Business Group Blog

Health Communications: Understanding Your Target Audience

Health Communications

Before designing a wellness promotion program, you should have a clear image of your target group. Who is the intended audience of the specific initiatives you’re planning on implementing? This will help you and the program developers feel connected to your audience as real people, not just as a group of employees with given demographic characteristics. Appreciate what a “typical day in the life” of your target audience is like. Understanding your target audience “personally” is a vital first step to effectively positioning a wellness program, its messages and activities. Having a deep understanding of your audience will provide the “emotional hook” upon which to build your wellness program brand/efforts.

One way to connect effectively with your target group is to develop an Audience Profile, a short (one- or two-page) summary of the target audience. Information is drawn from primary and secondary research, both quantitative and qualitative. The purpose of a profile is to create a living image of your target audience to guide communication and marketing decisions throughout the life of the program. Elements of an audience profile include:

  • Demographic factors
  • Behaviors
  • Beliefs
  • Psychographic factors
  • Media and information habits
Source: Population Services International, The DELTA Social Marketing Course


Audience profiles also incorporate a summary narrative paragraph that captures in a few sentences the “essence” of your target group.


For additional details, see the Health Communications series, including the Action in Brief: Understanding Your Target Audience piece for members of the Global Business Group on Health.