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Step 3: Understanding your residents and customers

Where do your target audiences reside? Do you know which the channels they use, and how they prefer to receive information?

As with any other communications planning activity, understanding your audience is critical – it's the essence of good marketing and communications.

Here's a ‘state of the nation' overview of digital and social media use in the UK to give some context to your planning:

How much media we consume in the UK*

  • People consume eight hours and 45 minutes media a day
  • The majority of those aged under 65 use social media at least weekly
  • 50 percent of time on social media is spent on a phone
  • Those aged four and above spend three hours and 36 minutes watching TV
  • Those who listen to the radio listen to an average of three hours and three minutes a day
  • 19 per cent of media is consumed while multi-tasking

(The UK Digital Day*)

An adult will consume the media for eight hours 45 minutes a day - 27 minutes more than sleeping. An adult will be ‘second screening' for two hours and seven minutes a day to consume extra media too. The digital activities broken down make interesting reading and give valuable insight to inform our communications plans:

  • Live TV 2 hours 55 minutes 
  • Live Radio 1 hour 54 minutes
  • Recorded TV 1 hour 12 minutes
  • Video games 1 hour 9 minutes
  • Paid on demand video 1 hour 2 minutes
  • Email 1 hour
  • Other websites or applications 55 minutes
  • Instant messaging 48 minutes
  • Social networking 45 minutes
  • Streamed music 44 minutes
  • Books (print and digital ) 44 minutes
  • Personal digital audio 39 minutes
  • DVD and Blu-ray 37 minutes
  • Newspapers (print and web) 31 minutes
  • Short online videos 29 minutes
  • Phone calls 27 minutes
  • CD and vinyl 26 minutes
  • Sports news and updates 25 minutes
  • On demand radio 24 minutes
  • Texting 21 minutes
  • Video calls 16 minutes
  • Other online news 14 minutes
  • Magazines (print or digital) 13 minutes
  • Online shopping 12 minutes
  • Photo or video messaging 9 minutes

(*Source – Ofcom, August 2016)

Reaching young people via social media

One of the many reasons to consider using social media as an engagement tool is because of the number of young people believed to use it, and who can traditionally be hard to reach. Some myths exist around this, though, so as always it's best to interrogate the data and map the landscape using hard data and again taking opinion out of the equation.

Here's the picture for UK adults aged 35 and under*

  • 63 per cent of the mobile audience aged 25-34 use WhatsApp
  • 65 per cent of Twitter users are aged under 34
  • 90 per cent of Instagram users are aged under 35
  • Only 21 per cent of LinkedIn users are under 35
  • 61 per cent of the mobile audience aged 25-34 use Snapchat

(*Source – Ofcom communications market report August 2016)