Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Analyse your audience well, get your messages right

Target audiences are unpredictable - it’s hard to find out their nature and intention. While designing your campaign, your main focus should be on analysing your target audiences and crafting the key messages and calls to action accordingly.

You can categorise your target audiences in several ways – primary and secondary as per the preference of your campaign – as early adopters, wait and watch groups, and rejecters as per their interest and intent.

Obviously you pay more attention to your primary audience and influence them first, moving on to the secondary audience. Likewise, the early adopters are quite easy fellows who follow you and support your campaign without much persuasion. Meanwhile ones belonging to wait and watch category are difficult to please and they can convert either into your allies or opponents. It always gives you space to coerce them and take them into your side. The rejecters are outright your opponents and in no way they can be reverted back to your camp. However, you can try your best to convert them into your allies.

Similarly, some communicators categorise their target audience into apparent, intermediate, ultimate and unintended audiences. Apparent audiences are the audiences that appear to be the target of the message. They may or may not be the real, intended, or final targets of the message. Likewise, ultimate audiences are the real, intended, or final targets of the message. Meanwhile intermediate audiences are used by the communicators to transmit the message to the ultimate audience. Unintended audiences are the ones receiving a message directed to another audience.

Whichever way you categorise your audiences, the success of your campaign depends largely on how you analyse the target audience and develop the right key messages and calls to action. To develop the right set of messages you need to know the target audience well.

First, find out the target audience’s involvement in the issue. Then enquire about their awareness of the issue. These will help you craft the right messages with much ease. It is always easier to persuade the audiences who are aware of the issue and are involved in the issue.

Find out more about the target audience’s demographics. Their age, religion, social status, family status, income, sexual orientation, education level and social class hint you on the type of message for each of them.

The target audience’s psychographics – their personality, ideology, values, beliefs and general attitudes – provide you a firm basis to craft the right message.

Their lifestyle – Do they prefer pumping iron at gym? Do they like partying? Are they bookworms? - These simple questions and similar ones make your job easier to identify the right messages for them.

Now after getting to know your audiences you just need to take into consideration three key questions – What are the barriers to their acceptance of call to action? What would persuade them to accept call to action? What is their language?

These three questions will make your crafting of key messages much easier and specific. Someone has quite cleverly put the above points into a formula. It is much easier to remember!

Analysis- Who is the audience?

Understanding- What is the audience's knowledge of the subject?

Demographics- What is their age, gender, education background etc.?

Interest- Why should they be interested in your campaign?

Environment- Where will the campaign be conducted?

Needs- What are the audience's needs associated with your campaign?

Customisation- What specific needs/interests should you address relating to the specific audience?

Expectations- What does the audience expect from your campaign?

Once you are able to analyse your audience well, the following task of creating right messages become much simpler and much specific.

(Photo Courtesy: Nikon D700 Advertisement)

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