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  • A few weeks ago the news media, and social media, were all a buzz about the Yanni and Laurel debate.  Who are these people?  Well, Yanni is a Jazz musician, but that isn’t who we are talking about.  Laurel was part of a comedy duo in the 1920’s and 1930’s, but we are not talking about him either.  So, what was up with Yanni and Laurel and what was all the fuss about?

    Well, all over social media people were playing a clip that played one of those names.  Depending on who you are depended on what you heard.  People were going crazy the news anchors were arguing about what the clip said, people on social media where arguing about what clip said.  Just about as many people heard Yanni as heard Laurel.  

    I don’t know if it was because my eyes were drawn to Laurel when I first came upon this controversy, but every single time I heard the clip I heard Laurel.  My daughter, who is 17, said in the morning she heard Yanni, then at lunch she heard Laurel, and then later in the day Yanni again.  I could not understand, how anyone got Yanni out of that recording.  To me, it was clearly saying Laurel.  

    A couple of years ago there was a big controversy over particular dress.  Some saw one color and others saw a completely different color.  Again, when I looked at it, I saw only one color.  (I’m not listing what the colors were, because I simply don’t remember.)  However, it was a very similar controversy.  People were arguing what color it was.  It was another media and social media buzz event. 

    What I learned from both of these “experiments” was we all see and hear things very differently.  Although I knew that, it was a real wake up call for me.  Because I know I definitely heard Laurel, and my daughter clearly heard Yanni, more times than she heard Laurel.  Like so many others.  It is mind boggling to me how two people can see and hear the same thing, but actually see and hear something completely different.  Does that make the other person wrong, because they heard, or saw, something different from you?  After this experiment, it is a resounding NO!  We see and hear things differently based on our own reality.  So how does that pertain to marketing?  

    Well, it made me understand even more than ever that you really can’t know your audience completely.  You know in general terms who your market is, but your marketing strategy may hit home with some and be completely lost with others. That is nothing earth shattering right?  No, but what it made me realize is that a business needs to pick a marketing strategy, and marketing company that understands their business and what its goals are; otherwise, the strategy will not work.

    It made it even more clear that it’s imperative there is clear communication between you and the company you have hired to do your marketing.  Whether it is a website, logo, newsletter, social media, you need to make sure there is clear communication between the both of you.  You don’t want to open up your Instagram profile and see a post that you absolutely hate, or is not the image you want for your business.  When we work with clients, we check in with them throughout the process of whatever it is we are doing for them.  We do this to make sure they like the direction of the creative process.  If they don’t we tweak it to so that it more in line to what the client wants. 

    One might think, well you are the professional that is why they hired you. That is true, and we do have full creative leeway.  However, we listen to what a client wants.  Most have some kind of a vision for their marketing strategy. We then try to incorporate that vision with our knowledge of what works.  We have found that clients like to be included in the process.  It’s their business after all.  At the end of the day, you want your clients to be happy.  

    So, Yanni or Laurel?  What do you hear?  Is your message communicating effectively enough to get the attention of most of your target audience?  Knowing that people’s perceptions are as different as night and day, is half the battle.

    Geoff Cummings is President | Founder of On the Level Marketing &amp; Consulting, LLC. Successfully helping businesses with all their marketing needs by branding their businesses and keeping marketing simple and straightforward.</em></p>

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