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How Large Should Target Audiences Be? 3 Questions to Consider

October 7th, 2022 | 4 min. read

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Successful advertising hinges on reaching the right people, on the right channels, with the right message. That’s why savvy marketers leverage audiences to target their messaging to reach the people most likely to care about and engage with their efforts.

What are audiences? An audience is a data-driven list of people grouped together by how receptive they are to a particular message, issue, or cause. Tunnl's data scientists create these groups by analyzing billions of data points across demographics, behavioral traits, media consumption patterns, interests, opinions, political leanings, and more.

Discover How Tunnl Builds Audiences

But here’s where things can get tricky. How do you know how large your target audience should be?

You don’t want to cast too wide a net and waste any of your advertising budget. At the same time, you want to reach as many people as possible, so should avoid building too narrow an audience.

Defining the size of your target audience will influence every aspect of your outreach strategy, so it’s crucial that you get it right. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through the three main questions that impact how Tunnl calculates the perfect size of your target audience. Answering these questions in collaboration with your team at Tunnl will get you the right size audience. 

By the end of this article, you’ll have a firm grasp of what goes into determining audience size so you can be prepared for building your organization’s ideal audience. 

Let’s get started.

Question #1: What is the end goal of your marketing efforts?

Every conversation you have about building an audience should stem from this question: 

How are you measuring success? Untitled (Facebook Post)

Building the most effective audience starts with identifying where your organization is at right now, and where you’d like it to be in the future with the help of your advertising campaigns. Doing so helps align your team and Tunnl in understanding the starting point of your marketing and what needs to happen in order for your organization to meet its goals.

For example, if your goal is to get 500 voters to call their state legislature, you will need a smaller audience than if your goal is to get a candidate elected.

Tunnl will start to determine audience size based on your end goal.

Question #2: What is your current budget to reach people?

Untitled design (2) copy-1Based on your end goals, we might already have an idea of the optimal audience size to maximize your advertising efforts. However, Tunnl will have to measure that against the available budget your organization has to communicate to this audience. 

For example, if you have a $100,000 budget, it might be difficult to reach an audience of 10,000,000 at the frequency expected to successfully influence them to do your desired action. 

Understanding how much media spend is available can set expectations around best audience sizes to accomplish your goals and stay within your budget’s parameters.

Question #3: What channels are you using for ad delivery?

The first two pieces of this puzzle — defining goals and setting a budget — are the most critical in driving an audience size. But to focus your audience-building efforts even further, it’s important to also consider the channels you intend to deliver your messaging on. 

Doing so is an opportunity to get sophisticated with how we think about reaching our audiences, and helps us determine whether we need to make the audience larger or smaller for best impact. 

Consider that across channels, there will be a certain amount of data loss that reduces audience size. This is due to the original audience not perfectly matching the inventories available within the data marketplace and advertising platforms a client is using. 

This is exactly why you need to consider the channels you intend to deliver messaging on to maximize your reach and ROI while also ensuring your final audience size is still optimized to hit your end goals.

Let’s look at a peer-to-peer texting campaign as an example. The goal of this campaign is to influence 20,000 people to sign a petition. You need high-quality cell phone numbers to target, but only 70% of your chosen audience has cell phone numbers listed. You may need to double, or perhaps triple the number of people in your audience to ensure you have enough cell phone numbers available to meet your end goal.

Considering the channels you will be using to deliver your message is a vital component of building the correct audience size to meet your goals while staying in budget.

Start Building Your Organization's Ideal Audiences

You need to reach the right people with the right message to influence them to action. With audiences, you can do just that while optimizing your media spend, so you’re not wasting money advertising to people who are unlikely to engage with your message. 

It all starts with determining the right size audience you want to reach.

Audience-building with Tunnl is a dynamic process that we work with you closely on. We can adjust your audience size to meet different goals, budgets, and channels at different times — all so you can reach the people most likely to engage with your message on the channels they are most likely to see it.

Discover How Tunnl Builds Audiences

Now that you know how Tunnl helps you determine your ideal audience size so they fit your organization’s needs, you’re ready to take the next step. Connect with our team today to get a tour of the Tunnl platform and see how we can build the ideal audiences for your organization’s advertising goals.

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If you’re ready to explore over 300 prebuilt audiences, slice and dice your audiences together, and more, create a free account in the Tunnl platform.

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