One of my first jobs out of college was selling airtime for the UK’s then only commercial TV network in London.
I found this whole thing fascinating.
I was a TV addict selling the thing I loved.
I quickly developed a reputation for being super accurate with my weekly ratings predictions because I was so in tune with our audience and what I was selling.
I watched the stupid soaps and the edgier comedy. And loved each on their own merits. I do not discriminate. I never have. Why would you waste time and energy discriminating, is my thesis.
It turned out that I was like an idiot savant of TV rating predictions. To the point that people started placing too much faith in my predictions. Which was essentially gambling with media money based on the magical Irish guy.
I realized that people were starting to transfer their uncertainty on my reputation for always being on the money.
But you know what? I was always right.
This early exposure to the crucial role of the audience in advertising was a formative experience.
You can’t affect a person who has never seen your message.
That’s just kind of how it goes!
Don’t get me wrong, the idea is very important too. But if nobobdy sees your idea, everything else is academic.