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What Does Your Audience Look Like?

And how do you picture them engaging with your marketing materials? Do they drop everything to read your latest e-blast? When they’re sorting their junk mail, do they open your flier? Or do they toss it in recycling with everything else?

Some marketers have a sophisticated grasp on audience behavior. They have eye tracking studies showing where site visitors look first. Studies pegging the exact time viewers lose interest in a clever video ad (it’s after the brand name appears). Even studies about how consumers move through a retail store, and where to put the freshest fruits and brightest colors.

You don’t need a consumer psychologist to ‘metricize’ all your branding, but it does pay to try to see things through the customer’s eyes. Remember: every ad is an interruption. You need to understand where your customer was coming from (and where they were going), when you got in their way. Then use that understanding to make the interruption count.

A flier with a lot of “blah blah” corporate copy is easy to recycle. But one that says “recycling this would be a mistake,” is a lot more interesting. It’s a wink and a nudge to the reader. An in-joke that says, “we know what you were about to do.” It may just be intriguing enough to open.

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