Thursday, November 11, 2010

Three Bs of Connecting With Your Audience

Before becoming a commercial copywriter and freelance creative consultant I taught acting and theater for over a decade. In that time I formulated a few ideas that I used in my training program that I believe transfer into almost any form of communication from public speaking to advertising. In order to present an effective message, tell your story and make a connection with your audience there are three B's that you need to control.

Be seen. In acting it is essential to not only show your audience what you want them to see, you must also constantly be aware of preventing them from seeing what you don't want them to see, directing their attention. In marketing this is setting your clients image of you before they make their own impression. It is making certain that every image in every piece of marketing, video, your business location and every other visual that is under your control says exactly what you want it to say, and nothing that you don't.

Be heard. We have all seen the cliché of a drama teacher sitting in the back of a darkened theater yelling, “Louder!” and to be sure, in marketing as well as live performance, being big enough and bold enough to get noticed is important, but just being loud isn't enough. You have to do it in a way that compliments our first B and fits the character, or in this case, public face of your company. And not enough can be said for facing the audience, or placing your message where your potential market hangs out, whether that be prime time television or facebook.

Be understood. This is where the first two Bs come together. There are plenty of actors who can look the part, and belt their lines to the balcony, yet still fail to convey the intent of the script. This is equally true of marketing. Just designing the slickest eyecatching print, web and video messaging is not enough. It must not only ring true with your audience, but bring them to understand that your service or product is the solution they have been looking for. They need to understand your message. Avoid adding static to the signal by presenting more or less information than needed. Always ask at least one non-employee, someone you trust to tell you the truth, what they get from your marketing, and pay attention. If they are not understanding what you want them to, odds are nobody else will either.

So there you have it, the three Bs. The actor, public speaker, ad designer or marketing department that successfully deploys all of this three point arsenal cannot help but get their point across in a way that will get them noticed.