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Why the Key Audience is of a Greater Importance Than the Target One by Today?



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Promotion of some or other goods or services is often hinged on the target audience, its features, predictable behavior, need identification and purchasing power, as well. In fact, advertising effect relies heavily on the accuracy effect, however today an attention to the target audience is by no means all that is important for the company’s success. Why the key audience is of a greater importance than target one by today – read in RMAA Group’s blog.

In marketing by key audience is meant such group of people that can potentially influence the company’s life or luck of some product and service. “Key audience” definition is much wider than “target” one. Authorities, investors, staff, media, companions etc. – all those people without whom a successful functioning or promotion of a company is nearly impossible, represent key audience segment that claims a lot of attention and needs a building engagement.

Hence, by key audience we mean all those people the success of your product whether directly or indirectly depends upon. This being said, the ultimate target is no doubt your consumers. Nevertheless, the success will depend on how good your interaction with key audience is.

They have a tendency to change and their dynamics will depend on what stage of development the company is at, along with its products and services. For example, if your business is in its nascent stage, in such case the main key “players” will be represented by investors and controllers, such as authorities. To take a 100% of attention as a basis, the most of 100% will be given to such structures; about 70% will be given to staff, companions and first potential consumers. At the stage of stabilization the situation will change dramatically, i.e. the investors will be given not much than 5% of attention or nothing at all, while the staff and consumers will get almost everything.

For the record, audience follows the choice of a sector for your business. There are only four sectors at the moment: B2B Production, B2B Services, B2C Production and B2C Services. There is a big difference between them in terms of who influences your business largely. For example, in B2B Production (f.e. Gazprom, Lukoil) the key audience hierarchy may look the following way:

Below is an indicative list of key audience in B2C Services sector (f.e. Sberbank, IKEA, Evroset):

As concerns the target audience, it is a thing that needs to be discussed particularly. The point is that the target audience is a well-established concept in marketing, however very few people think about mechanisms as to how to pick this group out. Business little knows about its target audience: there are traces of interaction with customers, transactions, shopping facts. There is a general portrait of a customer, the way that business sees it. However, business does not know anything either about sociodemographic characteristics, or about psychological characteristics, or about buying motives. It suggests, but does not know for sure.

There are two ways to solve this problem: a complex and a simple one. The complex way is to hold a solid social research that can show not only an interest of some group to your products, but will also show the place of this group in the structure of society. All this is long while and expensive, that is why many companies defensibly choose a second way – an appeal to ready, pre-developed classification systems of people, which are used by major companies. At the same time the separation criteria of groups are well-known, but the criteria themselves are often disputable, because they are based on the social stereotypes and past experience, which may turn out to be off the table.

All this does not mean that such rate as target audience today makes no sense of using. The target audience should be defined, but we should not overestimate the accuracy of these evaluations.

In this respect, the key audience is much more reliable – you know it by name, that is people the success of your business depends upon. The work with key audience includes a variety of practices depending on the specific key audience. You should demonstrate an investment appeal to your potential investors and sponsors. The work with motivation is essential for your employees – on the one hand, each of them should understand that he is a key person responsible for big collective success; on the other hand, each of them should be satisfied with working environment and reward. It is preferably for the employees to have an opportunity to make decisions and feel the dependence of their wealth from company’s success.

Here is a good example: 7% of Russian bank “Tinkoff” shares were divided between 50 key personnel. As for the government, media and influence agents, at this rate a variety of PR and GR practices and the full range of marketing events are on foot.

Besides, it is true that certain people, namely your investors, companions, employees – all of them have their own circle of relatives, friends and acquaintances, among which they will definitely promote your products or services if they are satisfied with your business.

All of the above is true both for B2C and for B2B segments. However, the B2B target audience is often defined much more accurately than B2C one, that is why as regards to B2B target audience, it should be paid no less attention than to key audience. In this case, the target audience is not a smudgy portrait of an average people, but often certain people, too; people who make decisions.

On the other hand, if you have an access to people who will influence your major customers, then they should be considered as a key audience, and all of the above will be essential for your business’ success.

The target audience of today is often a phantom made up by marketers and defined by standardized features that often do not have anything to do with your products and services, to the region you work in and to new generations who have grown in a new information paradigm. A key audience is a certain people your success of promotion of your products or services depends on. Therefore, today the key audience is more important than target one. Remember that RMAA Group provides a full range of services in promotion on Russian soil.


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About the Author

Ksenia Kuznetsova is the Editor of the Blog about Successful Marketing Strategies in Russia. She has been working at RMAA Group as a Assistent of Client Service Director since 2015. Ksenia has experience in planning and carrying out of advertising campaigns for foreign companies in Russia.

Author Ksenia Kuznetsova
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