Active and Passive Audience Definition, Theory, Differences & Examples

Active and Passive Audience Definition, Theory, Differences & Examples.  Difference between an active and passive audience. Example of Active and Passive Audiences. Finally, what is the Active and Passive Audience Theory?

Definition of Active and Passive Audience

Active audiences

Active audiences refer to those people who receive media information actively as well as make sense of the messages based on their social and personal contexts. They listen to the media messages rather than hearing them only. However, active audiences receive media information actively but the act of receiving media information is unintentional. So, active audiences pay full attention to receive information and interpret them to give feedback.

Examples of Active Audience

For example, people are the active audience who comment on social media content to express opinions.

Another example, based on the story shared in the example of the active and passive audience below, Ela is an active audience who scrutinizes the message before accepting them.

Characteristic of Active audiences

 Actively involved in listening to give an opinion therefore they are a complicated and critical thinker. Additionally, they have good schemata.

Passive Audience

Passive Audiences refer to those people who watch and observe the media information without making sense. Hence, they are recognized as inactive receivers. Passive audiences have low motivation to process information, low ability to process information, and focuses on simple cues (e.g., appearances instead of content)

Examples of Active Audience

For example, People who are active in social media but do not like to comment on social media content.

Another example, based on the story shared in the example of the active and passive audience below, Bela is a passive audience who accepts the message without challenging them.

Characteristics of Passive audiences

The Passive audience is inactively involved in hearing something rather than listening. Passive audiences merely observe the message therefore, they are cognitive misers who are lazy to think.

Examples of Active and Passive audiences

For example, Ela and Bela are siblings who are watching the news on television. At the same time, the news reporter is providing tips on how to stay healthy. Ela tries to listen to the news reporter’s tips actively to follow them. She asks her sister Bela to be confirmed that do these tips really work or not? In contrast, Bela accepts those tips easily. Here, Ela is an active audience who is a critical thinker. Therefore, she focuses on the news presenter’s dress, speaking style, as well as the meaning of messages carefully.

On the other hand, Bela watches the news without focusing on the content of the message. Here, Bela is a passive audience who is a cognitive miser. Therefore, she does not focus on interpreting the message rather she only focuses on the news reporter’s appearance inactively. She believes the news reporter’s tips easily and becomes manipulated.

Active and Passive Audience

Difference between Active and Passive Audiences
Active Audiences
Passive Audiences
Interpret and respond to the media texts In contrast, merely observe the media text.
Actively involved with decoding message On the other hand, just accept the message without challenging
Forming opinions Accepting opinions
Paying full attention Paying little attention
For example, Ela scrutinizes messages received from the news reporter rather than accepts them directly. For example, Bela accepts messages received from the news reporter without scrutinizing them.
Not directly affected by the message Directly affected by the message
Difficult to manipulate them Easy to manipulate them
Critical thinker Cognitive miser
Have good schemata Lazy to think
Involve in listening Involve in hearing
 Active Audience Theory

Active audience theory explains that active media audiences do not just accept media information inactively rather they interpret the message based on their personal and social contexts.

The active audience theories are the Hypodermic needle model of communication, the Encoding/decoding model of communication, the Uses and gratifications theory, the Two-step flow theory, and so on.

The hypodermic needle model proposes that the targeted and intended information are directly received and completely accepted by the audience or receiver.

The encoding/decoding model of communication represents that media information is created, distributed, and also interpreted through a theoretical approach.

Uses and gratifications theory shows a strategic approach to explaining how and why people or audiences actively find specific media to meet specific needs. UGT also represents an audience-centered strategy to perceive the process of mass communication.

The two-step flow of communication model argues that audiences accept information and believe media information more if the message is delivered by the opinion leaders. So, the audience gets influenced by mass media if the opinion leader supports the information.

Demographic Geographic Psychographic Market Segmentation Factors

Demographic Geographic Psychographic Market Segmentation. The 3 Basic types of market segmentation are Demographic Segmentation, Geographic Segmentation & Psychographics Segmentation. Also, Customer Profile Demographics Psychographics Geographics. Target Market Segmentation Theories- Maslow’s hierarchy and VALS Segmentation Model in Consumer Behaviour.

Demographic Geographic Psychographic

Demographic Geographic Psychographic segmentation refers to the market segmentation technique based on the different factors related to the audiences. These are the most effective strategies to divide people into an identical subgroup. The purpose of demographic, geographic, psychographic segmentation is to separate people into subgroups to regulate a political campaign, commercial marketing, and advertising.

Market Segmentation

Market segmentation separates people into similar subgroups based on geographic, demographic, and psychographic factors. It is an essential process for social, political, and commercial campaigns and advertising. It is an excellent way of sending messages to a targeted group of people rather than everyone.  A long time ago, audience segmentation was primarily applied for social and political campaigns. Nowadays, it has become trendy in market segmentation. Therefore, audience segmentation is known as market segmentation.

Market Segmentation Examples

For example, a political leader is conducting a campaign asking to vote for his political party. So, the leader targets the voters only to conduct the campaign. In many countries all over the world, the minimum age for being a voter is eighteen years. For example, in the USA, citizens are eligible to vote in any public election who are a minimum of 18 years old or older than 18 years. So, the political leader persuades people who are citizens of the constituency and age minimum of 18 years. Here, a citizen of the constituency refers to the habitant of a particular area that is also an example of a geographic factor of market segmentation. In similar, age is an example of demographic characteristics of market segmentation.

