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Types of Audience Analysis Methods

1) Interview, 2) Focus Groups, 3) Surveys

A focus group is a form of qualitative research in which a group of people are asked about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes towards a product, service, advertisement, or idea. Questions are asked in an interactive group setting where participants are free to talk with other group members.

Market Research

Market research is any organized effort to gather information about target markets or customers. It is a very important component of business strategy and the term is commonly interchanged with marketing research; Marketing research is concerned specifically about marketing processes, while market research is concerned specifically with markets.
Market research is a key factor in maintaining competitiveness over competitors and provides important information to identify and analyze the market need, market size and competition. Market-research techniques encompass both qualitative techniques such as
  1. focus groups,
  2. in-depth interviews, and
  3. quantitative techniques such as
  4. customer surveys, and analysis of secondary data.
Market research is the systematic gathering and interpretation of information about individuals or organizations using statistical and analytical methods and techniques of the applied social sciences to gain insight or support decision making.

Interviews: The creative team can participate in interviews of client representatives, key customers, target audience members, and subject matter experts. During an interview, it is helpful to be able to show samples of images or text in order to find out how interviewees react to certain sign and metaphors, This is also a good way to validate proposed signs and metaphors, Face to face interviews with end users, client representatives and others can be repeated throughout the process as needed to perfect the signs and metaphors.

Focus groups are discussion groups that focus on a specific topic. Focus groups are valuable supplements to interviews because in a group, people build on each other's ideas. A key success factor in focus groups is creating an environment where people feel comfortable sharing ideas with each other. As in interviews, it is valuable to provide participants with a chance to respond to specific samples of signs and metaphors.

Surveys are paper-based or online information-gathering tools. They can incorporate a wide range of question types. Surveys are particularly useful for obtaining information from users or client representatives who are not immediately available for interviews or focus groups. E-mail surveys or surveys done with online tools can reach a large number of people with minimal interruption to their schedule.

Market Research: There are many consulting firms that perform market analysis focused on audience. They may use techniques described above, but the will also have access to results of prior studies that have synthesized data on consumer patterns on a wider scale. As with any profession, their experience should lead them to be more effective. They will be skillful in tailoring a study to a particular project, and more adept at interpreting the results.