You’ve accepted that “the general public” is not a target audience. Congratulations! Now’s the fun part: learning more about the groups of people who really are most important to your success.
You can and should do some original research via surveys, interviews, and informal focus groups with people on your lists (which I talk about in Chapter 3 of my book). But you can also learn a great deal from polls and surveys conducted by others.
Check these sources for free data you can use to better understand your target audiences.
Cornell Universities List of Public Opinion Surveys
Harris Interactive Vault – 40 years of public opinion data
Gallup.com – polls on hot topics
PollingReport.com – variety of public opinion polls
Pew Internet and American Life Project – great studies on how Americans use the Internet and technology
ResearchAmerica and the National Center for Health Statistics for heath-related polling and stats
Cooperative Extension’s Water Outreach Target Audience Database for research compiled to help water scientists and managers reach their target audiences
Quantcast – demographics of users of different websites
CensusScope and ZipSkinny help you find and interpret U.S. Census data
World Public Opinion – polls from around the world
What are some of your favorite free resources for polls and surveys so you can learn more about your target audiences?