Friday, July 24, 2009

Insight: The Key to Effective Communication

So much of doing great work for a client involves getting to know the people that use the client’s products. The formula is simple: when you understand the user, you can better understand the brand, which leads to a better marketing message.

Not long ago, a gentleman provided me with his testimony as a user of a brand Liggett represents. He described to me in painstaking detail the relationship our client’s product has with his craft. To say I was overwhelmed with information from our 27-minute phone conversation would be an understatement. I wondered why this man shared so much information with me, an intern at an ad agency, when it was obvious we both came from different worlds. After our conversation ended, I had to sift through the pages of information I had gathered in order to find what I needed to draft his testimonial.

Then it hit me. The value of the depths to which this man went in providing me with information was suddenly clear. It provided me with insight. Insight that allowed me to better understand the passionate people who use our client’s product, and as a result, write more effective copy tailored to them.

Insight gathered from consumers acts like a flashlight for ad agencies stuck in the dark over how to communicate effectively with the all-important brand user, especially when it comes to an unfamiliar product or industry.

What I’ve learned from gathering these testimonies extends beyond advertising to find relevance in everyday life. This experience has taught me to always listen to those around you, and pay careful attention to what they have to say. No matter how complicated or irrelevant, you can always learn something about the way people think through what they choose to say, and in some cases, what they choose not to. We call it insight, and it’s something you can never have too much of.

Patrick B.
Creative Intern

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