Defining an audience


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Defining an audience

  1. 1. Defining an Audience Patrick Gouldsbrough
  2. 2. Quantitative Research Socio-economic status Qualitative Research Psychographics Geodemographics Age Gender Niche Mainstream
  3. 3. Quantitative audience research What is it? This type of research is all about numerical figures, this involves identifying how many people purchased a product. Closed questions are used to generate quantitative data, which will be ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers, which in turn, gives limited feedback. Quantitative research is all about how big the audience is, which is expressed in a numerical or a percentage form. Who does it? One company that collects readership and circulation figures and then make assumptions from this are the National readership survey (NRS). From these figures they can create socio-economic breakdowns of audiences. This company is just responsible for the print industry, not all of the media platforms. Another company, who are the industry company for media measurement, are the Audit bureau of circulation (ABC). They produce audience figures for not only the print industry, but the digital media platform also. However, unlike the NRS, ABC do not create assumptions from the figures they generate. Why is it useful? It helps companies identify if their products are successful in the markets where they are advertised. Media producers will look at the data generated by both NRS and ABC and, dependant on the nature of the information, increase the numbers produced, decrease the numbers or axe the product if it is making the company a loss in sales figures.
  4. 4. Qualitative audience research What is it? This type of research is all about opinions and views of the consumer. Different to quantitative research, in terms of open questions been used so the reviewer/consumer can let you know their feedback in great detail. Qualitative audience research will help you find out how many readers you have, but unlike Quantitative, can tell you things like: who they are, what they like, what they don’t, where they live and how much they earn. What methods are there? • Questionnaires • Focus group • Face-to-face interview Why is it useful? Unlike Quantitative, this research helps a company identify their target demographic in detail, instead of just seeing them as a figure. This research can find out most things from an individual, dependant on the method used. Companies can identify peoples income, which will identify whether they have money for luxuries such as magazines, or whether they just have enough money for necessities, this factor will help the company identify their target demographic. This is the kind of information that Qualitative research can create, like Q Magazine have done.
  5. 5. Qualitative audience research How do the methods work? Questionnaire – a company produce a number of questions to ask their audiences to get a better understanding on things like spending habits, likes and how they discovered the product. Focus group – An observer will get a group of people together to discuss a certain topic, in this case, a certain product. The person observing will then get a better understanding of what they’ve done well and what they need to improve on to appeal to a wider demographic. Face-to-face interview – An interviewer will ask a person/a group of people about a certain topic, in this case, like the focus group, a product. This will give an interviewer a chance to ask specific questions, instead of sitting and observing, while maybe not finding out the information they require, like in focus groups. This Questionnaire is an example of how Qualitative research is generated. This is then how media producers identify the later mentioned age, gender, mainstream and niche markets.
  6. 6. Socio-economic status What does this mean? The socio-economic status calculates an individual or family’s economic and social position in comparison to others. These figures are based on income, education and occupation. What can it tell you about an audience? It can tell a company about different peoples social position in society. This could help the media producers select a target audience because they identify incomes and how much each individual has available to spend on things such as media products. Education and occupation can also be identified, which may also dictate a companies decision on target audience. Why is it useful to know? If this information is held by a company, it can help it amend it’s products to fit a certain demographic or to appeal to a completely new audience if the sales figures for a certain product are low. Who does this kind of research? All media companies look at these figures, but the actual categories that help differentiate individuals social position is supplied by the National Readership Survey (NRS). This media body identifies Six categories within the social class, starting at professionals and high management in A, working down to category E, which features the unemployed and pensioners. This table shows the six categories of social position. Media producers use this to identify which social class they will target with their product. They tend to target category C1, the biggest category at 29%. The percentage of individuals in each category: A – 4% B – 23% C1 – 29% C2 – 21% D – 15% E – 8%
  7. 7. Psychographics What does this mean? Psychographics is the study of values, interests, personality, attitudes and lifestyle. A questionnaire is the most common way of finding out these traits so an individuals psychographics can be established. What can it tell you about an audience? It can tell a media producer what individuals tend to spend their money on as well as the personality traits, interests and lifestyle of a particular person. This information is then categorised (pictured right) into 7 groups of people, these categories are, in essence, different target audiences for media products. Why is it useful to know? This can assist the company in making their product more appealing to a certain group. For example a company may want to concentrate on targeting an aspirer demographic. As it states on the picture, the aesthetic features of a product is more important than the content, so the company will concentrate on the layout and colours, rather than the article quality. Advantage • It can identify different groups that could be targeted by the media producers • The questionnaires that find out this information are easy to produce and also cheap to produce Disadvantage • It goes into specific detail, but doesn’t give percentages of society, like socioeconomic findings. This will make it more difficult for the company to find the most popular psychographic category and therefore the best group to target. • Questionnaires could be unreliable, people could be untruthful with their answers and the reliability could be compromised. The 7 Psychographics categories
  8. 8. Geodemographics What does this mean? To generate this research, demographic data from the national census. This idea of Geodemographics states that people in the same neighbourhood may have similar lifestyles, suggesting they have the same spending tendencies. What can it tell you about an audience? It will tell you what sort of group live in that particular area. This includes age, education and income, as well as others, which tell a company which areas maybe best to advertise their product. For example a teen magazine will not sell well in an area that is mainly populated with pensioners. Why is it useful to know? It enables media producers and their advertising teams to market their product in the correct places/areas. Like so many factors in the audience profiling section, if this is selected wrong, the company will make a loss in sales. Advantage • An easy way to find information about peoples spending patterns, education and income. This will help media producers identify their target audience easily. • Saves time and money investigating each individual from every household using a questionnaire. Disadvantage •This is an average, this research and theory exists with a lot of assumptions of people. This could backfire on companies if they are misinformed. This is an example of how Geodemographics could be presented. Even though this image is about housing in London, this is how it would be presented for different geographical areas for media products also.
