Changing demographics of your target audience

In the past few weeks, its my mom telling us about all the new series or movies launched across various OTT platforms. And she is the one talking to me about what’s trending in Hindi and Punjabi content – video and text, both.

When I questioned about her sources, because I know she doesn’t google enough or watch news on TV, she promptly quoted Whatsapp for OTT entertainment. And her other content came from Facebook! I was stunned that my mum was the amazing target audience for these platforms, without realizing, she was actively consuming all of this. Mind you, Haseen Dilruba on Netflix, Sherni and Family Man on Amazon – she made us view these with her on Sundays! And all of this she heard from her friends on Whatsapp or read some interesting news piece promoted on Facebook. Beating my dad hands down, because he is the one reading and watching news, all day long!

You might wonder, why am I going on and on about being surprised? I mean, it’s the digital era, and we are talking about reaching the next billion users, then why should the consumption pattern of my 65-year old mom make it to an article? Because, as a communicator, I’m stunned on how and where she is consuming her content. Regional content – Hindi and Punjabi – are huge for her. So are the videos that she hunts on YouTube, related to spiritual, cooking or just shopping on IKEA (yes, she looks up that too!). With a smartphone in her hand, my mom is staying updated and probably consuming content that the creators were not aware of, or maybe I am ignorant about it. What’s interesting is that she continues to influence our choices on what to view – I mean we finished the whole series on Sony Liv, called – Undekhi.

Yeah, so I’m kicked that the homemakers are strong decision-makers even in the digital era. Despite my dad drowning in newspapers every day, all mornings and consuming everything across all news channels, it’s mum who is steering our thoughts on entertainment, shopping and food!

As communicators, what’s important is for us to stay tuned on this ever-evolving pulse and be immensely aware of how our audiences are changing. I mean, seems like the age-group on Facebook is going through a drastic change (me aint saying no more).

Now let’s move on to another age-group. This one is my soon-to-be 8 years old niece, who consumes her video content on YouTube, by giving audio commands! Yes, you read that right. She is constantly telling Google / Alexa on what to play for her. She is very well capable to write (gorgeous handwriting too) or type on a smart tv, but that’s boring for her. I mean she can operate traditional TV-sets with cable set-box as well – simply memorizes the channels she wants to watch – like peppa pig on Nick (I hope I got that correct). No one had to teach her on how should she use a smart TV or an I-pad, she just progressed from the smart phones, seen around.

Between these two-age groups, I was stunned to see how Regional, Voice and Video made a huge presence. These are the crucial pillars for brands intending to deep-dive into the digital conversation.

So, when planning a communication campaigns, platforms and tools are important, no doubt about that. And target audience too, obviously. But maybe it’s time to think how that audience is consuming the data on the platform you expect them to.

We would have often noticed auto rickshaw drivers and cab drivers consume cricket on apps (could be YouTube or another one) just as we consumed French open on Hotstar! And then I had heard the house-helps often talk about Big Boss, which they consumed through an app or video platform on their phone.

Yes, yes, it goes back to basics – next generation of digital consumers are all on the handsets. But we need to keep learning and understanding how that specific target audience is consuming data – which could have been made for them, or maybe not – and are innovative in how and where they are consuming all of it.

No more can communication campaigns depend on the simple bucket of – target audiences – one needs to delve deeper and evaluate the changing habits that influence this consumption. This might seem ordinary, but really its not. There is a lot going on in this world of “content shock”, so observe and get as many insights as possible.

Time to pick some data-sheets? #justsaying #keeplearning

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Pooja Trehan
Pooja Trehan, AVP, Communications & Public Policy.

Bringing up a 7 year-old boy and building a career in Communications have possibly been the key driving forces in my life! Obviously, apart from the 6am runs and eternal love for black coffee. The reality of 2020 hit this industry with the worst storm, but gave me a silver lining through awards & recognition in the 40Under40 category for PR and Corporate communication professionals (three of them in one year!). My goal is to keep - Communications - as the big picture, whilst being the wanderlust traveller who is reading all the time!

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