Advertising target groups are those people who are targeted by an advertising measure. Often these advertising target groups are also referred to as advertising meanings. However, this group of people must not be equated with the strategic definition of the market segments or target group formation. While market segments encompass current and potential customers (group of people who can actually advertise), sub-areas of these market segments are also of interest for advertising. For example, it would be conceivable to recruit first-time customers who are to become regular customers.
Since the advertising must be tailored as well as possible to those who have been selected as advertising, a target group must be defined before the advertising message is designed and the advertising is to be aimed at. Targeting the defined advertising target group is possible through a target group-specific design of the advertising message (e.g. a fast food restaurant uses an animated film to address the advertising target group of children up to 12 years of age) and through an adequate selection of advertising media and advertising media. For this purpose, the target group must be described as well as possible using relevant characteristics. Rogge (2000, p. 106 ff.) Names the following characteristics to describe advertising target groups:
Sociodemographic characteristics: Age, gender, income, occupation, schooling, social class, marital status, household size, etc.
Geographical features: Region, city / country, size of place of residence, etc.
Psychological criteria: Personality traits, lifestyles, leisure interests, values, motives, opinions, etc.
Criteria of observable buying behavior: Price and brand awareness, media use, store loyalty, intensity of use, ownership characteristics, etc.
In addition to this important information about the structure of the advertising target group, further information about the target group's attitudes towards advertising and the motives that can induce the target group to fulfill the advertising purpose must be collected.