resonate with a younger subset of their market.

Target audiences tend to focus on demographic and psychographic information, including geography, gender, age, marital status and other information about consumer lifestyles. In other words, a target audience portrays the attitudes and behaviours of a specific group of people in regards to purchasing decisions.

Buyer Personas

As defined by HubSpot, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.

Unlike target markets and audiences, buyer personas are more often used by B2B companies. Once you understand the types of companies that are a good fit for your product or service, you can begin to identify and define the types of people within those companies who will be most receptive to your solution.

Buyer personas are more focussed and tend to go more deeply into the role and the influence these people have within their companies, emphasising their goals and motivations.

These zoomed-in portraits are archetypes of individual customers that can be used to get insights into your customers’ buying process. As a result, they should help you determine how to market to each type of person most effectively.

Buyer personas provide solid structure and insight for your company. A detailed buyer persona will help you determine where to focus your time, guide content creation, and allow for alignment across your organisation. As a result, you will be able to attract the most valuable visitors, leads, and customers to your business. If you’d like to dive into how you can start to develop these valuable assets, download our ebook, How to Create & Use Buyer Personas, here:

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