Guide to desk researching audiences and visitor data

Guide to desk researching audiences and visitor data

By Leo Sharrock


February 2015: New guidance on Data Protection is coming soon and information here will be updated as soon as possible This guide to desk research will help you to learn about the likes, attitudes, behaviours and attendance habits of your audience, where they come from, and how to target the people most likely to attend.

If you want to persuade someone to do something (like attending an event at an arts organisation), the more you know about them the better your chances of success. You can make sure, for example, that you tell them about something that interests them, or that you use their favoured means of communication (do you need to phone them rather than sending them more spam?), or even that you don’t antagonise them by telling them about something that they’re definitely not interested in, in a way which is guaranteed to upset them (are you just adding to their ‘junk mail’?).

Successful marketing communications depend on your ability to understand your customers in order to be able to respond appropriately to their wants and needs.

This guide offers an overview of some of the most useful, readily available secondary sources of information on audiences that will help you towards this understanding. Rather than explaining everything in detail, you’ll get a taste of what’s on offer and be pointed towards where this information can be accessed. The guide will also explore how these sources might provide more information on your audiences to support your business or marketing planning.

This guide answers the following questions:

  • How can I learn more about the attendance habits of my audiences?
  • How can I find out what sort of people my audiences are so that I can target more people like them?
  • How can I find out where my audiences are coming from?
  • How can I find out about the population of my catchment area?
  • How can I find out where to target people most likely to attend arts events?
Resource type: Guide/tools | Published: 2012