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From Customers and Consumers to Audiences

What do we mean by 'audiences' and why aren't we called 'Customer Strategies' or 'Consumer Strategies'?

Audience Strategies is built on the foundational belief that audiences should play a central role in shaping business strategies. We hold that audiences, more than mere customers or consumers, have the potential to significantly influence the trajectory of a business. In this context, let's explore our philosophy further by dissecting and analysing the key terms in question - customers, consumers, and audiences. Customers: A Narrow Focus Customers, in their traditional sense, are those who purchase goods or services from a particular business. We help a lot of businesses with customer analytics. But, while valuable, this category of people tends to be limited in scope and potential impact. This is because the term "customers" only considers those who have already purchased, thus ignoring those who are yet to engage but could potentially be very valuable to the business. Therefore, while customer-centricity remains a core business principle, we believe a broader focus can yield MUCH greater benefits. Consumers: Broad, Yet Transaction-Centric Consumers, on the other hand, encompass a larger pool of people who engage with an industry or category of goods or services. Despite this broader scope, the term "consumers" remains grounded in the concept of consumption or purchasing, which we believe is too transaction-centric. While recognizing and understanding consumers is important, the business should not lose sight of individuals who, even though they may not directly engage in purchasing, can significantly influence the brand's reach and reputation. Audiences: Moving Beyond Purchasing This brings us to the term "audiences", a term we have deliberately chosen for its unique connotations. An audience implies a group of individuals who may not necessarily have made a purchase but who may be interested, aware, and appreciative of a brand or its offerings. This term also embodies the idea of fandom, or of a non-transactional relationship, which is fundamental and well-understood in fields such as entertainment, music, and other creative industries which have been at the heart of our team's experiences. Yet, we believe it also has huge value in sectors where this concept is not traditionally emphasised. So we believe in defining people as audiences, engaging them in ways that go beyond mere transactions, and cultivating a sense of appreciation and affinity for the brand. Hence our name. When we help a brand set their audience strategy we typically start at the broadest level - that of an audience. Within that, we'll also profile consumers and customers within that. Each is helpful. But this broadest lens of audiences is the place to start if you're looking for growth. We're sure of it.




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