Resources / Blog
Resources / Blog

Understanding target audience: definition and types

Topic: Data Exchange, DMP
  • Definition of target audience
  • Types of target audience
  • Target audience - examples
  • Custom segments - creating your target audience
  • Case study: using target audience in online campaign
  • How to find your target audience?
  • Learn more about OnAudience – a 3rd-party data provider


If you reach out to the target audience in online campaigns you are really close to success. Targeting the right audience means better results in your activities, so for marketers, it is one of the crucial steps. Let’s check how to find your target audience and reach out them to maximize your marketing efforts.

Definition of target audience

Let’s start with the definition. What is the target audience? Basically – your potential customers. Group of people to whom you address your products or services. It can be described by behavioral and demographic attributes, such as age, gender, income, education or localization. If you use audience groups, you focus not on websites where ads will be displayed, but on people who finally will see your marketing messages.

According to a study conducted by Insider Intelligence in 2023, 89% of marketers reported a positive return on investment (ROI) when using personalization in their campaigns, while 60% of consumers stated they would become repeat customers after a personalized shopping experience. 

Furthermore, a savvy marketing personalization strategy can deliver unparalleled ROI, reducing acquisition costs by up to 50%, lifting revenues by 5% to 15%, and increasing the efficiency of marketing spend by 10% to 30%.

Now we know what the target audience is and how it can help marketers achieve better results. Let’s take a closer look at audiences – what types of target groups can be distinguished.

Target audience - definition and types - OnAudience blog

Types of target audience

There is a lot of attributes that can be used in finding the right audience. As we mention – age, income, education, gender are just a few examples. On the basis of IAB taxonomy, we can sort all the attributes in three large categories, which are listed below:


Socio-economic data that describe a user. This group includes attributes, such as age, income, education, gender or geographic location. Using demographic data you can target your campaign for example at young people (eg. age 18-24), both female and male from towns with a population larger than 20,000.

Find your target audience in our taxonomy


This is data about users’ hobbies, passions, things that they are looking for and read about. It can be, e.g. books, movies, music, cars, marketing, parenting or dance. By knowing your customers’ passions you gain powerful knowledge because you know how to engage your clients, what product will be interesting for them. For example, you can offer a new book for book lovers or new album of their favorite music group.

Purchase intentions

Data that can be crucial especially for e-commerce. Audiences are divided into groups of users who recently looked for a specific product, e.g. laptop, refrigerator or car and did not look for it previously. It means that they want to buy a new thing, but first need to gain more knowledge about the demanded product. Examples of audience types in this groups are Women’s clothing, Skiing, Televisions, Tablets or Vehicles.

For targeting purposes, marketers can use just one type of audience attributes (e.g. demography) or mix all of them to create a detailed target group and reach out to them precisely. In other words, marketers can reach out to groups of users: age 35-42, interested in cars, who are going to buy a new vehicle.

Those three categories are just examples of types of audiences. By using technological platforms for managing users’ data, marketers can also create new types, built for a specific campaign or for an upcoming event. It gives the ability to create small, often niche groups and send them an accurate message they expect.

Target audience – examples

To better understand how you can use target audiences in online advertising, let’s take a look at examples. Audiences can be divided into segments, and categorized group of segments is called taxonomy. In we offer three types of taxonomies:

1. Desktop Taxonomy

It’s based on desktop users behaviour and includes over 1,200 segments. You can choose your target audience by demography, interests or purchase intentions and target them in online campaigns.

Examples of target audiences – Desktop Taxonomy:

  • Age 18-24
  • Intent -> Baby & Toddler -> Baby Toys
  • Interest -> Automotive -> Auto Parts

2. Mobile Taxonomy

It makes it possible to reach your mobile audience, and is based on Mobile Advertising IDs. You can choose your mobile audiences by searching their Interests or Purchase Intentions.

Examples of target audiences – Mobile Taxonomy:

  • Interests -> Games -> Puzzle
  • Food & Drink -> Healthy Food
  • Intents -> Beauty & Fashion

3. Brands Taxonomy

Brands taxonomy allows you to reach customers who are often exposed to contact with a specific brand, e.g. Coca-Cola, BMW or Apple. It includes over 270 segments, which contain millions of profiles that, e.g. read an article, visited product website or watched a video about a specific brand.

