Analyzing Your Audience For A Targeted Communications Strategy

communications-strategyWhen developing a communications strategy, it’s usually best to analyze your intended audience.  Target audiences can be identified as “owners of Honda Accords who have warranties expiring soon,” “consumers who use McAfee Antivirus,” or “homeowners with dogs,” or “working professional moms with young children.”  Identify as specifically as you can the shared traits and other commonalities that members of your audience have.  In some cases, your audience members may have little in common with one another, yet it’s still good to find generalities that can increase your appeal.

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Psychographic and Demographic Profiles

The communicator often has an adequate enough understanding of the attitudes and beliefs of the recipients to guess the response of persons told that the warranties on their automobiles have expired.  In other situations, research is necessary to discover commonalities.  A wide range of resources are available to assist in gathering background information about your intended audience.  Various databases offer demographic and psychographic profiles, including ages, races, religions, household sizes, professions and incomes of people living in specific areas.  Translation services such as 24 Hour Translation can also be a good resource for information on foreign audiences.  In addition, a communicator can always reach out to audience members directly through telephone and e-mail.   Developing communication strategies that reflect the demographic and psychographic factors of your audience can be extremely effective.

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Cultural and Discourse Community Profiles

When developing a message, always anticipate and show respect for the audience’s culture and discourse community.  In business, organizational culture represents shared norms, principles and ideals that direct how people behave in an organization.  Organizational culture is experienced visually and verbally through mission and vision statements, informal stories and work-related documents, such as employment guides and sales brochures.  These shared values identify how others are expected to dress, behave and perform their roles.

A discourse community is a group of individuals who share the way they communicate in regard to common expectations, topics, issues, or specific fields.  In organizations, the discourse community dictates the expected style, language, method of communication, taboo topics and amount and kind of evidence required to make a case.

Messages that reflect the organization’s culture and are consistent with the expectations of the discourse community stand a much higher likelihood of success than those that don’t.

One thought on “Analyzing Your Audience For A Targeted Communications Strategy

  1. Donna Merrill

    Sage advice and thank you. I find that when writing just about anything online, we do have to have in mind the many different cultures that are reading what we write do or say. There has to be respect in order to be taken seriously and gain respect.

    -Donna

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