Types of Target Audiences
Monday, January 13, 2020
Understanding the appropriate target audience for your organization’s message is critical to ensuring success. While every organization has a general message, each audience requires a nuanced approach. To be successful, you must know who matters.
Determining who matters can be difficult. All audiences have value, but you must figure out who has the most value to you. A few considerations:
- Who are your base supporters?
- Who influences those supporters?
- Who is influenced by you?
- Where are you looking to grow?
- Who internally and externally drives your mission?
The answers to each of these questions will not necessarily provide your target audiences, but it will help to shape them. Once you have answered these questions and have a better understanding of who you are looking to reach, it is also important to define the type of target audiences: direct, indirect, remote and societal. Think of your organization’s targets like the layers of an onion with your key beliefs at the core.
Direct audiences are the first layer. They directly engage or interact with your organization. These are groups or individuals who are already familiar and interested in your company. Direct audiences are easy wins, and engagement with these individuals is relatively straightforward. However, it is critical not to gloss over them and assume they will always be around. While they are easy supporters, a drastic, immediate shift in messaging could shock and threaten the reliability of this audience.
Your second layer are the indirect audiences. These consumers are not directly involved with the organization currently, but are either influenced by or can influence other audiences. Indirect audiences have the ability to strengthen your relationship with direct audiences, as well as engage your remote audiences.
Remote audiences are the third layer and distanced from your organization. However, remain within your sphere of influence. They are tangentially touched by either a direct or an indirect audience and can influence or be influenced by them. Some of these audiences tend to be aspirational. Understanding where these audiences sit and their relationship to direct and indirect audiences allows your organization to increase engagement with remote contacts.
Societal audiences are the outermost layer and have no specific, regular impact on your organization or its message. However, decisions and statements by these audiences may impact other audience members or activities. Developments and decisions by societal audiences may impact other groups, forcing a change to that audience’s relationship with your organization.
Get Your Audience to Act
Once you find your target audience, how do you get them to act? Appealing to their core values, how they view the world, and their expectations for the future is extremely powerful. Creating a sense of unity goes beyond simple similarities and generates shared identity and relatability.
In order for people to buy into your organization’s message, they must relate to the tone and content. By striking a chord with an audience, a personal connection is made, and trust is established. The more clearly and specifically your target group is defined, the better you can understand how to appeal to each audience. For example, an organization must consider the tone and platform when attempting to appeal to baby boomers versus millennials. Factors that should be adjusted based on audience are voice, perspective, and intent. Authenticity, hook, and coherence should remain the same across audiences.
In order to most effectively target relevant stakeholders, we must understand who they are, where they rank in priority, and where they operate and consume information. At Convé, we are adept at analyzing data to determine who is part of your organization’s existing audience and identifying gaps to find who is missing. From there, our team can research where the missing audience spends their time and strategize ways to meet them specifically. Learn more about how we can help you tell your story to the right audience, every time.