1. How media producers define their target audience
Quantitative research and Qualitative Research
Qualitative research is primarily concerned with collecting data from a comparatively small group of
respondents in order to gain in depth responses and masses of written data used in profiling. There
are three main ways in which this is achieved an example of which is in depth interviews usually
lasting anywhere between 30 minutes and one hour and are loosely structured but results yield
statistically speaking a greater amount of specified data than and other sampling methods currently
employed. However such a method is incredibly time consuming especially if the marketing firm is
attempting to employ it on a large scale (Which is highly unlikely). Quantitive research as an
application of data gathering and profiling typically involves the construction of questionnaires,
scales and graphs etc., these are then intern used to develop marketing strategies by the firm
concerned. Technically speaking quantitive research has been defined as having five key steps in its
production these are defining the problem, research design, data collection, data analysis and report
writing and presentation. However this type of sampling method does have several key errors in
both implementation and execution such as the sample size being too small, the sample size not
being representative of the target area and respondent selection errors all of which greatly
contribute to unreliable and inaccurate data.
Socio economic groupings are broken down into six sections divided alphabetically from A to E.
Band A consist of the Highers earning and academically achieving members of the public. Within this
band you will find higher management and executive officials, doctors and other “professionals”.
Band B encompasses such careers as middle management, teachers, creative media specialists (e.g.
Graphic designers). Band C is dived numerically into two separate distinct categories numbered 1
and 2. C1 is includes occupations ranging from office supervisors and junior managers to nurses and
clerical staff (White Collar). C2 is built upon the foundations of semi manual skilled workers,
plumbers and Builders (Blue Collar). Band is the second from lowest socio economic grouping within
this band you will find all manner of semi-skilled and unskilled manual workers. The bottom band E
is comprised of those who otherwise cannot or don’t not financially support themselves, these
include the unemployed, students, pensioners and casual workers. However the BBC has recently
published an article stating that there may in fact be a seventh band within the socio economic
groups though this may be subject to debate. This is a fairly efficient way of breaking down and
differentiating between society’s classes, however the largest pitfall of this system relies on the
bands sharing similar interests in programming at products this is not always the case.
Psychographicsare used to segment a market and classifying potential customers by their integral
values and social attitudes. There are multiple ways of executing this method.
Psychographics can be spilt in to four main categories.
Succeeders: These are people who are successful self-affirmed and confident and have little to need
to purchase aspirational products and instead formulate their own ideas and opinions on the value
of the products.
Reformers: these tend to be individuals who are creative, caring, altruistic and are most commonly
non conscious of brands and chain marketing.
Aspirers: put plain and simple these are self motivated people who possess a can do attitude to
persevere and just “get on”.
Mainstreamers: these form the largest portion of psychographics. These are high street and brand
conformists who are willing to pay large amounts in order to acquire “safe” recognisable products
with little or no thought to independent retail.
Below are three other examples of categories that can be incorporated into psychographics.
Strivers: These are status and social standing oriented individuals whose primary desires consist of
money, approval and higher social status. These are the obvious buyers of aspirationally marketed
Explorers: They are the purchasers who seek novelty or unique goods and services. They are also
most likely in the early stages to adopt entirely new ranges of products.
Constrained: they are unfortunately the financially strained or poorer of the consumer market.
Whilst this is an effective way of defining the key demographic it provides very little in the way of
numerical and geographical data making it difficult to accurately target specific areas where clusters
of these categories may or may not exist.
Typically geodemography classifies an overall population or group of people into a number of types
using a combination of various personal attributes such as the average household income,
occupation, age of head of household, number of cars owned life-stage and number of dependent
children. When observing gedodemography the value of a product generally speaking shows a direct
correlation to the individual’s affluence and geodemograhical rating and works very well in
cooperation with psychographics. For example a Emporio Armani jacket retailing at £430 would
suggest that the individual has higher than average annual income resulting in this disposable
income, geodeomgraphical profiling would suggest that the individual owns a 2-3 bedroom property
in a central city location and is aged between 27/8-34 with an annual salary of 50-55k upwards.
Furthermore linking this in with Socio economic grouping they are likely to be found in bad A.
However geodemograhy as a practice has drawn many critical and valid points such as it is far too
intrusive and that indivuals are not sufficiently similar enough to one another to be grouped.
Demographics are a form of data used in a broad range of application but chiefly in process such as
polling and marketing. Demographics are exceptionally broad and encompass several different
factors a few examples are as follows gender, age, ethnicity, languages spoken, disabilities, home
ownership, employment status and location. Marketing executives will combine several of the
variable factors to create a “demographic profile” for example a male gender upper class 55-75
university educated retiree. Typically when devising a demographic market researcher will initially
attempt to determine two factors these are what subgroups exist? And to define the key
characteristics and profile the members of said segment. As is true of many form of profiling the
greatest down fall of demographical profiling it that it relies almost entirely on generalisations and
that not all individuals will conform to the conclusions made, largely meaning that they can only
offer limited insight.
Size (e.g Mainstream, alternative, niche)
Mainstream is defined as the common thought of majority concerned, put simply if the public
approve then the product concerned is instantly considered mainstream. Within marketing this
particular trail of thought leads to advertisements which are almost sretypical and recognisable for
example when a department which to market a new line of clothing or female beauty products they
will take a recognisable female icon and parade her in said apparel. Alternative form the basis of an
advert opposite to mainstream taking a more radical approach that will eventually become
mainstream once it has become universally adopted by the public. Niche is designed to target a
minority market focusing on obscure or less popular or well-advertised themes this could be
anything from gentlemen’s clubs to operas. The disadvantages of these profiling methods are that
no single size encompasses all mentioned public interests.