  9. 9. Geodemographics LS1 – affluent achievers LS2 – Thriving Greys LS3 – Settled suburbans LS4 – Nest buliders LS5 – Urban venturers LS6 – Country life LS7 – Senior citizens LS8 – Producers LS9 – Hard pressed families LS10 – ‘Have-nots’ (economically disadvantaged) The affluent achievers out buy the economically disadvantaged by 23%. Even though it doesn’t apply to all financially disadvantaged individuals/families, it applies to the majority and therefore equated to an average (shown right).
  10. 10. Age Same genre, different demographic What does this mean? Companies make assumptions about people of a similar age having similar likes and dislikes in terms of products, in this case, print products. What can it tell you about an audience? It tells print producers about people of a certain age demographics their likes and dislikes of a product, genre or topic. Why is it useful to know? It can improve a magazine considerably, especially if a print product was targeting a particular target age, which it usually is. For example, Q Magazine will send out a questionnaire and review the certain age groups likes and dislikes within the magazine, including: articles, layout and design. This review will then allow them to make a better product for the majority of their demographic. (Picture on the Qualitative research page states the average age for a Q Magazine is 29). While it won’t apply to all the demographic, the majority will hopefully be enticed by the product, therefore making the company a profit. The youthful cover stars, intertwined with the bright colours and modern layout, NME Magazine is aimed at a younger demographic. Advantage • It tells a media producer about different age demographics likes and dislikes, therefore enabling them to make a more suitable product. • It gives the company a better understanding of the audience they are trying to appeal to. Disadvantage • While establishing different groups likes and dislikes, this goes on an average and doesn’t apply to all of the demographic. • If the questionnaires are not filled in correctly by the consumer, the feedback will be incorrect and the product will instead be changed for the worse. This is also a disadvantage to qualitative research methods. The ageing cover star, dull colouring and simple layout suggests this product is aimed at an older demographic.
  11. 11. Gender What does this mean in terms of audience profiling? A company will investigate the gender that reads a particular product most. Not only this, they also investigate how different genders are appealed to by media products and how they read their products. What can it tell you about an audience? It can tell you about the percentages of gender readership per product. This can be found out using both quantitative and qualitative research methods, which include: face-to-face interviews, questionnaires and surveys. Vogue is more tailored to a female audience with it’s choice of colours, layout and tends to have famous females on the front. Why is it useful to know? This enables companies to make their product more gender specific, make it appeal to one gender while pushing the other one away. For example Q magazines male/female ratio of readers is mainly male dominated (pictured right). These statistics will then tell them it would be beneficial to appeal to a male audience because it’s the majority of viewership. Advantage • Can find out very specific details on gender specific media products and techniques that could be used to appeal to both or one gender. Disadvantage • Similar to age demographic, it is an average and the reliability of the research maybe compromised. • Also like age research, questionnaires that are used to find this information maybe filled in untruthfully, affecting the results and the media producers changes to products. Men’s health is, as expected, a male dominated viewership. This magazine will have, if not 100%, a high percentage of male readership. It tends to have simple colours, simple layout and a celebrity that most men aspire to be to try and hook them into buying the magazine.
  12. 12. Mainstream What does this mean? A product to capture a large audience/majority of the audience. Most people will be aware of it or consuming this certain product, like a blockbuster film or chart music. Many magazines tend to be mainstream because media companies want to make a profit on their products. What can it tell you? It can tell you three things: whether a product is mainstream, the percentage of mainstream compared to niche audience and the techniques of mainstream product, how do they draw the audience in? Reader’s digest is a mainstream magazine because it doesn’t focus on one topic or genre, it covers a lot of interests. Why is it useful to know? It not only helps a media producer/company decide if to make a niche or mainstream product, it also helps to identify what sort of thing they should be putting in their magazine to make it mainstream. Advantage • Can give very clear percentages of mainstream audience types as well as identifying the techniques to choose if you were to produce a mainstream magazine. Disadvantage • Some techniques that work for one magazine won’t always work for another so the mainstream techniques that are suggested to a company may do more harm than good in terms of finance. Like Reader’s digest, ‘people weekly’ is also a mainstream magazine. This is due to similar reasons to Reader’s digest, it discusses more topic/interest areas than one.
  13. 13. Niche What does this mean? A product to capture a much smaller audience than mainstream, but are meant for specific groups for their interests. However, a niche market magazine will aim to capture a large portion of that small demographic. Not many magazines are niche market because it doesn’t make a great profit, but if the product is successful, it will make a reasonable amount of revenue for the company. What can it tell you about an audience? Researching niche market, and in particular existing products, can help media companies identify the techniques they need to make their magazine/newspaper successful, while looking at the features they need to avoid. Even though the good selling figures, Top Gear would still be considered a niche market product because of the specific interest/topic inside the magazine. Advantage • If you want to produce a niche market magazine, this research will help you produce a magazine that interest an audience, while enticing them to buy it. Disadvantage • Like the mainstream slide, one niche market magazines techniques won’t work for them all. However, if the techniques don’t work they will then know what features to avoid in the future. Four Four Two would also be considered niche market, due to the single interest area covered within the media product.
  14. 14. References • • 20 • • • 40/SocialClasstable.png • 7Dto/s1600/psyco.jpg • • • •$(KGrHqYOKo0FH,tDVjshBS!V6GFIMg~~60 35.JPG
  15. 15. References • • • • • •