Author Archives: shaunsykes94

Audience Profiling

Audience profiling is where demographic and psychographic factors are taken into account to determine the appropriate target audience for a company to target their product at. This is very effective as it allows companies to determine how they should promote their product to make sure that the product can be as successful as possible.

To determine an audience profile, the audience can be referred to by a mix of a single main category and a number of sub-categories. The main categories are mainly factors such as age and gender but the sub-categories take a number of different factors. These can include geodemographics, which profiles people based on where they live, regional identity, just like geodemographics but instead based on a persons regional location where they live, socio economic status, which bases an audience on their personal wealth and jobs, sexual orientation, based on who mostly a potential target audience is sexually attracted to and, finally, a target audiences preference to mainstream, alternate or niche media.


Market Research, Audience Research and Production Research

Market Research:

There are a number of purposes to why market research is a necessity to create a successful product. One of which is the need for companies to understand exactly what their target audience is looking for in a product. This is seen as being essential for any company releasing a new product as this allows the company to create a suited product, based on their majority target audience, thus allowing the product to potentially become successful. Furthermore, market research can also help companies identify any future trends that may show up in the next few years. This can also be very beneficial for companies as this allows them to potentially gain a competitive edge over their rivals, which may be creating similar products to themselves. In addition, this can also help set the company and the product they are producing in a very strong position with their target audience as they are more likely to stick with a product which is different to anything else seen before and also any products which may be very similar to the original product. This was shown, for example, with the rise of the reality TV show ‘The only was is Essex’. After the reality TV hit show ‘Big Brother’ was cancelled on Channel 4 in 2010, a new breed of reality TV was needed. ITV started to take notice of this and began market research into shows such as ‘The Hills’ and ‘The City’, which were Americas reality TV shows. ITV soon discovered that these types of structured reality TV shows were extremely popular in America and believed that a similar show for the UK would be a success. Indeed it was, as ‘The Only Way is Essex’ started to gain huge media attention due to the popularity with young adults after starting in October 2010. Due to this success, other UK production companies started coming up with their own version of TOWIE such as ‘Made in Chelsea’, ‘Jersey Shore’ and ‘The Valleys’. However, TOWIE still remains the most popular scripted reality show in the UK as fans of the show continue to watch in their numbers despite alternate versions of the show.

There are a number of methods to conduct market research. One of these methods is the use of surveys. These can be taken part in many different ways such as in-person surveys, telephone surveys, online surveys and web surveys. These different ways can help benefit a company as this allows them to analyze a sample group of people based on their target audience. Secondly, another method of collecting market research is by conducting focus groups of the companies major target audience. In these focus groups, a series of questions and topics are given to the focus group to discuss, in which they are being recorded by. These types of sessions usually take a couple of hours with a number of focus groups needed to take place in order for the results, of the focus group, to be balanced. Another method of gaining market research is personal interviews. The structure of personal interviews are very similar to focus groups in which they are also recorded and usually last around a couple of hours. This allows companies to gain a more detailed insight into their target audience for their product compared to in-person surveys, which may only take around a couple of minutes to complete. A different way of collecting market research takes the form of observations. Completely different to the previous methods mentioned about collecting market research, observations allow companies to observe their target audiences natural behavior towards how they react to similar products, that a company is trying to produce, and any advertising campaigns that attempt to sell box office tickets or improve DVD sales of these similar products.

Audience Research:

The purpose of audience research is to help companies discover what target audience would be best suitable for the type of product that they are producing such as age, gender, ethnic background, location, income and what media do they already consume. This is extremely vital to any company trying to create a successful product as targeting a product at the wrong type of audience can cause problems throughout any research which is conducted, the production of the product and how this may be advertised thus causing the product to not be as successful as first hoped by the company, which can also lead to the cancellation of any future products related to the original and a slightly damaged reputation to the company who produced the product.

