Electronic Publishing, IS-290-2, SIMS
Dale Dougherty

Audience Assessment

How to identify, locate and reach groups of people who need your product or service?

Audience Analysis


Write one paragraph that describes you as an individual, what you do, what you value most.

Proprietary Advantage

What does a publisher own?

A preferred relationship with an audience.

"Technology isn't important in virtual communities. Members are." (Hagel & Armstrong, net.gain)

Understanding Your Audience

How many connections can you find to your target audience?

What sources of information exist that allow you to understand the audience or market, what products they use or what media they use.



Characteristics of Populations

Demographically Organized Audiences

Building Community: Minority Sites

"These founders discovered that Web publishing is different from traditional print media. Not only do Web audiences want different things, but their demographics are different. Web visitors, no matter what their cultural identity, are the affluent and educated audience of an advertisers' dreams. Making use of those demographics turns out to be the key to success." (9/28/98, Industry Standard)

Demographic Applications

Determining Buyers for a Product

"Demographic analysis identifies those population or household characteristics that most accurately differentiate potential customers from those not likely to buy. The second part of using demographics is finding those geographic areas with the highest concentrations of potential customers." (Miller, 1995)

Demographic Profiling of Audiences to Advertisers

From ThirdAge.com


List five demographic categories that can be used to identify you.



Understanding how values, lifestyles and attitudes influence behavior of groups of people.

"Knowing where your customers live, how old they are, or how much money they make is important, but it isn't enough. To anticipate their behavior relative to your client's products, you must look at what motivates your customers - their values, behaviors, and beliefs." (MarketMatch)

Psychographic Profile from ThirdAge.com

Psychographic Applications

Psychographic segmentation

Segment individuals into groups based on where they fall on a spectrum of possible attitudes.


"Plog (1974) identified three personality types falling along a bell curve, each of which is associated with certain travel patterns and kinds of destination. Psychocentrics focus on risk aversion and thus either do not travel at all, or restrict their travel to safe, familiar destinations. Allocentrics, in contrast, are confident and self-empowered, and tend to travel farther afield. Most of the population, however, is midcentric. (Weaver et al, 1995)"

Segment Characteristic Product
Psychocentric Reluctant to Travel Travel Videos
MidCentric Family-related Travel; goes to the same place Group packages; Condo; vacation homes
Allocentric Frequent trips to unique locations. Adventure travel


SRI's Values and Lifestyles Program


VALS Eight Consumer Segments

High to Low Resources

Resources refer to the full range of psychological, physical, demographic, and material means and capacities people have to draw upon. It encompasses education, income, self-confidence, health, eagerness to buy things, intelligence, and energy level. It is a continuum from minimal to abundant. Resources generally increase from adolescence through middle age but decrease with extreme age, depression, financial reverse, and physical or psychological impairment. (SRI, Vals Segment Profiles)


Write some questions that might determine how individuals feel about their health.


Communities of Interest

Also called Affinity Groups.

Reflect lifestyle, attitudes and choices.

Possible differentiation is that individual chooses to belong to the group.

What groups of people form around a set of choices? How important to them are those choices?

Examples: homeowner, bicycle rider, student, amateur photographer, horse rider, hiker, Mac user, guitar player, fitness fanatic; Civil War history buff.


List ten affinity groups that you belong to.

Virtual Communities

net.gain (Hagel, Armstrong, 1997) describes how successful e-commerce is a result of organizing online communities.

Indicators of Economic Potential of Online Communities

  1. Size of potential community
  2. Relative value of being on-line
  3. Value of being in a community
  4. Likely intensity of commerce
  5. Fractal depth (number of segments)


Rank the 10 groups you listed earlier in terms of their value to you; then in terms of the intensity of your involvement online.


iVillage.com -- Now positioned as the Women's Network

A collection of sites positioned as related channels for health, relationships, shopping, career, fitness & beauty. Sites include BetterHealth.com, ParentSoup.com.

"IVillage has survived layoffs, steady turnover of upper management and the evaporation of income that came from America Online back in the days when AOL paid its content providers. But iVillage is a prototypical Internet company for another reason: Despite the churn, it keeps getting funding, and lots of it. Last week, the company announced it had closed $32.5 million in fourth-round financing, which brings total funds raised over three years to about $60 million." (Industry Standard, May 1998)

Online Demographic Sources

Zip Code Segmentation CACI

Statistical Abstract of the US

Example: Education

American Demographics Magazine

Demographic Research

  1. What size is the potential audience?
  2. What growth trends are associated with it?
  3. What economic factors make the audience attractive?

What other questions might you answer?

Internet Demographics

If your product or service depends on the Internet, then your audience demographics are linked to the Internet's demographics.

9th GVU Survey: A self-selecting survey of 10,000 Internet users, organized by Georgia Tech.

Some of the results:

"The general demographics of the user population moved closer to the characteristics of the general population with a continued increase in the proportion of female users (38.7%), a decrease in the average income ($52,000 in the US), slightly lower level of educational attainment (50.1% college or more), and a diversification of occupations away from the domination of computer and education-related fields. This new diversity among WWW users is brought about by a group of new users (less than a year on the Net) that is mostly female (51.7%) and more likely to be under 20 or over 50 years old than in their middle years. (Executive Summary, 1998)

Graphs --

Internet User Psychographics



Questions About Internet Use


Market Research uses surveys and focus groups to collect more detailed information about users.

Web Review Survey

List of Online Tests

One-to-One Marketing

The One to One Future: Building Relationships One Customer at a Time, Rogers and Pepper (Doubleday, 1993) Their site is 1to1.com.

Essential idea is that mass marketing will be replaced by one-to-one marketing relationship where the company learns more about the customer and how to serve him/her better as an individual.

Word-of-mouth and referential selling as marketing strategies.

Customer Differentiation Matrix (under Tools section on site.)

Wired Article Martha Rogers;

Inc. Magazine Article1 : Article 2

Crossing the Chasm

Geoffrey A. Moore, 1991

Technology Adoption Life Cycle

Defines five psychographic groups in terms of how they respond to new technology. Maps as a bell curve.

Innovators Aggressive buy-in; usually technologists themselves
Early Adopters Independent decision-makers; positively oriented to buy.
Early Majority More practical; wait to see if technology seems successful.
Late Majority Relunctant to adopt but somewhat forced to by market or other influences.
Laggards Highly Resistant to change

Moore's point is that there is a chasm between the early adopters and the early majority. It is difficult for high tech products that were favored by Innovators and Early Adopters to succeed with the Early Majority. Different strategies are required.


Mainstream buyers require more and more references to make a buy decision. References may include publishers, other customers, etc.

Target Customer Characterization

Moore writes that "target markets" characterized by numbers are "impersonal, abstract things." He talks about developing "informed intuition" about the customers. He suggests that a team characterize each of the different kinds of customers and create scenarios in which each customer uses the product.

This is a formal process that helps a group make decisions based on these characterizations.

1. Personal Profile and Job Description: who is the person, what do they do for a living, what kind of organization do they work for, what do they value?

2. Resources: what resources does the person have available to them that is relevant to the product. Consider technical resources, but others as well.

3. A Day in the Life (Before): Describe the person's life at the moment when your product or service would make a difference.

4. Dilemma: State the problem that the person faces that motivates this person to buy the product.

5. A New Day in the Life (After): Describe how the product solves the problem and reinforces what the customer believes or values.

Moore, p. 97-9.


How close is the target audience for your project to you?

Students and the Internet

Internet in the Classroom (Industry Standard)

Primary and Secondary Audiences

Teachers and Parents Buy, Students Use