I liked this quote by Coldplay’s Chris Martin in the band’s recent 60 Minutes interview
“When we look out from the stage you can’t really see people so much but you can see the light of the doorway of all the exits. So the way to tell at the beginning of a tour which songs are working and which ones aren’t is if you see people’s silhouettes in the exits then it means you’re probably not playing the right song. ‘Cause a lot of people are probably going to get a hotdog or whatever. So I know we’re doing OK when all the exits are clear. That’s my way of judging it. The Silhouette Factor”
It’s a bit like tracking “exit pages” in Google Analytics to see what pages are causing people to leave a site.
The bigger picture idea here is that it is really useful to listen to your audience. Yes, it can be good to survey them in advance of something … but it’s REALLY GREAT if you can keep an eye on them while they’re actually interacting with you. This makes everything you do better… your products are better, your communications are better. The web provides some pretty excellent tools for tracking real customer interactions with your ads, your content, your messages, and often with your product itself.
Honestly, though, I’d rather have Martin’s job 🙂
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I coincidentally saw that interview and made this note for myself:
“Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically. People will like it more.” – Chris Martin.