When trying to discover their major target audience, a company can use a number of methods using qualitative and quantitative research to discover whom they should be aiming their product at. Quantitative involves using data and numbers such as program ratings, box office sales, hits on websites and dvd sales to see how successful other products have been, which are similar to the product a company is producing. Qualitative research, on the other hand, involves the company discovering their target audiences opinions and views on similar products and how they react to this. This usually takes the form of reviews, websites, newspapers, blogs and fanzine sites. As well as this, a mix of primary and secondary research can be used to also help indentify a target audience for a companies product which can include questionnaires, statistics, focus groups and newspapers.

Production Research:

The purpose of production research is to help companies to decide on a number of factors that will affect how they create their product. One of the factors that the company will have to research is how it would be best to show their product to their specific target audience. This is very important as the product must be shown in the correct way that their target audience will mostly use, whether this is broadcasting the product, showing the product on the web or showing it on a podcast.

Other factors that will need to be taken into consideration will be; the cast and crew, as this will majorly impact on the success of the product, location, where appropriate locations will need to be discovered and if filming will be allowed to take place there, finance, where the budget will need to be carefully assessed and given out accordingly into different areas to stay in budget, suppliers, which the production company will need to source out to find companies who would be willing to invest in their product, facilities, taking into account the filming and editing equipment and the content needed to create the product.


Qualitative, Quantitative, Primary and Secondary

Qualitative:

This is where members of the general public, most predominantly the products target audience; express their opinions and views about a product, whether this is in terms of an advertising campaign for the product or a review of the final product itself. Qualitative research take form in many different ways to allow the public to express themselves such as reviews on blogs, websites and newspapers, responses to news coverage, discussions about a product and fanzine websites for dedicated fans of a product who are at the core of keeping a product going throughout the years. This type of research allows companies to take on board any concerns the target audience may have with a product and correct them in the current product, or their next product, allowing the company to make a more likely successful product. In addition, this also makes the target audience feel as if they are respected by the companies whilst also having their views recognised.

Quantitative:

This is where data, such as numbers, is used by companies to discover how popular their product is based on factors such as programme ratings, hits on websites, such as Youtube and Vimeo, box office figures, if the product is a movie, and cd and dvd sales when the product is released. This can be extremely helpful to companies, if they are making a new product, as they can use information from similar products to their own to decide on factors such as what target audience would the product be best suited for, how they could engage a new target audience and how the product should be advertised based on similar products which have, or not have been successful. Furthermore, a company can used figures from their own product to determine how successful their product has been, which in addition, would lead the company to use qualitative research to see how the figures has been stacked up, based on the opinions of their target audience.

Primary:

This is where companies go about acquiring data and information, which has not already been discovered, from their target audience based on the type of product that the company is trying to promote and sell. This can take form in many ways such as surveys, questionnaires, focus groups and observations. This way of researching is very effective as it allows the company to understand what their target audience want from the product whilst also understanding how it would be best to promote their product to their target audience to ensure that the product becomes a success.

Secondary:

This is where companies use data which has already been collected or generated from a different group or company. This can take many forms including books, newspapers, journals, photographs and statistics. This is also very effective as this allows the company to gain valuable information which can also help them decide on a number of factors such as how the product should be promoted to their specific target audience and what time of year would it be suitable to release their product.


Questionnaire Plan of Action

In our group, we are planning to conduct research to discover the the general profile of 16-19 year old media students.

We will be asking them a mix of demographic and psychographic questions mentioning such topics as their favourite film, TV, and music genres, where they live, gender, how they watch or listen to their favourite shows or music and their most general use for Youtube. In addition, we will also be ask them to name some of their favourite films, TV shows and music as this will not only give a deeper insight into the types of media they watch and listen to but also help us to understand whether they mostly follow mainstream or alternate media.

We will be extracting this information in a number of ways. One of which will be using online surveys where the majority of demographic questions will be based. We believe that not many students will want to talk about their background so openly and instead talk about this anomalously on an online survey. Our other technique will be to use vox pops so we can gain more information about the media students favourite films, TV shows and music. We believe that asking these questions in this sort of way would allow for more reliable information compared with asking these questions through an online survey. This would allow us to gain the information straight away instead of waiting on our target audience to fill out an online survey.

Overall, this information, which we will attempt to gather, will allow us to understand the profile of our target audience which in turn will help us with research which may need to be undertaken.