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Audience Research Methods

  • Introduction

  • Quantitative vs Qualitative

  • Surveys and Questionnaires

  • Interviews

  • Focus Groups

  • Observation

  • Conclusion

Introduction

Researching your audience is absolutely vital. It ensures your team know everything there is to know about your them. It’s very important to know things about your audience such as what they need, and what they want from your business. This way you know what to deliver.

It’s all well and good knowing you want to find out more about your audience, but do you know how you’re going to find out more? It’s very important to determine the various different ways in which your business can conduct audience research.

 

All the various methods will provide you with different results; all of which will be relevant and valid

 

After conducting audience research, you will come to grips with a very new perspective of your audience and you’ll know them better than ever. This way, you can adapt your strategy to cater more to their needs and be much more refined and targeted in your methods.

Quantitative vs Qualitative

First, let’s talk about the two different types of data; quantitative and qualitative.

 

Quantitative data is...

dealing with quantities and numbers. This type of data is much easier to measure and analyse. It would allow you to produce graphs, etc. clearly displaying the data.

 

Qualitative data is...

dealing with the more in depth analysis; talking more about why your audience behaves in the way they do. This type of data is not measured as easily as quantitative but it gives you a real insight into your audience.

 

It’s important to try and collect both types of data. You need to really make an effort to hone down the definition of your audience and collecting both types of data is really going to be a huge benefit and point you in the right direction.

Surveys and Questionnaires

Surveys and questionnaires are both easy ways to potentially gather both types of data, depending on the length and detail of the survey and/or questionnaire. They can be easily done too. They can be created online and sent to various people through various platforms. They are completely personalisable and unique to you; allowing you to find out everything you want to from your audience.

 

Advantages…

They are quick to make

Easy to send to large amounts of people

Easy to measure

 

Disadvantages…

No real detail

No guaranteed responses

 

Interviews

Interviews are similar to surveys and questionnaires but they are more often than not face-to-face and ask more in depth questions in comparison. They give you a real opportunity to get detailed answers and find out a lot more about certain types of people within your audience.

 

Interviews give you the chance to really get the stories behind why your audience behave the way they do in terms of your business or other similar businesses

 

They give you real, honest and truthful answers that allow you and your team to understand people in your target market a lot more. The more you understand these people, the more targeted and specific you can make your marketing and therefore the better your overall strategy is going to be.

 

Advantages…

Get detailed answers

Guaranteed answers from the right people

 

Disadvantages…

Less easy to measure

May be tough to find people willing to take the time to be interviewed

Focus Groups

Focus groups are quite a different approach to take, but can be quite beneficial. They are, essentially, group interviews but with a certain twist on it. Focus groups are where a group is asked a question by an interviewee and then discuss answers and opinions in the group; with the interviewee observing.

This is quite a different approach to take and it can seem quite unnatural, but it’s a good way to get a group of people talking about something that matters. It gives you a wide range of different opinions; all from people who matter.

 

Advantages…

Group discussion will give you more information

Wide range of opinions

 

Disadvantages…

Could be quite difficult to monitor group

Less control

Observation

Making observations is one of the least accurate audience research. It’s a method that allows you to see how your audience behave and act; but in your own opinion. Observations can be good as you will more than likely catch your audience without realising and in their natural environment - so you can determine their behaviour in an uncontrolled and unpressurised situation.

 

Advantages…

More generic and relevant information

Compare between real data

 

Disadvantages…

May behave differently if they know they’re being observed

May not be accurate

Conclusion

Audience research can be carried out in various different ways. They’re all there to find out more about your audience, what they want from you, what they need, why they want and need this, and so on. All of this information allows you to refine your strategy and approach to marketing/business overall.

All businesses will find out about their target audience in different ways. It’s important to find the most effective way for you; the one that has given you the most accurate and useful answers, and use the information provided. You can use the information to learn more about your target market and what they expect from you.

 

Audience research is all about optimising your strategy to ensure your audience is happy with the service they’re receiving

 

Remember, it’s absolutely vital to do audience research. Without knowing your audience in a detailed manner, you’re not going to be able to properly refine your strategies and efforts. Without refining your efforts; you will not get the most out of your business.

 

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