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Surveys and Audience Analysis Tools

Paper-based information gathering tool; wide range of questions; easy to score the results
Interviews: One-on-one questioning session; can show and ask about samples; can extract more information; more time consuming
Focus groups: Interview situation with multiple people; respondents build on each other's ideas
Market research: Analysis of broad groups or categories of consumers; track behavior patterns, choices, and preferences

Analyzing the Audience

Before writing anything, describe an audience by:
  1. Identifying audience characteristics,
  2. Assessing their objectives and needs,
  3. Planning for subgroups within the audience.

Conducting the Audience Analysis

Conduct either a formal (based on surveys and questionnaires) or an informal (based on discussions) analysis to create an audience profile.

Formal Audience Analysis

During formal analysis:
  1. Conduct surveys,
  2. Use structured interviews,
  3. Gather questionnaires.
Some organizations often do formal analyses as part of marketing planning.

Informal Audience Analysis

Gather information about the audience by talking with people who will read the final document. For example, when writing
  1. Product documentation, talk to people who use the product (or a similar product).
  2. An article for a periodical or journal, talk to people who read that publication. Especially talk to those who have published in that or similar periodicals.