• Quantitative research is one of two main types of research where the data produced is
always numerical and if it is is not analyzed using statistical methods it is not
quantitative research. This type of research should be used when you want to know
how many or how often about a certain topic. The idea of quantitative research is to
profile a target audience by finding out which topic is voted the most in focus groups,
what is the most popular answers in questionnaires etc. There are many advantages to
quantitative research but also a fair few drawbacks to go with it. A major pro to
quantitative research is that you can collect results at a fast speed. You could write own
a 10 question questionnaire and you could have results back in 5 minutes off multiple
people. On the other hand it would take serious time to read through multiple articles
and websites to collect data. You can also analyze this data fairly quickly and create a
target audience. This type of research is reliable and this repeatable information that
quantitative surveys can provide, will give you confidence when doing this again in the
future. There are also a few cons with this type of research. Firstly there is a limited
ability to explore answers because of the fact you will most probably only have up to 4
choices on a question and also people who respond to these questions may give
answers that don’t apply to the audience as a whole which could then lead to a
potential bias in the study.
• Quantitative research is essentially about finding out what people think and feel
about a certain topic and provide results that are extremely detailed and can offer
a variety of ideas and concepts from a variety of different people. To conduct a
typical qualitative research you will find a focus group which is basically a small
select group of people who have very similar characteristics. An alternative is to
use 1 on 1s with in depth interviews to get a specific person’s thoughts on a topic
and you would do this multiple times to create a variety of answers and opinions.
There are many advantages and drawbacks of this type of research. In terms of
pros it allows you to explore in more depth and detail than other types of market
research due to focus groups and in-depth interviews. Another advantage is that it
is very flexible in terms of locating people and timing as you don’t need to
interview a large number of people at one given time. On the flip side to this and a
con of this type of research is that you can’t add up how many of your audience
answer one way or another because the answers are not generalized, which also
means you can’t really broaden audience beyond your small select group of
people you had to start with.
What is an audience?
• An audience is essentially an individual or a group of people who read or take in a
piece of media text. Examples of this are television viewers, radio listeners and
magazine readers. If audiences didn’t exist there would be no such thing as media.
This is because businesses create and produce media to make profit and therefore
rely on their audience to do this. Digital technology however has led to an
uncertainty over how we define an audience because people think a large group of
people reading the same text at the same time is outdated and audiences are now
fragmented because of this. An example of a fragmented audience would be in
newspapers and magazines as some people will now just solely view the online
version instead of the standard print you can find in newsagents. Obviously the
media company is trying to generate a bigger audience but measuring a
fragmented audience can be tricky and confusing. There are also different types of
audience. First of all there is mass media which is often termed as broadcast
audience. This is essentially people who consume mainstream or popular texts
Why is an audience important?
• There are many reasons as to why it is important to understand your target
audience. First of all it’s the key to effectiveness as unfortunately its not enough to
just know your target audience. It is all about building a relationship that is strong,
loyal and long lasting. By doing this you can understand them as real people ad get
to know them better so they can also improve your product by giving you advice
and constructive criticism. For example in the film industry is it important that you
recognize your target audience early in pre-production so that you have a clear
idea and plan what genre of movie you want to produce. If there is a lingering
doubt over what film you are going to produce, it is most likely the final outcome
will be nothing like you want it to be.
• Geodemographics is essentially classifying people by their neighborhood according
to the characteristics of that area. This is important for media producers when
they are producing a product for a regional audience. Like in any target audience,
it is vitally important that the producers know who their product is aimed at.
Geodemographics can certainly help. An example of this would be if an area has
been classified as a bunch of people who have low income due to a tedious job
and have had bad education will have different products targeted at them then a
high class area. The time of the day that shows are broadcasted will also be
affected by this as people with a full time job for example won’t be back home
until late in the evening. Therefore show that are targeted at non-working class
people can afford to put their show in the day, where as higher class programmes
are forced to put their shows on late at night to maximize their viewing potential.
• Psychographics is basically where the scale uses categories of personalities and
puts people into categories regarding and lifestyle. The psychographics table is set
up as resigned, who are the people who seek survival and are very interested in
the past and traditions. Strugglers seek escape and not not have very many skills in
terms of what they are god at. Mainstreamers look for security and to be domestic
and sentimental for money brands including family brands. Aspirers seek status in
terms of what they own and tend to be very materialistic. Succeeders are very
confident people in terms of their work business and social life who seek control
and have strong goals. Explorers have plenty of energy and want to try new things
all the time and finally reformers seek enlightenment in terms of personal growth
• For a long time now the representation of the female has been a major concern.
Research proves that there are far fewer females than males in pretty much every
form of mainstream media and the ones that do appear are portrayed in very
stereotypical ways. From every form of media from advertising to newspaper and
magazines, women are usually found in a home carrying out chores such as
cooking and cleaning and are also found in depressing adverts where they can’t
protect themselves. This however doesn’t mean that men are not stereotyped.
Men are usually found in aggression and violence adverts and are often associated
with independence. Even though the portrayal of the men and women is shocking,
when it comes to children it is far worse. For example adverts aimed at girls focus
on dolls, jewellery etc. On the other hand sports and cars are used in adverts for
boys. This constant reinforcement of polarized gender messages has
fundamentally anti social effects.
• Age is another factor in picking a target audience. For example if you are trying to
promote a rent a car company, you are not going to aim it at people 16 and under
because they are under age to drive an authorized vehicle. Therefore they are
going to aim this at 17+ for people who are legal and have the right to drive.
Whether they can or not is a different matter totally. On the flip side to this it is
highly unlikely that a person aged 10+ are going to interested in looking at a Lego
product. It is vital that you understand clearly who you are aiming your product at,
as it will help forecast which demographic has the keenest interest in your industry
and make your product more successful in the future.
• However some media companies won’t target their brand at a specific audience
and could just generalize from say 5+. Age isn't a critical demographic for certain
products but most of the time it is most certainly vital to understand what your
brand is targeted at.
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