Life in Context: Your Priority is Another Person’s Spam

You finished the last line of copy. You made all the final edits. You send off your finished product and let out a happy sigh of relief.

One click. “Great job,” you whisper to yourself.

Two clicks. Three! “This is going to get us the attention we really needed.”

And then… nothing. You have a few additional interactions sporadically over the next few hours, but the momentum that you had hoped for is sadly not coming to fruition.

You are probably familiar with this scenario, whether you work in marketing, product development or have ever interacted with another human being. You become sad, lose confidence in your ability to get customers and friends excited about your “thing.” I use “thing” here because the logic here really applies to many different settings, and I use “customers” even though all audiences are not actual paying customers.

Knowing your audience is an important theme in business and everyday life, but there is another step forward in that theme that you need to consider to put your efforts into context. Your big project, big announcement or joke is YOUR #1 PRIORITY at that point in time. To 99.9% of your audience, your announcement is probably just one step above the ads and other clicks constantly fighting for their attention.

I am not making this point to discourage people from continuing to “make their thing;” far from it. Entrepreneurs might expect instant gratification after their product launches and immediately question their ideas if the announcement does not go viral or make it into a TechCrunch type article. The lucky few will achieve that kind of success. Some will need to reassess their customer engagement strategy, but many just need to think more like their customers and evaluate the context in which they are viewing your announcement or product, etc. And yes, some just have a terrible idea, but hey, at least they’re trying…

How does this theme apply to your “thing?”

  1. Always keep events and ideas in context. You don’t know where your audience is coming from (emotionally, time commitments, financially, etc.)
  2. Your priority is still important, but remember that the world is full of people with many types of priorities.
  3. Instant gratification and immediate responses are unlikely. Give your audience time to react. This will help with accuracy and stress and improve future customer engagements when your next “thing” comes out.
  4. Donald Trump still has a presidential campaign? I feel like that should be part of any type of messaging.
  5. Always assume that your customer base has little knowledge of you and your product, especially when performing any follow-up. I have seen many types of newsletters or stories that make the assumption that their customers know more about their product than they actually do (but honestly, your customers have their own priorities and are probably not as well-versed in your offerings than you think; that would be a full-time job). That assumption will likely eventually lead to declining customer engagement if not corrected.

Now I will post this, see little interaction and forget everything that I just wrote about managing expectations about reader engagement. Good luck out there!

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