A hard nut to crack – Engaging with those hard to reach audiencesHolly Mudie • 22nd January
Time-and-time again we hear ‘our target audience is key’ to the way we communicate. However, saying this and actually acting upon it are two very different things. Here are a few tips to consider when engaging with those hard to reach audiences.
1) Focus Groups do not solve everything…
As demonstrated through our portfolio of CSR work, they’re a great way to gain insights into your target audience. However, you need to make sure they are done effectively and happen for a reason other than just ticking boxes.
- Who is attending and will their input be biased in any way?
Don’t only seek feedback from the immediate teams that surround you. If you are targeting teens or engaging with the elderly, make sure your concept is working from day one and get them involved. The earlier the better!
- What insights do I want to gain from this session?
The questions asked are key. Keep them open-ended, ask ‘how could this have been improved?’ not ‘do you like it?’ Make sure your session isn’t an ego-inflating exercise, think ‘how effective is this campaign?’ not ‘do you think this campaign is fabulous?’ This will mean you get the most out of your focus groups.
- Am I holding this at the right point in the process?
Focus groups are often conducted only at the final review stage but can be most powerful if factored in from the initial research and development phase – they should never be the afterthought!
2) Get your audience involved… as much as possible
By establishing a project team from day one that consists of both key internal stakeholders and your actual target audience you can overcome many obstacles. This makes your approach completely relevant to the people you really need to connect with while still ensuring it aligns with your client’s needs.
3) Understand the challenge of ensuring your message reaches your audience; you might need a special delivery!
You can have the most impressive, engaging and innovative communications – but if they don’t reach your audience, it’s a lost investment.
4) Keep coming back to your initial objectives…
It’s easy to get wrapped up in an exciting project, but it’s important to not let it cloud your judgement. Coming back to your objectives will help you make the correct decisions and working with a common purpose will keep your team grounded, ensuring you ask the right questions throughout the project.