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Business case studies No 187 - 22.09.2017

Going beyond age and gender

Digitalisation and segmentation are in high demand from clients and every marketer knows they lead to better brand engagement and more sales. For many companies, however, this still remains a challenge.

This week’s egtabite features RTÉ, Ireland's national television and radio broadcaster, which took on this challenge head-on with an in-depth analysis of their media consumers to create a segmentation model allowing for discussions with advertisers to go beyond age and gender.

Key Findings

A key output of the research was the identification of 8 distinct segments with life-stage and the presence of dependent children in households established as key determinants of media behaviour. The 8 segments or tribes received apt descriptive names such as Techno Lads (14%), Ms. Social (14%), Busy Starter Families (8%), Busy Tween families (14%), Older Family Protectors (13%), Cultured Couples (13%), Traditional Settled (13%) and Mature Home Aloners (11%).

The qualitative phase allowed RTÉ to get under the skin of each of the identified segments and find out what makes each tribe tick with regards to topics such as life-style, life-stage, needs-states, entertainment and media behavior.  The behavior in relation to entertainment, the means of viewing TV content and the likelihood to watch particular types of shows were equally examined.

For example: whereas the key needs for Ms. Social include escapism, unwinding and being in the know with what others are watching, priority needs for Older Family Protectors include opportunities to spend family time together, being kept up to date with news and being entertained. The use of streaming services - both of content and music - remain above average for Techno Lads and their female counterparts Ms. Social. With regards to downloading the study finds that Techo Lads are much more likely to be downloading and streaming through non-subscription based services, while tribes with families are more inclined to pay for TV.

Each type of show has its appeal: Older tribes are much more likely to be watching news and current affairs type programmes while younger tribes enjoy reality TV and soaps. Almost every tribe enjoys watching sports, with the exception of Ms. Social who prefers International Drama.

These are but a few of RTÉ’s findings, which have enabled them to gain a deeper understanding of Irish media consumers, and have helped RTÉ in their discussion with advertisers as it provides another layer of insight beyond just demographics. 

According to Jenny Legge, Senior Research Executive with RTÉ, advertisers are welcoming this approach as the study is clearly establishing what many of us would have instinctively felt – that defining audience by just age and gender is too limited.   It is helping better match up certain programmes and spot as well as re-enforcing opportunities around TV.


RTÉ Television commissioned research agency Red C to undertake a two-phased market research project in 2016, with the aim of better understanding audiences in Ireland by assessing their needs, expectations and views of RTÉ content and services.The segmentation study comprised quantitative research across a nationally representative sample of 1,500 adults and was supported by a robust qualitative research piece.



» RTÉ website (click here)


» Marketing & Sales Meeting (TV & Radio) 05.10.2017, Dublin
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»Workshop on Thematic Channels (TV) 30.11.2017, Brussels
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» Over 180 case studies are available on egta website (click here)



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