Know Who You’re Talking To: Audience Profile Comparison

When planning for your next fiscal year or campaign, are you shifting more dollars into digital media? If so, is your media team searching out sites/blogs/networks where your target audience is convening online OR are you replicating your print buy to online? Depending on your goals/objectives, either strategy could work for you. But, before you replicate your current print buy you’ll want to see an audience comparison. Sometimes there is an assumption that the audience demographics of readers of print publications translates to the same audience who view the content online or on mobile devices. This isn’t always the case. For instance, readers of the print edition of The New York Times and consumers of the same publication’s online content are roughly the same age (median age is 49) with the male/female split practically even, but online readers take home approximately $20,000 less per year and are not as educated (56% College+ VS 65%) as their print counterparts.

Another example is The Wall Street Journal. This publication has multiple properties online, but the one most closely resembling the print publication is If you are trying to reach an audience that is male, has an average House Hold Income (HHI) of $200,000 or greater, and is highly educated (meaning the majority of readers have college or post college education) then you would likely place print insertions within The Wall Street Journal. Yet if you were to replicate the current print buy to online, you would be reaching an audience that is more evenly split male/female, has a HHI of under $100,000 (68%), and has either a college or post-college education. Thus, a print buy and an online buy would be reaching two different audiences.

audience comparison wsj print versus online

The content delivered by publications remains relatively the same across print and online. It’s the audience consuming the content that may differ from one medium to another. Does your media team give print VS online comparisons when planning or making recommendations?