Often at times we are so involved in the work we are doing that we don’t take the time to step back and see exactly what it is we are saying to the audience. This happens often in the marketing world when we are producing promotional pieces or advertisements. We are so focused on making sure each contributor has their verbiage or their say on how it should be produced and that their contributions are accounted for in the design or layout of the material, that we sometimes forget the target audience all together.
Recently I attended a marketing event and on my way out I met someone new. In getting to know each other I handed him my business card and I quickly explained what it is I do, he handed me a flyer for the current event he was working on. He continued telling me about the event and I continued to scan the flyer looking for anything that would give me a clue as to what the event was so that I could contribute to the conversation. The flyer had an event title, location, time, brief paragraph, event highlights, form and sponsors and yet I still didn’t fully understand the event. I began to think it was me, was I missing something and then I realized it was the “First Annual” and the editor in me realized he was too close to the project to see that a vital piece of information was missing. As the guy spoke to me, I could see he was smart, professional and sincere in his interest in networking with me and excitement for his event…it was contagious and rather than letting this go, as to not offend him, I knew I had to point out the missing piece. Not only as the audience but as a professional with a degree in Graphic Design and Advertising.
And there it was! He said it in his conversation, “Business to Business Networking Reception.” I said, “that’s it! That’s exactly the tagline this flyer needs to summarize the event for the reader.” He thought about it, and with delight asked for my contact information and said he could use my services. That wasn’t my intention. Solving the problem was the goal of the moment, but then again, that’s what these events are about…making connections to create win-win situations.