Examples of target audiences – Brands Taxonomy:

  • Electronics -> Apple
  • Toys & Games -> LEGO
  • Clothing Shoes & Jewelry -> NIKE

Custom segments – creating your target audience

Sometimes marketers are looking for audiences that are not available yet. That is why some of data providers, offers creating custom segments – target audiences tailored to client’s needs.

If you want to find your target audiences, try to create custom segments and reach them with personalized ads, tailored to their interests or current purchase intention. Take a look at example of custom segment and learn more about creating custom audiences.

Hardcore Gamers – custom segment

We created Hardcore Gamers segment for advertisers who want to promote games, gaming accessories or gadgets dedicated to players. The segment includes over 20 interests strictly connected to gaming industry. Users in this segment recently had read an article or watched videos about gaming topics, such as:

  • Simulation Games
  • Action
  • Strategy
  • Shooter
  • Sports

Hardcore Gamers – Top interests

Our analysis proves that Hardcore Gamers love computing and electronic entertainment. By using our report, marketers can check top interests of the created segment and tailor ads to their preferences or find new audiences connected to selected attributes, such as Careers, Puzzles or Video & Computing.

Target audience big data analysis report

Hardcore Gamers – Demography

Our report includes also demography of Hardcore Gamers segment. Which age groups are the most popular among them? From the youngest generation to middle-aged players: Gen Z, Millennials and the youngest group from Gen X has the majority in the segment.

We help you create custom segment tailored to your brief

Check examples of our custom segments

Case study: using target audience in online campaign

Finding and building target audiences helped us to achieve great results in online campaign that we conducted for one of our clients from tourism industry. To manage all data collected in campaign we used a Data Management Platform.

Our client wanted to know the profiles of clients: what interests them, what is important for the audience. By better knowing users profile, the resort wanted to deliver them personalized ads and increase the number of reservations in four objects.

To find our client’s target audiences, we implemented a pixel on all websites, which makes it possible to track their behaviour and check they profiles – what they like, what interest them and what are their purchase intentions.

Target audiences - example

On the basis of big data analysis, we’ve segmented users into four target audiences: Ski lovers, Snowboarding fans, Students and Families. We used these segments to deliver them personalized ads.

The results were even better than we expected. To check more details, read full case study here. And take a look at the final results below:

The results of campaing with target audiences

How to find your target audience?

Try to truly understand your audience. What are their problems and needs? Who they are? Start from your current customer base – what attributes do they have? If you store data about users, start analyzing it by using adequate tools, such as Goolge Anayltics or Data Management Platform. It will give you a lot of insights into your clients’ profiles.

You should also analyze your products and services. What benefits do you offer? Try to list them. Then think about people who have a need that your benefit fulfills. How old are they? What they are interested in? What they are looking for and why your product meet their needs? It will help you to find the right attributes of your target group.

Target audience - finding your target group

Finally, experiment. Build basic, standard segments and use them in your campaign to check how they perform. Next, try to create a new segment, add a non-obvious attribute, build audiences based on how much they spend and offer them products that they can afford to buy.

Discovering your audience, what they are looking for, what they truly need is an exciting journey. Analyze what they do, offer them personalized brand experience and measure the results. Building the right audience is not a single activity – to increase the sales you need to review your target audiences and check how their expectations change over time.

Learn more about OnAudience – a 3rd-party data provider

As an owner of the largest database of audience data in Europe, is one of the world’s largest data providers which offer packed audience segments (1,200+ segments) and distributes them within the most popular DSPs and 3rd-party marketplaces at the same time.

Additionally, OnAudience offers 3rd-party data that is:

  • GDPR-compliant
  • Accurate & up-to-date (confirmed by Nielsen DAR)
  • Made up of 1,200+ predefined segments and 27 billion user profiles

View available audience segments

Recommended for you

The Rise of Programmatic Advertising in the MENA Market
Cookieless Targeting: The Impact of Third-Party Cookies Demise on Third-Party Data
OnAudience Launches The Data Seed Program to Invest in Startups

Hear from us!

Join our list and discover how to use data and tech to improve marketing
Your e-mail has been sent, thank you!
Our team will contact you promptly.