Audience Analysis

Audience Analysis

Audience Analysis Jonathan Poland

Audience analysis is the process of studying and understanding the characteristics of a target audience. This is often done in order to tailor communications, such as speeches, presentations, or marketing materials, to be more persuasive, informative, or effective in achieving a specific goal, such as closing sales. Some examples of audience analysis might include:

  • Conducting surveys or focus groups to gather information about the demographics, needs, and preferences of the target audience.
  • Analyzing data, such as market research or customer data, to identify trends and patterns among the target audience.
  • Using tools, such as social media analytics or website analytics, to track the behavior and engagement of the target audience.
  • Developing personas or profiles of typical members of the target audience, to help understand their motivations, values, and concerns.
  • Researching the context in which the target audience will receive the communication, such as the time of day, location, or event.

Overall, audience analysis is an important part of effective communication. By understanding the characteristics and needs of the target audience, you can tailor your message to be more relevant, engaging, and persuasive. Here are some examples of audience analysis.

Public Speaking

Audience analysis may be conducted as part of crafting a presentation or speech. This is as specific to your topic and goals as possible. It may capture elements of your audience’s demographics, knowledge, interests, disinterests, needs and expectations.

Context: Introduce plans for a living street design on Pennsylvania Ave.

Audience: Neighborhood residents

Knowledge: Audience unlikely to be familiar with urban planning, urban design and
legal terms including the term “living street.”

Demographics: Mostly families with children and retirees typically attend these sessions. Expected age range 30-70+. An estimated 80% of adult residents in this area have a university education.

Interests: Recreational areas, Play areas, Quiet, Reduction of petty crime

Disinterests: Disinterested in budget as the neighborhood doesn’t directly pay for the proposed project.

Environment: Neighborhood residents actively campaigned for street improvements. Residents deeply divided on vision for the neighborhood. Some residents prioritize recreation and play areas. Other residents prioritize quiet, crime reduction and parking.

Needs: Property values. Quality of life. Safety.

Expectations: Visualizations of proposed change. Logical justifications for design choices.

Likely Objections: As the design prioritizes recreation, green space and play areas we expect objections from residents who prioritize quiet and parking spots on the street. A possible response may focus on property values and the market value of homes in green areas with parks and recreational infrastructure such as bike lanes.

Public Relations

Public relations is the process of communicating to stakeholders such as investors, regulators, employees, customers and communities. These may all be viewed as separate target audiences for the same message. For example, communication about an acquisition might require a separate audience analysis for investors and regulators as these two audiences receive the same message but have completely different viewpoints.

Context: Communicate the acquisition of major competitor

Audience: Equity Analysts, Bond Analysts, Institutional Investors, Individual

Knowledge: Many investors are aware that our historical acquisitions have resulted in
large write downs that essentially recognized that we overpaid.

Interests: Cost, Financial impact, financing, liquidity, competitive advantages

Disinterests: Uninterested in technical details or how interesting the deal is from a technology perspective.

Environment: Analysts and investors have openly challenged senior management in recent earnings calls due to the financial stresses our firm faces.

Needs: Analysts and investors need to estimate our earnings and financial position for the next two years.

Expectations: Investors expect a clear justification of deal based on revenue impact.

Likely Objections: Likely to react adversely to any attempt to sell this deal based on vanity metrics or our acquisition of trendy technology. Likely to worry that we will need to raise money in the next 4 quarters. A generally hostile reaction is possible.


Marketing communications, such as advertising, promotions, events, press releases, and informational content, often involve creating separate messages tailored to different target audiences. For example, a car manufacturer might market the same car to young families and retirees using different commercials placed in different media channels, in order to reach these specific audiences.

Context: Product launch for mid-sized electric car

Audience: Families

Demographics: Families of 3-4 members with parents aged 25 to 50.

Knowledge: Many investors are aware that our historical acquisitions have resulted in
large write downs that essentially recognized that we overpaid.

Interests: Transport to work, school and activities, Energy costs, Environmental consciousness, Social status in neighborhood amongst peers

Disinterests: Disinterested in technical aspects of the vehicle such as its battery capacity.

Environment: Taxes lower for electronic cars in this region. Cost of gas has been highly variable in recent months. Concern about environmental issues on the rise. Several recalls have damaged our reputation for reliability.

Needs: Trunk space, Leg room, Media features, Low total cost of ownership. Travel of at least 300 kilometers between charges, Convenient financing such as zero down.

Expectations: Safety & reliability, Low risk investment e.g. warranty

Brand Image: Brand is best known for rugged SUVs in Europe. Reputation for safety and sporty designs aligned with outdoor activities such as camping. Brand recognition of 97% of target market – – not measured for this target audience.

Likely Objections: Charging time, reliability, range, price, financing packages, look, safety rating and social status e.g. “this car doesn’t make the neighbors jealous.”

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