I refuse to call them audience.
'Audience' suggests people sitting and waiting for our stuff.
It suggests arrogance, that we don't need to impress them.
We just need to fire things at them.
When we need to get noticed and earn space in their heads.
Now, nearly every strategy presentation should have some observations about your target customer.
Planning has evolved into all sorts of stuff, but at it's heart, it's our job to make sure the work does the right job with the right people.
That means understanding what we need them to think/feel/do in the first place.
But it also means a deep understanding of their lives. Not just some dry data on TGI -questionable personality traits or motivations and the like.
They're more likely to notice and maybe feel something about brand communication if it has some relation to their lives.
What they care about, what keeps them awake at night. What suprises them, what excites them.
I have one golden rule that helps me do things quicker, get a true perspective and, ultimately, help doing stuff that works.
Find something to admire in your audience.
From defining a brand new customer group for the brand, to a specific quarterly comms brief, you'll get to something strategically useful quicker if you're able to edit out the extraneous rubbish in service of something that makes you admire them.
Something that makes you care.
Because great brands talk about what they love and that should include what they love about their customers.
But mostly because too many people in this business don't know their customers well enough and, worse, in some cases are quite sneery about them.
They do work for themselves, not the customers.
That won't be enjoyable, want capture the imagination. Won't get talked about.
More than the 'voice of the consumer' I think we need to be the champion of the customer.
One way at looking at this work is admiring the work ethic of potential Chrysler customers and America at large..
This largely came from admiring the growing independence of modern UK women.
This came from the admiring the determination of the young Scottish people in adversity..
While this admired the unquenchable hope and enthusiasm of Scottish sports supporters no matter.
Even publicly thanking them...
You get the picture I hope.