target group

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Under a target group ( English target audience ) are understood in marketing a certain amount of market participants, based on communication policy react homogeneous measures than the overall market. Market segmentation is the basis for finding target groups according to the relevant characteristics .

Any type of stakeholder group can be considered a target group, not only consumers but also wholesalers or opinion leaders.

In social work , target groups are those people to whom a specific measure or offer is aimed. This can be individuals, families or groups who formulate their request for support themselves or who are classified as needing help by third parties (institutions or similar) .


A target group is often described using traditional terms such as “conservative” or “materialistic”. The definition is based on socio-demographic characteristics such as age , marital status , disposable household income , geographic area according to Nielsen areas , etc., but occasionally - with more effort - by psychographic characteristics such as settings and values with the resulting consumer behavior, preferences, the status awareness , the type of communication and the aesthetic sensation .

Exclusion criteria are not part of a target group description. At most, delimitations are formulated but not who does not belong to the target group.

The investigation of specific target groups is the task of market research . Its aim is to examine target groups to which individual product developments (i.e. the development of new or changed service offers) and the corresponding communication measures will later be directed. The carefully formulated target group description is of fundamental importance for the downstream product policy and market communication, and in part also for the price policy in the marketing of an offer.

The individualized addressing of target group participants is part of sales technology and practical sales psychology . Using motivational concepts such as Maslow's hierarchy of needs and various dominance strategies, attempts are made to address potential customers precisely and identify them with the service to be sold.

An imprecise definition of target groups makes it difficult or, under certain circumstances, prevents successful cooperation between the company departments involved (e.g. market research, product development, etc.). For example, an advertising agency can only adapt the design elements to a target group if it can be clearly addressed. The exact target group definition is the basis of marketing and must be validated by product development before a concept for market communication can be created. There can be several, clearly delimited target groups for a product or service.

Target group definition

Target group specific advertising in front of a butcher shop in Marburg

For every customer and market-oriented advertising activity, it is important to define a target group that is as homogeneous as possible. Homogeneous target groups are characterized by many or specific similarities in purchasing behavior . This allows market research or market psychology to observe, analyze and finally make predictable behavior through studies. A company can take advantage of predictable buying behavior and apply the individual marketing instruments in a targeted manner.

A target group definition is related to market segmentation .

It may be that target group definitions for a product or service are regularly reconsidered and renewed. On the other hand, target groups have emerged in recent years that are supranational and relatively constant. Examples of the latter are:

  • WOOF ( acronym for Well off older Folks ), wealthy seniors
  • Sinus milieus (localization according to social situation, basic orientation and social perceptions)
  • SOHO ( Small Office, Home Office )
  • DINK ( acronym for Double income no kids ), childless double earners
  • LOHAS (acronym for Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability )
  • LOVOS ( Lifestyles of Voluntary Simplicity )

The fact that target groups dissolve and new ones have to be defined depends, for example, on changes in competitive conditions (signs of saturation on the market, market fragmentation , change from technical product to communication competition) or on changes in communication conditions ( sensory overload / information overflow, trend towards image communication and variety of instruments, hybrid consumer behavior) together.

Examples of target groups for special markets

In the B2C market
  • demographic characteristics (age, gender, family status, place of residence, etc.)
  • socio-economic characteristics (level of education, salary, occupation, etc.)
  • psychographic characteristics (attitude, motivation, opinion, etc.)
  • Buying behavior (price sensitivity, buying range, etc.)
In the B2B market
  • organizational characteristics (company size, company location, market share, etc.)
  • economic characteristics (finances, liquidity, stocks, etc.)
  • Buying behavior of the company (merging buying centers, supplier loyalty, time of purchase, etc.)
  • Personal characteristics or characteristics of the decision-makers in the company (information gathering, time pressure, willingness to innovate, etc.)
In social work
  • Demographic characteristics (age, gender, family status, place of residence, catchment area, migration background, etc.)
  • socio-economic characteristics (level of education, employment, income, etc.)
  • psychographic characteristics (attitude, motivation, potentials, strengths, weaknesses, wishes, hopes, etc.)
  • Funding needs or need (state of health, deficiency, deficits, awareness of problems, etc.)

Example of a specific target group definition

“The target group for projectors in Germany includes gender-neutral international market participants between the ages of 28 and 48 with an annual disposable income of around EUR 20,000 or more, who are mainly professional trainers, who at home place greater value on high quality video or television presentations , in the catering sector as the leaseholder or owner of a bar, look after guests as well as commercial customers in the above-mentioned areas and hotels from three star categorization. Geographically, an increased presence in metropolitan areas can be assumed. "

Age target group relevant to advertising

The audience of 14 to 49-year-olds at television and radio stations is referred to as an advertising-relevant target group in Germany and is considered to be the second relevant measure in the industry alongside total reach . This type of quota collection, which is limited by age, is often criticized. It has its origins in the development of the American television market at the end of the 1950s, when the network ABC, after losing coverage, relied on a younger audience and, thanks to the new target group definition, enabled them to better market their advertising. At the time, however, the definition was linked to the demographic development in the USA at the time. In Germany it was introduced by the former RTL marketing director Uli Bellieno under Helmut Thoma , but there was no demographic justification for such an age target group restriction, which is why it is often criticized as an arbitrary definition. At present there are approaches in Germany to redefine the target group relevant for advertising.

See also


  • Holger Haedrich: Target-oriented segmentation , St. Gallen 2000. (also online ; PDF; 106 kB).
  • Florian Allgayer, Jochen Kalka: The customer in focus: the most important target groups at a glance - milieus, living environments, consumers. 1st edition. Redline Wirtschaftsverlag, 2007, ISBN 3-636-01501-X .
  • Florian Allgayer: Find target groups and win them. How you put yourself in the world of your customers. 1st edition. mi-Fachverlag, 2007, ISBN 3-636-03085-X .
  • Jochen Kalka, Florian Allgayer: Target groups: How they live, what they buy, what they believe in. 2nd Edition. Modern Industry, Landsberg 2007, ISBN 978-3-636-03132-7 .
  • Rudolf Bieker, Peter Floerecke (ed.): Supporters, fields of work and target groups of social work. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2011, ISBN 978-3-17-021380-7 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Target audience  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Rainer Olbrich: Marketing: An introduction to market-oriented corporate management , Springer, 2nd edition, 2009, ISBN 3-540-23577-9 , page 178.
  2. Target group - definition in Gabler Wirtschaftslexikon
  3. Rudolf Bieker, Peter Floerecke (Ed.): Carriers, fields of work and target groups of social work . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 978-3-17-021380-7 .
  4. Florian Allgayer, Jochen Kalka: The customer in focus. The most important target groups at a glance - milieus, living environments, consumers. Redline Wirtschaftsverlag, Heidelberg 2007, ISBN 978-3-636-01501-3 , p. 11.
  5. S. Beltwinkel, T. Großpietsch: Private broadcaster - Billion deals by invented target group , Zapp contribution from September 17, 2008 on the video platform YouTube (accessed on August 20, 2010)