Cats and dishwashing liquid: what do humans want?

by | Jan 19, 2023

Knowledge about target groups and their behaviour and media usage is essential for developing communication. But how do you define target groups, and how can you work with them?

Socioeconomic milieu studies provide an overview.

What people want has to do with their social and economic environment. Every day, they tell each other who they are and where they belong through their consumption decisions. Milieu studies provide an overview of which group of people they are communicating with. Is it people from the upper middle class – performance oriented? Or consumption-oriented hedonists from the lower middle class? Depending on this, communication will be structured differently.

What makes your existing customers stand out?

You can infer other groups if you understand which people are already interested in your current offers. Age, location, language, purchasing behaviour, and the values of existing customers show whom you are dealing with. From existing groups, you can infer new ones.

What trends are your target groups following?

People knowingly and unknowingly follow trends. These operate on two levels: macro and micro. Microtrends have a short-term impact of one to two years. They are regionally and locally bound and show people’s behaviour in a specific place. Microtrends can be used to understand target groups locally. Macro trends have a long-term effect. Often over many years. They show how societies change and adapt to people’s needs. Macrotrends can be used to factor meaning into significant potential changes. What will climate change do? How will it change the attitudes of your target groups?

Put yourself in your target audience’s shoes.

A persona is an invented person who serves as a counterpart in developing communication and offers. Personas are helpful in idea generation. They allow communication teams to target the attitudes of a group of people and develop communication directly for them. Use these building blocks to develop a consistent offering for all your customers.

Observation. Digital and in real life.

Observing people is one way to understand how they behave in a place, what interests them, and what they consume. Observation can occur digitally on social networks, websites, or in real life. Even if the means of observation are time-consuming, they bring to light things that can hardly be found otherwise.

Talk to each other and ask questions.

Interviews reveal people’s attitudes by analyzing what they say and with observation. With interviews, you can get direct feedback at an early stage of communication work. In addition, by asking multiple questions, interviews reveal more profound opinions. Scratch the surface to get to the core.

Conclusion: No successful communication without a definition of target groups and environment.

Even though defining target groups is often difficult, it is a fundamental building block of any successful communications work. If you know your counterpart, you can clearly define messages, design and choice of channel. In short: what you invest beforehand, you get back later. Without a target group definition, communication is relegated to finding the needle in the haystack.

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