Demographic Geographic Psychographic
Demographic Geographic Psychographic Market Segmentation Variable
Demographic Geographic Psychographic Market Segmentation Factors
Types of Market Segmentation

The 3 Types of Market segmentation are

  1. Demographic Segmentation
  2. Geographic Segmentation
  3. Psychographic Segmentation
Demographic Segmentation

Demographic segmentation refers to the process of separating people into similar subgroups based on demographic factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, education, religion, economic status, and group membership.

For example, a political organization is dividing people based on age. They are looking for voters whose age more than 18 years. It is an example of demographic segmentation.

Demographic Factors

The demographic factors are a set of audience characteristics, such as age, gender, ethnicity, education, religion, etc.

The demographic segmentation factors are Age, Gender, Ethnicity, Education, Religion, Economic status, Experience, Group Member, Nationality, Marital Status, Employment Status, Family Status, and Living Status.

Demographic Geographic Psychographic Market Segmentation Factors

Geographic Segmentation

Geographic segmentation means separating people into similar subgroups based on geographical factors such as residence, climate, and population. It highlights the location and environment of the audience.

Geographic Factors

The Geographic Factors are Place of residence, Season and Climate, and Population.

Place of Residence

Place of residence refers to rural and urban areas where the audience lives permanently or temporarily. People from urban and rural areas are different in their lifestyles, such as dress up, outlook, and attitudes. Therefore, market segmentation is an essential process before starting an advertising or social campaign.

 Season and Climate

Season refers to a specific time of year categorized by a particular climate condition. For example, the United States has four seasons, including Autumn, Spring, Summer, and Winter.

For example, Ice cream companies earn more money in the summer season than in winter. In contrast, the blanket selling company focuses on the winter season for marketing. The company needs to focus on geographic segmentation for the advertising campaigns.

Population

Population means the inhabitants of a particular area; for example, the capital city, metropolitan city, small town. However, they imply almost similar characteristics but have some differences too.

Psychographic Segmentation

Psychographic segmentation separates people into similar subgroups based on psychographic factors such as values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. These factors indicate the internal mental characteristic of people.

Psychographic Factors

The four psychographic factors of market segmentation are values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors—these four factors help understand how the audiences feel and behave.

For example, a political leader’s values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors are definitely distinguished from a physician’s.

Example of Psychographic segmentation

For example, You may feel that giving blood is important (Attitude) because an adequate blood supply is necessary to save a life (Belief) and because you respect human life (Value). Your (Behavior), as you participate in the blood drive and donate blood, is a logical and observable extension of your

 Values

Firstly, values mean a judgment of what is right or wrong, desirable or undesirable. For example, most people share equality, freedom, honesty, fairness, justice, good health, and family. Another example, we respect human life naturally (Value).

Beliefs

Secondly, a belief is something you accept as true, and it is stated as a declarative sentence. For instance, students believe that the use of the internet improves the quality of students’ research. Furthermore, You may feel that giving blood is important because an adequate blood supply is necessary to save a life (Belief).

Attitudes

Thirdly, an attitude is a statement expressing an individual’s approval or disapproval, like or dislike. Usually, attitudes evolve from our values and beliefs. Many values and beliefs interact to complicate our decision-making.  For example, You may feel that giving blood is very important (Attitude).

Behaviors

Finally, Behavior is an individual’s observable action. It is the way of how we act or behave toward others. It is the combination of other psychological factors such as values, beliefs, and attitudes.

For example, You may feel that giving blood is important (Attitude) because an adequate blood supply is necessary to save a life (Belief) and because you respect human life (Value). As you participate in the blood drive and donate blood, your behavior is a logical and observable extension of your outlook.

market segmentation Theories
  • Maslow’s hierarchy of Psychological Needs theory
  • VALS Segmentation Model in Consumer Behaviour

Maslow’s hierarchy of Needs Theory

Maslow (1943) initially stated that individuals must satisfy lower level deficit needs before meeting higher level growth needs. However, he later clarified that satisfaction of a needs is not an “all-or-none” phenomenon, admitting that his earlier statements may have given, for example, “the false impression that a need must be satisfied 100 per cent before the next need emerges”. According to Maslow’s theory, human needs can be divided into five categories. These are physical needs, safety needs, belongings, love needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs.

1. Physical needs: Physical needs are basic human requirements for livelihood, for example, water, food, rest, warmth, and so on.

2. Safety needs Requirements for security and protection purposes, such as personal security, health security, employment, property, etc.

3. Belongings and love needs: Relationship with people around us for giving and receiving affection, for example, intimacy, friendship, family, and friends.

4. Esteem needs: Refers to self-confidence, self-esteem, self-respect of humans; for example, everyone has a certain talent, so we need to pat on the back from time to time for exploring their intellectuality.

5. Self-actualization needs: Refers to self-fulfillment desiring to become the most that one can be; for example, we need to our goals to feel that we have fulfilled our destiny or reached our potential.

Conclusion

Target market segmentation had become a viral strategy for social, political, and business purposes. Now, people live in a global village as global citizens for the easy accessibility of social media. Therefore, politicians and business persons pay more attention to market segmentation for political campaigns and marketing publicity on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.