Why Is Understanding the Target Market a Crucial Aspect of the Communication Process?
The target market is the group of people that a communication is specifically trying to reach. This is a vital concept in business marketing strategies, where businesses attempt to increase their market share by appealing directly to certain kinds of customers based on demographics. While the message itself is always important, the target market dictates what type of message should be created and what qualities it should have. Many aspects of communication depend on this understanding.
Choosing a target market allows an organization to focus its message to a select group of people. The group can be either large or small, but either way, the organization can set clear goals for reaching them and save the costs associated with trying to reach everyone equally -- an ultimately futile endeavor. Focusing on a specific target market also can save time in creating and making communication materials.
Having a target market also enables the organization to choose the proper channels to communicate with it. For instance, online forms of communication tend to work better with younger generations that are familiar with social media, and worse with older generations that do not use computers as often. Posters and banners work best when communicating to a local audience, while seminars work best to reach a group of people who may otherwise have time constraints. Textual and vocal messages also appeal to different sets of people. The target market should always dictate the best channel of communication.
The more a business understands a target market, the better it can construct communications to reach them and mean exactly what is intended. A good example of this advantage remains cultures outside those the organization belongs to. Different cultures have different languages, nonverbal cues and customs that create different communication environments that can distort or negate communication from those unaware of such differences.
An organization with a deep understanding of a target market will ultimately be able to understand what that market feels is important; what norms, values or virtues they shape their lives by; and what needs they have. This type of deeper understanding allows organizations to communicate messages in such a way that audiences immediately understand and identify with them.