Excess Noise Knowledge Base

Definitions for those who work in communications and perception

Target

A target ultimately receives the message and while many would have once said that targets are passive recipients, it is now widely accepted that they are influential in the generation of the message often providing feedback that impacts message creation in real time. As communicators adopt formal methodologies, those responsible for them rely more and more on target feedback.

The choice of target sets the goal and defines the mechanism of the message. This is crucial. A message without regard for its end user simply becomes self-expression devoid of catalytic intent. A note to artist/communicators: even self-expressive art, which the artist claims to be devoid of purpose beyond emotive display, is ultimately a message if it incites action, reaction or even mere reflective contemplation by the end-user.

Today’s targets take an active part in the creative process by providing feedback. For those who know how to use it, this feedback helps refine the message in progress. With every passing day, this feedback loop is getting shorter. Corporations and governments are racing towards instant feedback, a time when the target’s actions will be instantly translated into a corresponding communication or manufacturing process.

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This glossary of definitions is not intended as an academic reference. It is an exercise in thinking on our part. We hope to grow it and welcome any suggestions you may have.