“Our target group is everyone” – anyone who says this has not understood the word “target group”

There are still a few entrepreneurs in Germany who go to market with the conviction that their products or services are so universally appealing that they can reach everyone. This article shows why this way of thinking is not only wrong, but also highly detrimental to business, and which communication strategies result from a target group definition.


What is a target group and how do I find mine?

A target group can be defined as a group of people who are linked by common characteristics such as demographic, socio-economic and psychographic characteristics. In other words, this group shares common needs, interests and behaviors.

An important step in refining external communication is to get to know your existing customers, if any, and understand what reasons or problems led them to buy the product or service. From this information, usually 2 to 3 different personas can be derived. These are semi-fictional characters with certain problems, goals and characteristics that represent the respective target group.

If there are no existing customers – and as a supplement to the customer survey – a detailed target group and competitor analysis should be carried out using professional tools. This includes analyzing the target groups and external communication of companies with similar offers in order to determine what has already been successful and what has not. You can carry out these processes for any brand and will always realize in the end that every product and every service appeals to a very specific target group with special characteristics and not to the general public.


A practical example: the housing market

You might think that the rental of real estate is aimed at the general public. But here too, it makes sense to define granular target groups for the display of online ads and landing pages. In addition to an age limit, users should only be shown properties from their region. Other important questions: Which income ranges are of interest? Is it a residential or commercial property? A student is not looking for a penthouse loft in the city center, and a doctor’s practice does not need a 1500 sqm warehouse. It is therefore worth the effort to define target groups in order to advertise more cost-effectively and to show users the properties that match their interests and possibilities in order to achieve more and faster deals.


Target groups as the basis for all external communication

It’s not just ad content and landing pages that should be geared towards the respective target group. Rather, a detailed target group definition should serve as the basis for all brand communication. This determines which channels are most likely to reach my potential buyers – from specific social media platforms to print and trade fairs. No target group is equally represented on all channels.

Characteristics such as age and level of education in turn determine the tonality of the approach. This should be standardized on all channels used in order to create a consistent external image of the brand. This creates a unique brand persona with specific attributes that increases the credibility and recognition value of the brand.

Last but not least, the common goals, expectations and problems of the target group can be used to derive very precise content for the approach, which ensures that users feel personally addressed and understood so that they can then be offered a tailored solution to their problem.



If you think you can appeal to “everyone” with your product or service, you will waste a lot of money and time on irrelevant communication channels, talk past your target group with a misguided tone of voice and also fail to name their problems so that, in the worst case, the target group won’t even know why they should buy the product or service. For successful brands or those who want to become successful, a precise target group definition based on data analysis is indispensable and the starting point for all brand communication.