[thelist] Client doesn't know his audience

Janet Green JGreen at desmoinesmetro.com
Tue Aug 5 15:42:19 CDT 2003

>>> But it slightly misses the point. That's identifying different audiences. But it doesn't profile
any one of them. <<<

Fair enough, sorry! I do think that once you've really narrowed down your audience, though, you'll be able to out on the web and do searches for things like "consumer behavior," "web usage trends," etc. and other relevant marketing phrases to what that audience is doing and responding to on the web. I guess I'd have to actually do some searches to have a really useful answer here.

>>>How do you choose the people you want to test your site if you don't have a profile of the audience? ... we still don't know whether we want the site to be pink or blue, whether we need Flash or not (not, obviously (joke) <ducks>). I guess I'm talking about graphic design, look/feel kinda issues.<<<

Regarding user testing, it's quite possible that once you get the client talking about his customer, you'll be able to narrow them down pretty tightly. They may be 50+ blue collar males, who all happen to be repair techs for the client's company and who need regular access to their mechanical spec sheets -- that means, you know who they are and what they're looking for online, and you can then get some of them together in a room and show them the site to see what they like/dislike. 

There must be resources out there on the web - color psychology, etc. - that tell us what palettes to *start with* (for example, probably NOT hot pink/bright orange for the 50+ male audience...)  - also look at your client's company colors, look at other sites and marketing pieces aimed at the same audience... I would say do some research along those lines then start with something and gauge the reaction of your test group.  

Sometimes it IS enough to just take some guesses - especially if you are personally anywhere NEAR the demographic yourself. But this is where testing really comes in handy, because if someone in your target group says that color scheme really turns them off, you can change it pronto. But - it never hurts to have some research to back it all up. Where to find the research? It's gotta be out there - the pubs I mentioned in my other post (American Demographics, Consumer Insight, etc.), Googling for marketing/consumer phrases, etc. - now I'm going in circles, and I'm curious so I'm headed over to Google. 


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