Get to know your target audience

If you are targeting a completely new audience or simply do not know enough about your audience, you may need to find out more about them by performing a target audience analysis. This may be the case, for example, if you have started a completely new programme which places you need to fill.

The University's general target audience descriptions can serve as a good guide for you when planning your communication, but you will probably need to define and break down the target audiences further to suit your needs. For example, if you are communicating internally, you need to break down the large group of "employees" into subgroups that are relevant for your purposes, such as heads of department, study counsellors and directors of studies.

Define your target audience

To find out more about your target audience, you first need to define it.

Demographic factors

There are different ways to define a target audience. For external audiences, for example, it can be based on demographic and geographical factors such as age, sex, income, education level, family composition, place of residence or profession. Digital channels usually have algorithms that can help you reach the target audience based on demographic factors.

Lifestyle, interests and motivators

Another way of defining a target audience is to base it on people's lifestyles, interests or motivators. In such case, you need to describe these interests and motivators and then choose messages, concepts, channels and strategies that will help you reach these people. It is common to combine lifestyle factors, interests and motivators with at least one or more geographical or demographic factor.

Try to find out as much as possible about the target audience. What are their interests? What do they do in their free time? What unites them as a group? What are their personality traits? What is important to them? What do they want to achieve? What inspires them? Where do they look for information and inspiration? Where can you reach them?

Reaching people based on their motivators and personality traits can be more difficult. However, digital channels such as Facebook and Google collect lifestyle information about their users.

Methods to learn more about the target audience

One way to find out more about the target audience is to interview members of that audience or others who might know something about it. You can do this in different ways – individual interviews or by gathering a few people in a focus group. Talking to 5–8 people is often enough to capture key points. Another method is to conduct surveys.

Another way is to find out whether there are second-hand sources about the target audience. You can do this through monitoring other sources and finding out whether surveys and analyses are already available from actors such as trade organisations, etc.

Anja Axelsson