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S1E4 Strategy and Planning Guide: Is the audience clear?

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

Latest article in my planning and strategy guide series is live on Nucco's site here:

Copy below too.

An Introduction to strategy and communications planning

S1:E4 “Is the audience clear?”

This article explains how to tackle and define audiences.

Do you know your audience?

The number of times I’ve been briefed on an audience as a collection of demographic data is uncountable. While this is useful information, a structured approach that considers all audiences from macro to micro is ideal.

‘Female mum, over 30, time poor’ is not enough to go on, to change behaviour or perspective. Demographics have an important role but are not enough to develop effective communications.

There are three categories of ‘audience’ to consider, laid out in the right-hand column below:

1. General audience

Start by blocking out general audiences. These should represent all audiences important to the business, not just focus on customers. This ensures you include all key audiences critical to achieving your objective when considering your campaign to change behaviour or perspective. Typically, this covers lobby groups, NGOs, Trade press, government bodies, investors, etc.

The example below is an extract of audience groups that focus on tech/durable businesses and influencers.

2. Target audiences

A target audience is a defined subset of an audience group that you can engage with more targeted creative, messaging and media, and where you can apply different insights and propositions (covered in S1:E6).

In the example below, for a high-street pawn broker, we are looking at five audiences using the same service for different reasons. These audiences can be targeted in different paid media channels using different creative and messaging.

Here’s an example of a typical, defined target audience, complete with a developed insight and proposition (see S1:E6), that is ready for briefing:

3. Personas

Personas are useful for imagining an individual (or archetype), for example, different kinds of customers or website visitors defined by a need for planning sales and customer journeys. Personas can also help to paint a richer picture of different types of customers that might fit within a target audience.


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