[thelist] Client doesn't know his audience

john at johnallsopp.co.uk john at johnallsopp.co.uk
Tue Aug 5 13:15:00 CDT 2003

> john at johnallsopp.co.uk <mailto:john at johnallsopp.co.uk>
>     on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 8:49 AM said:
>> What happens when you ask a client about his/her audience for their
>> website and they say "I dunno, everybody"?
> What business is this client in? Maybe some people on thelist have had
> experience in the same industry.

Well, it was more of a general question tbh, but antiques is one, and
new kitchens is another. It seems quite common to have only a vague idea
of the market we're trying to reach.

I guess the main issue from this lists' point of view is .. are we
supposed to accept the client's vague idea, or are we supposed to do
something about it. Because that would appear to be outside our normal
remit and probably something not many of us are skilled in. I reckon I'm
OK on that score because I've had ten years in marketing. But then, here
I am wondering what, actually, I could do.

I mean, if I wanted to profile the industry I'd personally want to go to
the Chartered Institute of Marketing library (UK), but that's a day's
work and costs money to access too. But that seems wildly outside the
scope of doing a website.

And then there's the other issue. What happens when you decide that your
audience is 55 year old blue collar males? How do you translate that
into behavioural expectations for your website. Do we just use our own
imagination and prejudices? Do we trawl through academic research? Where
are the resources for this stuff?

So, even if we can get ourselves a profile and get the client to accept
the need for us to do that, it's wasted money if we can't then translate
that into user/design requirements.


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