Target Audience vs. Buyer Persona: What Is The Difference?

People often confuse the two terms interchangeably. But there are inherent differences between them. Let's find out!

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If you have worked in the sales and marketing world, you may have come across two terms: “target audience” and “buyer persona.” Although they sound similar, it is essential to distinguish between them when working on your sales strategy.

The difference between these two groups hinges on specificity and scale. A target audience refers to like-minded consumers interested in your product. Buyer personas, on the other hand, represent a category of buyers under the larger target audience umbrella. Simply put, the target audience is the building, and the target personas are the bricks.

What is a Target Audience?

A target audience is the group of people most likely to be interested in a company’s products or services. They are the intended demographic of a particular message like an advertisement or a publication catered specifically to that said group.

A target audience is crucial in determining how to market your product to a large pool of consumers. You will need to synthesize and distill the audience’s information into a general depiction of the type of person interested in your product. The analysis should consist of the following:

  • Demographic information (age, gender, geographic location, and income) helps to draw a picture of that type of client.
  • Psychographic data (values, personality traits, and interests) enriches your understanding of buyer processes and their pain points.
Target Audience

Based on this kind of data, you can:

  • Develop effective marketing materials to appeal to specific interests.
  • Set your fees within an appropriate price range.
  • Enable seamless product access across different platforms.

What is a Buyer Persona?

Unlike the target audience, a buyer persona depicts an individual profile beneath the larger group. In other words, it is a subset of a larger target audience. Note that a business might have several buyer personas within its target audience umbrella.

Both B2B and B2C companies benefit from target personas since they help narrow the focus and figure out specific buying patterns of consumers. A good buyer persona should dive deeper into each customer’s particular goals. From that, you can understand customers inside and out when crafting actionable marketing strategies.

Keep in mind that including buyer personas in advertising and marketing activities allows you to tailor your materials to address individual needs and goals. Customers, therefore, feel they are being cared for on a personal level.

As you will see in the following example, a buyer persona is a more detailed version of the target audience profile. This allows you to gain more insights into individual customer trends.

Buyer Persona

Standard Insights conducted a co-branded research project, in collaboration with Acquisit, on the skin care industry in Saudi Arabia. We discovered 6 buyer personas in Saudi Arabia when it comes to skin care products.

6 Skin Care Customer Personas

Read to learn more here!

Target Audience vs. Buyer Persona

Target Audience vs. Buyer Persona

Profiling your audience will be one of the toughest challenges you’ll face as a marketer because of the diversity of people that you will be reaching with your marketing strategy. Each one of them has his or her own niche, personality, and passion that you will have to consider.

To develop an effective marketing and product strategy, you must first understand how to interact with your target consumers and which tactics work best for your brand. This starts with defining your target audience and building your customer persona.

Unfortunately, traditional methods of building customer personas can come with many limitations. Most of them are only reliant on your own experience and knowledge which might be inadequate and biased.

At Standard Insights, we built an alternative solution that provides more accurate personas. We get quality and unique survey respondents in your segments and analyse the results to give you tailored personas that match your brand and industry. This is to empower decision-makers like you to determine the best course of action for your company. Whether it’s to boost marketing campaigns, create a product roadmap, or modify sales pitches, Standard Insights will help you unlock and discover your customers.

Learn more about Buyer Personas and how we use them here.

Main Takeaways

Without taking the time to understand the goals, challenges, and motivations of your ideal customers—as well as the direct impact of your product or solution on those elements—all of your marketing and sales efforts will be little more than a shot in the dark.

Standard Insights offers a customer persona solution for every company size, which helps your business gain better visibility in the competitive market. Unlock new segments in your market size and turn them into lifelong customers.

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