Posted by Fifty Team

17 Aug, 2021

Get schooled on lifelong learners

They say that in life, you never stop learning. No matter how or when your formal education ends, there is always an opportunity to know more.

There are some people who don’t just learn from life, but are actively interested in bettering themselves through education. We wanted to understand who these people are and whether they have any commonalities beyond their thirst for knowledge. We conducted a study of accounts such as MasterClass, The School of Life, Expeditions and Oxford University's Department for Continuing Education to gain insight into lifelong learners.

Here’s what we found:

Network visualisation of the lifelong learner audience as seen on the Fifty platform.
Fifty network viz

Lifelong learners have highbrow tastes

There were several tribes across the audience that shared a love of the Arts. The London Thespians, Sophisticated Opera Goers – and the largest tribe – the Liberal Arts Enthusiasts all clustered around their passion for theatre-going, museum-going and other highbrow entertainment. Top cultural institutions such as the Barbican Centre, Southbank Centre and the V&A Museum rank highly as influencers for the Liberal Arts Enthusiasts, who seem to have a range of backgrounds while the London Thespians are made up of theatre professionals, who perhaps like to continue their education when off the stage. Classical and other music genres remain the focus of the Sophisticated Opera Goers while the Liberal Arts Enthusiasts are particularly passionate about photography, architecture and design.

Sophisticated Liberal Arts Enthusiasts, a key portion of the lifelong learner audience as seen on the Fifty platform.
Sophisticated Liberal Arts Enthusiasts

They love the arts...and the sciences

While there were several tribes dedicated to the arts, there were almost an equal number of tribes that cluster around their interest in technology and innovation. The Tech-savvy Professionals and Innovative Startup Professionals tribes are influenced by innovation-focused publications such as Fast Company, VentureBeat, Wired and TechCrunch. The Startup Professionals’ interest in lifelong learning make sense as they seek out the next big thing to invest in and create, while for Tech-Savvy Professionals, continuing education could be seen as an escape from their everyday jobs or a part of it, depending on the courses and classes they are indulging in.

Tech Savvy Professionals,  a key portion of the lifelong learner audience as seen on the Fifty platform.
Tech Savvy Professionals

City folk index the highest

Based on our study, continuing education particularly appeals to city dwellers. Cities are the dominant location across tribes, with London and Manchester in particular ranking highly, but people from other international cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Brisbane also feature throughout the study. This may be because extracurricular education (like formal education) is a privilege for the few who can afford it. Overall, this audience is made up of affluent tribes, many of whom tend to reside in cities.

Cultured City Dwellers, a key portion of the lifelong learner audience as seen on the Fifty platform.
Cultured City Dwellers

Self-betterment beyond education

Two tribes that stand out are the Mental Health Advocates and the Yoga & Mindfulness Gurus. The fact that these tribes exist within the wider audience indicate that for them, education and self-betterment go hand in hand. Both of these tribes have a focus on mental wellbeing and showcase how an interest in learning can be part of a wider mental health journey. Figures such as the Dalai Lama, Andy Puddicombe, founder of mindfulness app Headspace and neurologist Oliver Sacks feature as influencers and signal the type of thought leaders that appeal to these tribes.

Are you looking to grow your audience amongst a sophisticated, educated demographic? Book a demo today to discuss how audience insights can help grow and communicate your brand more effectively.


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