Customer Discovery

by Ingrid Sturgis


This chapter focuses on a fundamental dilemma for entrepreneurs: How to identify your customer or market, or in this case, your readers, viewers or listeners. To develop a successful media company, entrepreneurs must know who the audience is and how to reach it. Making the exercise a bit more tricky today is that the customer for news and information is very different than in the past. Influenced by an ever-evolving media ecosystem, today’s audience or customers are not just in a single place. They hang out on social media, use smartphones or gaming devices, or even watch streamed programming on television, sometimes all at once. Understanding the new media ecosystem will help entrepreneurs to understand who they are trying to reach, the scope of their business venture, and how to best allocate financial and human resources.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the new media ecosystem and how disruption and convergence has reshaped the media marketplace.
  • Conduct effective audience research to define your customer and understand the differences between segments of the audience.
  • Develop a systematic approach to identify and understand the needs of your customer.
  • Identify and refine a target audience for a media product.
  • Develop skills to discover market demographics and build your customer’s psychographic profile.

Inside this Chapter

Ingrid Sturgis is an associate professor in the Cathy Hughes School of Communications at Howard University. She was a reporter and editor for The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Times-Herald Record, and The Poughkeepsie Journal as well as founding managing editor for magazine startups BET Weekend and Savoy. She has worked online as a senior programming manager for AOL’s Black Voices, and as editor-in-chief for Sturgis is the author of the anthology Are Traditional Media Dead: Can Journalism Survive in the Digital World, and co-editor of Social Media: Pedagogy and Practice. Reach her on Twitter at @isturgis.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Copyright © 2017 by Edited by Michelle Ferrier & Elizabeth Mays is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book