How to use existing knowledge?

use_existing_research.jpgIn some cases, you don't have to "produce" new knowledge about the target group, because the knowledge you need already exists - you just have to drag it out. You can do this by either reviewing easily available written documents about the target group or interviewing your colleagues or other experts about the target group.

What you need to do: 

Review easily available written documents about the target group:

  • Statistics (demographics, socio-economic data, attitude surveys, etc.)
  • Web sites, Internet discussion forums
  • Brochures, annual reports
  • Previous research (national and local studies, see also our Case Studies and CHANGING BEHAVIOUR reports)

Interview experts:

  • If you know colleagues within your organization or outside it with experience with this target group, ask them the questions in the Tool/Checklist What do you know about your target group? If possible, ask them also how and why they know the answers to your questions.
When does it work?: 
  • It's a good idea to gather some background information about the target group before you meet them eye-to-eye.
  • It's rather easy to do, because you don't have set appointments etc. with the target group.
What do you need to look out for: 
  • Even if "second hand information" is a good starting point in getting acquainted with your target group, you shouldn't rely only on this kind of information. You'll get a much richer view of the target group if you meet some of them personally.