Cats and dishwashing liquid: what do humans want?
For the development of communication, it is essential to have knowledge about target groups and their behaviour when using media. Where and how?
Socio-economic milieu studies provide an overview.
People’s desires are closely connected to their social and economic environment. Through their consumption choices, they reveal their identity and affiliations. Socioeconomic studies provide insights into the group of individuals that communication is directed towards. Are they achievement-oriented individuals from the upper middle class or consumption-focused hedonists from the lower middle class? Depending on the scenario, communication needs to be tailored accordingly.
What makes up your existing customer base?
Understanding which people are already interested in information and existing offerings can lead to insights about other groups. Factors such as age, location, language, purchasing behavior, and values of existing customers reveal who one is dealing with. From existing groups, one can extrapolate to new ones.
What trends are your target groups following?
People consciously or unconsciously follow trends, which operate on two levels: macro and micro. Micro-trends have a short-term impact within one to two years. They are regional or locally confined and reflect people’s behavior in specific places. Micro-trends can be used to better understand local target audiences. Macro-trends have a long-term impact, often spanning many years. They reveal how societies evolve and how people’s needs adapt. Macro-trends can be used to incorporate major potential changes. How will climate change impact things? How will your target audience’s attitudes change as a result?
Put yourself in your target audience’s shoes.
A persona is a fictional character used in the development of communication and offerings as a counterpart. Personas are valuable in brainstorming. They enable communication teams to immerse themselves into the perspectives of specific groups of people and create communication tailored specifically to them. Utilize these tools to create a consistent offering for all your customers.
Watch digitally and in real life.
Observing people is a way to understand how they behave in a specific location, what interests them, and what they consume. Observation can take place digitally on social networks and websites or in real life. Although observation can be time-consuming, it can provide insights that might not be accessible through other means.
Talk to each other and ask questions.
In interviews, people’s attitudes are expressed through the analysis of what they say and their observed behavior. Interviews allow you to obtain direct feedback in the early stages of communication work. Through repeated questioning, you can gain insights into underlying opinions. Scratch the surface to delve into the core.
Conclusion: No successful communication without defining the target groups and their environment.
Defining target audiences may be a challenging task, but it is a fundamental building block for successful communication efforts. When you know your target audiences, messages, designs, and communication channel choices can be clearly defined. In short, what you invest upfront will be returned to you later. Without defining target audiences, communication is destined to search for the proverbial needle in the haystack.