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3.7 Audience segmentation

So how do we narrow down our audiences and identify how best to communicate with them? This depends on the kind of reach you expect from your communication. If you’re aiming for large reach, i.e. through broadcast or digital media, publication, blog and so on then audience segmentation may be useful.

Audience segmentation is a technique marketers and producers of media use to tailor their campaigns or products to specific groups. It involves profiling people in terms of demographics (what they are), psychographics (how they think), habits (how they behave), as well as considering the kinds of media they might access.

A specific segment might then be chosen and communication tailored to that group.

In the UK, a regular survey has taken place called the Public Attitudes to Science Survey. The data collected from these surveys was used to segment the British public into six different groups in 2011 and this has been tracked over time. This provides a good example as to how audience segmentation might be done:

Read the following profiles for each segment. For each one, try to think of someone you know personally who may fall in that group. What kind of communication would they prefer?

PAS Audience Segmentation