Stop imagining and check out the Rotterdam Festival's 2011 report on five years of trends in audience data and related audience development efforts. They didn't do anything shocking or groundbreaking, but what they did, they did very well:
- They identified the unique characteristics of Rotterdam citizens.
- They created psychographic profiles of eight target types of cultural consumer in Rotterdam, based on existing European market segmentation research.
- They interviewed and learned more about people representing these eight types. They identified the types' distinct interests and concerns, aspirations, media usage, and barriers to participation.
- They used clear, evocative language (even in translation!) to convey their ideas.
While their approach is not one I have used, I learned a lot from it. I recommend checking out the short-form report [pdf] and considering how the work in Rotterdam might inspire or support your own work on audience identification, understanding, and development. Hats off to Johan Moerman and the crew for making and sharing this work.