Audience-thinkingHave you seen this cartoon by Tom Fishburne? It’s an old one now but often on my mind in discussions about audiences. Actually in discussions about all marketing really. Those times when we’re arguing over the correct tone to reach parents, or if the font has the right amount of serif.

Those are the times when we need to consider what the audience is thinking. I’m sure they’re not thinking if there was enough personalization in the email, or if a sunny photo of Seattle is misleading. They are more likely to be thinking about their lunch, or a presentation they’re preparing, or if their son will remember to bring his lunchbox home from work. Not the font that you’ve chosen for an email disclaimer.

I know I’ve focused on email, but this covers all marketing and communications. What is our baby is just yet another thing to our audience. We’ve seen the research about consumers seeing 3,000 brand messages a day. A 2011 Forbes article puts that up to 30,000 brand messages, and that figure doesn’t surprise me.

How Can We Get Our Audience Thinking About Us?

Is it even possible to make an audience think about us? Yes, it is, but not in the same way it used to be. Blind repetition will not work. As marketers, we need to be more clever. We can use content marketing to make their lives better, so they think higher of us. Imagine a plumber that has a blog post on cleaning clogged sinks. If they offered information that could save you money going DIY, you would be more likely to use then to replace the hot water system. Another tactic is influencer marketing. Peer recommendations are considered more reliable than advertising. Working with bloggers and community influencers can get you more powerful mentions that traditional media, and possibly at a cheaper price. If you want an example, have a look at Hootsuite’s Ambassador program.

I recommend you check out the rest of Tom’s cartoons, and perhaps buy a few for your office.

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