How do you find the unfindable?


Audience insight and mapping for Mencap

We were asked to buck a number of trends

Mencap came to us because they wanted to become an employer of choice for a younger age demographic – particularly for their Support Worker roles, which make up 80% of their workforce. This is easier said than done. Social care is a huge growth area in terms of demand, so competition is fierce. The social care workforce is getting older on average, not younger. And Mencap are faced with high levels of attrition and low levels of understanding about who they are, what they do and what they offer.

There isn’t one easy answer to all of this.

But audience understanding is a great place to start

We rolled up our sleeves, and made a mosaic

We knew we needed to get our heads round:

  • How Mencap’s potential audiences could be segmented
  • What the differences were between employees who left within 12 months, and those who stayed
  • What the right attraction messages for our audiences were, and where we need to put them
  • Where our target audiences were, and what kind of media they consume.

So the first step was to gather some Support Workers’ home postcodes. Lots of them. Mencap gave us almost ten thousand, split into three groups:

  • Those who had been employed for under 12 months
  • Those who had been employed for more than 12 months
  • Those who had joined, but had then left within the first 12 months

We then evaluated this against Mosaic data – a nifty thing that gives a profile of the population of every postcode sector in the UK. These profiles are based on financial and behavioural information. And, by laying Mencap’s postcodes over the map, we built up a good picture of where the ‘right’ people currently were, and exactly where we’d find more people like them.

Details, details

We refined the map, using salary details and attitudinal statements that would strike a chord with a typical Mencap employee. We then went even further – using Target Group Index data to pinpoint things like attitudes, hobbies and media consumption.

We also profiled 18-24 year olds who were not students and were not expecting to change jobs in the next 12 months. This was to see if there were additional audience types we could target.

We became all-knowing

By the time we’d finished, we’d worked out:

  • Where Mencap’s ideal audiences are. We created heat maps around each of Mencap’s Service Centres all across the UK, to show where ‘lookalike’ audiences for the two key age groups were, and the density of this population.
  • What they’re like. We got a good picture of how these groups think, the things they like to do, and what their attitudes and motivations are.
  • How to reach them. Finally, we got to know the media channels that each audience trust and use the most.
  • What our strategy should be. Our research also highlighted one key point – that going solely after a younger audience was not the answer. Although it would reduce the average age of Mencap’s Support Worker workforce, it may increase levels of attrition at the same time.

And knowledge, as we all know, is power

All this information puts us in a very strong position for when we start to put our campaign into action. We’ll be able to draw up a plan that reaches the right people with the maximum impact. We’ll know which channels to invest in, and which to avoid. And, because we’ll know what drives and motivates our audience, we can make sure that our messages say exactly the right things.