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.”

Learn More…

Top-down vs Bottom-up Jonathan Poland

Top-down vs Bottom-up

Top-down and bottom-up are opposing approaches to thinking, analysis, design, decision-making, strategy,…

Product Development Jonathan Poland

Product Development

Product development is the process of designing, creating, and launching new products.…

Business Optimization Jonathan Poland

Business Optimization

Business optimization is the ongoing process of evaluating the efficiency, productivity, and…

What Is Innovation Capital? Jonathan Poland

What Is Innovation Capital?

Innovation capital is a form of intellectual capital that refers to the…

Tactical Risk Jonathan Poland

Tactical Risk

Tactical risk refers to the potential for losses due to changes in…

Types of Fallacies Jonathan Poland

Types of Fallacies

A fallacy is an error in reasoning that can lead to an…

Customer Journey Jonathan Poland

Customer Journey

A customer journey is the experience that a customer has with a…

Research Topics Jonathan Poland

Research Topics

Research topics are the subjects that are chosen for study, investigation, and…

Positive Feedback Loop Jonathan Poland

Positive Feedback Loop

A positive feedback loop is a situation where an initial change or…

Jonathan Poland © 2023

Search the Database

Over 1,000 posts on topics ranging from strategy to operations, innovation to finance, technology to risk and much more…

Unknown Risk Jonathan Poland

Unknown Risk

An unknown risk is a potential loss that is not recognized or…

What is Media? Jonathan Poland

What is Media?

Media refers to the various channels through which information and entertainment can be delivered.

Algorithmic Pricing Jonathan Poland

Algorithmic Pricing

Algorithmic pricing involves using automation to set prices dynamically based on a…

Change Resistance Jonathan Poland

Change Resistance

Change resistance is the act of derailing, slowing down, or preventing a…

Business Risk Jonathan Poland

Business Risk

A business risk is a potential event or situation that could negatively…

Brand Management Jonathan Poland

Brand Management

Brand management is the process of creating, developing, and managing a brand…

Brand Strategy Jonathan Poland

Brand Strategy

Brand strategy is the plan that a company has for building and…

Progress Trap Jonathan Poland

Progress Trap

A progress trap is a situation where a new technology, which has the potential to improve life, ends up causing harm due to a lack of risk management.

Information Security Jonathan Poland

Information Security

Information security is the practice of protecting information from unauthorized access, use,…