Using Target Audience Analysis to Aid Strategic Level Decisionmaking by U.S. Army War College

Using Target Audience Analysis to Aid Strategic Level Decisionmaking

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File Size: 2043 KB.
Print Length: 82 pages.
Language: English.
ASIN: B07451DV7L.
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Using Target Audience Analysis to Aid Strategic Level Decisionmaking

Over the past 20 years, the United States has known that there exist people with a profound hatred of all that it and the West are, and all that it stands for. During that time the American people and our allies abroad have known war in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and we know that today in Syria, Iraq, in Nigeria and North Africa those enemies plan and plot more violence and more hatred against us. Yet, do we really understand? If there is one observation that has been repeated by military commanders and policymakers alike from almost every nation in our various coalitions, it is the idea that we have not understood our adversary properly.

Our nations have the world’s most sophisticated intelligence gathering capabilities. We are masters of electronic intelligence, of human intelligence, of signal intelligence, open-source intelligence, and technical intelligence. Yet for all that intelligence, it is a truism that the Arab Spring passed us by; the despicable attacks of September 11, 2001, came as a surprise and the emergence of the Islamic States in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was not predicted. In this monograph, one of the world’s leading experts in Information Operations explains the science behind what he calls population intelligence (POPINT). He explains how sophisticated social science research and behavioral profiling can be used to warn us of impeding issues, and how that information might be used by senior strategy makers as a tool for testing and refining strategy. In our current campaigns against ISIS, considerable resources have been ploughed into social media. Dr. Tatham argues this is a mistake. He views social media not as a precursor to behavior, but simply as just another communication conduit. He sees this as a continuum of wrong activities being undertaken. In Iraq and Afghanistan, he saw how big public relations and marketing companies cost the U.S. taxpayer millions of dollars in ultimately failed communication and propaganda campaigns. Social media, he argues, has become yet another blank checkbook for companies who rely on creative energy rather than empirical understanding to produce communications campaigns.

About the Author: STEVE TATHAM is the Director of Operations at IOTA-Global Ltd, a specialist civilian Information Operations company and is the contracted subject matter expert for Strategic Communication and Target Audience Analysis at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Centre of Excellence for Strategic Communication in Latvia. He resigned from the United Kingdom’s (UK) Armed Forces in July 2014. Dr. Tatham is the author of two books: Losing Arab Hearts & Minds. The Coalition, Al-Jazeera and Muslim Public Opinion (Hurst & Co, 2006) and Behavioural Conflict: Why Understanding People’s Motivations Will Prove Decisive In Future Conflict (Military Studies Press, 2012). Dr. Tatham holds an M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in international relations, both focusing on ideas of influence and strategic communication in conflict areas.

The United States Army War College educates and develops leaders for service at the strategic level while advancing knowledge in the global application of Landpower. The purpose of the United States Army War College is to produce graduates who are skilled critical thinkers and complex problem solvers. Concurrently, it is our duty to the U.S. Army to also act as a “think factory” for commanders and civilian leaders at the strategic level worldwide and routinely engage in discourse and debate concerning the role of ground forces in achieving national security objectives.


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