by Mary Frances
When I was in my first call (feels like forever ago), someone asked me about my target audience. The question seemed absurd to me at the time. Wasn’t it obvious that we would take anyone who came through our doors? Why would we focus on one particular part of the population to the exclusion of others? Wasn’t everyone in need of the good news of the Gospel? How little I knew back then! Understanding your target audience is, indeed, key to reaching people. It’s not surprising, for instance, that young people were not impressed by presidential candidate Joe Biden’s bus with the word “Malarkey” scrawled across the side. Did they even know what malarkey meant? And older people were less attracted to the technology emphasis repeated over and over again by once candidate Andrew Yang. But Biden was looking to reach older people and Yang was looking to reach younger people, so their approaches were inherently different. Who are you trying to reach and how will you know where to find them?
The best tool I have found for identifying your target population is the Neighborhood Missional Intelligence Report (NMIR) from FaithX. It’s easy to read and inexpensive. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a data subscription. This 2-page report has over 40 data points and it comes in a pdf or dynamic html version, the latter of which offers clickable data behind the data. It will also provide data for three different drive or walking times such as 5, 10 or 15 minutes, or for a custom distance or time, therefore tripling the amount of data you receive.[Read more…]