Friday, June 1, 2012

Targets Within Targets

We know that all y’all who are experienced PSYOPers know that you have to do a thorough target analysis for each major segment of the target audience. Sometimes we tend to take a more simplistic view to our detriment. 

By way of analogy, today’s post starts with some comments about a particular NGO in California.
As a Public Affairs Officer with the Red Cross I’m keenly aware of the demographics of the area we serve. A very significant portion of our population are not native English speakers, and in fact a sizable chunk of the population, often those at greatest risk, do not speak English at all. Consequently we have to understand how the different ethnic groups avail themselves of the media to optimize our media employment.

Neilsenwire published an article last March “Who Watches What (and HowMuch)? US TV Trends by Ethnicity ( The article cited two key conclusions: “In November 2010, African-Americans used their TVs an average of 7 hours 12 minutes each day–far above the total U.S. average of 5 hours 11 minutes. Asians used their TVs the least, just 3 hours and 14 minutes on average.” The article also addressed DVR usage as well. Cleary important information for planners.

While it may be tempting to lump all speakers of a particular language in the same bucket, this is not necessarily the right thing to do. A poll by the Associated Press and Univision ( showed that even though someone speaks English, they are also likely to listen to Spanish language television.

Of course some other nuances will creep in to the analysis as well. For example if the target is comparatively well off and educated, are the highly reliant on the Internet or their smart phone so that these media need to be considered an essential part of the campaign? 

If the target is rural or low tech are there gathering places where posters, graffiti, social events, or other opportunities for messaging exist?

This kind of complex and nuanced analysis is part of what makes PSYOP/MISO such a great career field.

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