Audience analysis for corporate communications

By Carla Lynn
September 11, 2020
4 min read
Blog
Communications
Everything you need to know about audience analysis

In marketing, audience analysis is a well-established practice. Every marketer knows that the key to a successful campaign is speaking to the right audience at the right time with the right information.   

When it comes to an internal audience, does this focus on audience segmentation still apply? After all, everyone is in the same company and therefore falls in the same group, right?  

Wrong.   

Just as you send relevant information to your external audience based on their persona or grouping, the same attention needs to be paid to your internal communications to see increased responses and engagement.  

Get your free audience segmentation template here!  

Let’s start with everything you need to know to conduct an audience analysis …

Audience analysis definition  

Audience analysis definition

What is audience analysis?  

An audience analysis groups people together who have similar priorities, values, and interests. The most common groupings are demographic, attitudinal, or environmental. A more in-depth analysis takes place within these groupings to identify each group’s communication wants, needs, strengths, and weaknesses.  

You, the communicator, can then tailor your message to each group, and thereby increase engagement and knowledge by sharing information at the appropriate level.  

Why is audience analysis important?  

Personalization has been defined as a critical marketing trend for a couple of years now. People are expecting a personalized approach when it comes to communications, and it’s a trend that’s only going to increase.  

Once you realize that your colleagues, employees, and internal audience are also those same people with an expectation of a personalized approach, you’ll see an audience analysis is essential.  

Yes, this means the end of the “all-staff” email.  

Audience analysis example  

When working with a large audience, this is often a much simpler task. Whether your organization has 300 or 30 employees, start analyzing at a departmental level. Speak to managers and employees and listen to their needs and frustrations regarding consuming company information. 

Audience analysis example

From a basic analysis based on department or job role, you’ll then be in a position to take the research to the next level by behavior or psychographic profile. Who shares similar values, levels of engagement, or communication preferences?   

Depending on your company size and needs, it may not be necessary to segment your audience so in-depth. However, that does not mean you shouldn’t keep analyzing your audience. The more you know about people, how they choose to interact with information, and the reasons behind that, the more you’ll be able to tailor content and delivery to suit those needs.   

Once you step into the world of audience analysis and segmentation, the “all-staff” email becomes a far-distant memory, and your communication efforts will be able to take on a life of its own.  

Audience analysis next steps  

Once you’ve completed your audience analysis and have defined a plan that dictates when and how you’ll be speaking to each group, the real work starts.   

1. Establish an employer brand  

As the old saying goes, it’s not about what you say but how you say it. Grow your employer brand by paying attention to the tone of voice of your communications.  

Download your free tone of voice worksheet here.  

2. Conduct a channel audit  

You surely have preferred channels for sending workplace messages, but have you taken the time to look at all the different ways information flows through the organization? You might even discover opportunities to reach employees more effectively via new platforms!  

Download your free channel audit tool here.  

3. Set up the right metrics and track your success  

What’s the point of investing time to segment your audience, create a channel audit, and define your employer brand if you do not measure your success? Set up the right metrics from the start so that you can see what works (and what doesn’t) and prove your value.  

Download your free internal communications metrics worksheet here.   

Extra reading:  

Internal communications best practices for effective communication in the workplace
By Carla Lynn

Carla Lynn is the resident content strategist at IC Thrive. Coming from a background in journalism before moving over to communications, she is passionate about stringing words and phrases together in clever ways. Still fairly new to internal communication, Carla has taken a research-first approach to understanding the fascinating and complex world of internal marketing.

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