Benefits of audience research for UCC

A Story of Audience Research Success

A lot of universities struggle with reaching the right people. Like UCC, they have courses onto which they need to recruit students. International students are an important target audience. And people from China an important audience within the international market. Getting a university's message to a population with which the university's recruiters may be unfamiliar can be a challenge. Knowing what interests such a vast group of people seems impossible. 

With effective audience research, our partners Picklejar communications, discovered when working for a European higher ed organisation, that Chinese students who were likely to go study in this European country were also much more interested in social and LGBT+ issues. By knowing this, the university in question was then able to focus in on a niche audience, with targetted advertising during Pride week for instance, knowing that it would get much more traction. They were able to forego the "scattergun" approach that had defined their approach until then for a much more targetted approach that led to better recruitment. 

Helps you get your job done

Whether it is recruiting students or attracting research partners and funding, we all need to communicate with our audiences so that they will engage with us here in UCC in some way. We all have our own goals and targets for what we want to achieve. Knowing more about your audience helps you to reach those goals and targets because: 

  • If we know who we are talking to, we know what matters to them and therefore can show them how what we offer helps them achieve their goals. 
  • If we know who we are talking to, we know what channels and spaces they use to communicate and can therefore make sure our messages go to the right place. 

If your messages go to the right people in the right place at the right time, you're more likely to have meaningful engagement. Meaningful engagement is an important step on the way to convincing a student to come to study at UCC or to convince a potential research partner to work with UCC. 

Allow us to be more effective

Knowing who our audiences are, allows us to know what communications are most appropriate. So no more scatter gun approach to creating content. By knowing our audiences, we will know what content is the right content to create to strike a chord with our preferred audience. We can be more strategic and surgical and move away from "one-size-ends-up-fitting-none." This means we can be realistic in our approaches, and know what resources we need in advance of starting to create our content.

How you can help

In order to create effective content, we need to know a lot about the people who the content is for. As the people with goals and targets, you have some sense of who it is you want to talk to and what you want to say to them. But there are also areas that we may not fully understand. That is why the first step in the audience research initiative is to find out what you know and what you don't know about your audiences. We will do that through workshops at which you, the audience facing members of the UCC community, will have an opportunity to help us understand what you know and what you don't know. You can help us if you can:

Office of Marketing and Communications

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East Wing, Main Quadrangle, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland