When you look at the data for your community (or the community for your media product), you'll see the diversity. Renters are different than homeowners. Young people are different than older residents. Demographics show you fundamental differences about your audience.

Take it one step further. You want to know the behaviors, interests and concerns of people who are committed to that community. Serving up a media product for that group is a refined way of thinking that promises editorial and potential business success.

True insight about your audience comes from three lenses:

Lifestage: Distinct phases in life that are marked by differences in behavior, interests, attitudes and access to technology.

Media Use: Identifying the media your audiences use and when they are used.

Identity: The media your audience consume are a part of who they are and how others perceive them.

Taken from Understanding Audiences and Their Behavior, a self-directed course by Rachel Davis Mersey at Poynter NewsU.

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