Featured image for the difference between target market and target audience.

Target Market VS Target Audience: Which Matters More In SMS Marketing?

Want to start a text message conversation with our customer service team? Just enter your number here.

Powered By TextSanity Logo

Marketing is essential to every business in every market of every industry. Without effective marketing, most businesses will fail to meet their own expectations. Marketing has existed in some form since at least the 1400s, and it will continue to be an important part of all business in the future.

With technological advances, marketing today is a blend of social media, text messaging, and more personal remote communication, whereas it used to rely more on in-person word of mouth. Marketing is an essential part of any business or product strategy.

The funny thing is that the production, the demand, and the quality of the product can all exist, but without proper marketing, a company can still underperform. It is what brings the acquisition process we rely on full circle. Marketing has always propelled business further.

If you didn’t major in marketing, you might not be familiar with its terms or how to do it. But it doesn’t change how important it is to your business. With the improvements in technology, now is a good time to familiarize yourself with SMS marketing and where to direct your efforts.

SMS or text message marketing

One of the newest channels in marketing is SMS, or short message service, marketing. We live with our cell phones in our hands, and your current and potential customers do too.

If you know your brand is ready for text messaging consumers and you’re ready to explore your options, you need to understand who to target. A good place to start is learning about target markets and target audiences.

Below are the terms target market and target audience, how to understand the difference, and which one to target with SMS marketing. Once you know who to target, you’ll be closer to implementing an effective channel that can increase your profitability in a big way.

What is a target market?

Your brand or company’s target market is all the people you want to sell your product to. Think of it as your perfect world place. You want to sell your product or service to anyone and everyone you can think of, even the ones you can’t think of right now that could use or want your product.

It’s often outside of our abilities to market to the whole world and hope for the best, so your target market segments the population to give you a group to focus on. Segmenting is done through demographic information.

Marketing to your target market is much like casting the widest net. There’s plenty of fish to catch, but it’s easier said than done to reel them all in. Often, it is more manageable to approach your target audience and eat your way into your target market, but knowing the broad group that makes up your target market is important.

People in your target market will have similar characteristics. This could be income, demographics, buying power, etc. It’s important to identify who they are to develop an effective marketing plan. Not doing this could cause you to waste a lot of time and money.

Remember that knowing your target market is not the exclusion of people who don’t fit in your market’s demographics, but it does mean that you focus your brand’s marketing message and the funding behind that marketing on the specific group more likely to buy your product.

Targeting the people who are more likely to buy, as you may guess, is much more affordable, and it’s the most effective way to generate more business. It’s much easier to sell a product to someone who wants to buy it in the first place.

What is a target audience?

Unlike the target market, your target audience is a much narrower field. The target audience is the particular group of people that you expect to buy your product. These are the people you’re counting on, and they count on you to speak directly to them. Your target audience is the people you should know well.

It may help to think of your target audience as your brand’s family and your target market as your brand’s friends. You prioritize your family, but you could always use more friends.

You will want to know a lot about this group: their average age, spending habits, likes, dislikes, peak times for purchasing, etc. This tends to be more intuitive than you might think, but it’s important when it comes to marketing and the timing of whatever techniques you might employ to reach your audience.

If you’re unsure how to identify your target audience, think first about your brand and how its products and services meet specific needs. The more specific your target audience, the more effectively you can market directly to them.

What is SMS marketing?

SMS marketing is when a company or brand uses text messaging to send transactional messages or communicate a promotional campaign. If you’ve ever opted-in to getting a text from your favorite restaurant to receive information on sales, events, or coupons, then you have been on the consumer side of SMS marketing.

Text messages in SMS marketing communicate time-sensitive offers, event reminders, and updates to consumers. Typically and most effectively, these messages are sent to people who have consented to receive text messages from a company or brand.

The beauty of communicating with consumers through text is how much it increases the interaction with consumers. The key to successful text messaging campaigns is brevity, timing, and readability. For example, if you want to speed up a slow lunch hour on a rainy Tuesday, you don’t want to send a long promotional text on Monday night. You want a short, get-them-in-the-door text at about 10:45 that day.

SMS marketing is typically part of a multi-layered marketing approach where you employ more than one channel to reach consumers. As with any campaign, you need to establish a goal, set a start date to deploy your campaign, and know how you want to measure the campaign’s success.

Who to target?

With the prevalence of cell phones and texting in our society, you will discover a need and use for SMS marketing no matter what market you are in. But, who do you prioritize in your SMS marketing campaign? Target market or target audience? How do you know which matters more?

This decision will mostly depend on the goals you have set in your marketing campaign plan. If your business is new, you will most likely want to direct your marketing efforts to your target audience.

Remember, your target audience is smaller, and they’re the people you expect to buy your product. These are the people most likely to consent to your SMS campaign.

These are the people you want to know really well because they are most likely to respond positively to sales and product promotions.

Establishing a texting relationship with your target audience will give you opportunities to get to know them. Your target audience’s spending habits with you works a lot like a baseline to measure from. If you want to gauge whether your marketing campaign has noticeable effects, an increase among this group should be easily measured.

Start your text messaging

Once you have their consent for text messaging, you can begin sending out surveys, testing your SMS timing, and learning more about what they are looking for and what they expect from your brand. These pieces of information will help you understand how to grow into the rest of your target market.

The most impressive part of this marketing channel is the instant access to your customer’s attention that it provides. Still, because it is a personal means of communication, you must be careful not to overdo it.

These are the people you can count on to buy your product or invest their time, energy, and money into your brand. This is precisely why they are ideal for this type of campaign, but that’s also the reason you don’t want to run them off by being too frequent. As with most things in life and business, it’s all about balance.


SMS marketing is the new and highly effective way to stay connected with your customers and to expand your growth as a brand. As with any form of marketing, you have to know where to direct your energy, resources, and money to make the biggest impact on your brand.

Knowing your target audience and, by extension, your target market will help you to learn how and when to implement promotional text messages to the right people at the right time. It’s never the wrong time to start planning to reach out to your target group.

With the right planning and genuinely focusing on the group of consumers that you can depend on, you can capitalize on this exciting means of communication and grow your brand into the open market to increase your profitability and footprint in your industry.