A good friend of mine invited me to the theatre to see a play today. He was directing it and he was not unexpectedly hoping his friends would turn out and see it. When I read the invitation my first thought was how much I’d like to attend and my second thought was how there was no way I’d have time too. See I’m a busy man, I work hard, no honestly I do, and away from work I’ve a young family who take up most of my available waking hours and quite a few of my sleeping ones too. When I do get free time I’ve a house which always seems to need something done and extended family to catch up with and bills to pay and papers to read and never any time to do something like go to the theatre. So it was a pleasant surprise to find out that the director of this play, my friend, realised this and also realised that actually quite a few people have lives like me and finding a spare evening is a bit difficult. So he’s tailored it to suit his audience. The play, it’s called ….And Close My Eyes, is about 40 minutes long and it was on at a city centre theatre at lunchtime during the week. Fantastic, that’s about the only time of the week I do have to myself and so another friend and I took the short walk to see it. Two people who wouldn’t have seen it had it been on in the evening.

Putting the play on at this time, a time and a length that suits many people but is different from what you might traditionally expect, got me thinking about some of the conversations I’ve been having with clients recently. A lot of these conversations have involved social media. One of the great things about social media is its ease of use. Users of it do so at a time and place of their choosing, they decide how long they’ll spend doing it and what information they’ll take in and impart whilst doing it. This makes communicating marketing messages very different from traditional media. It sounds clichéd now but it’s true; if you don’t engage the customer you won’t communicate with them and this is never more true than on social media. The very nature of social media demands that brands evolve their marketing to suit it. Some brands seem to think that because the media is simple to use the marketing must be easy too; they couldn’t be more wrong. The content must be interesting, better still if it’s informative too, you want people to interact with it, pass it on, give it the virtual thumbs up.

The best aspect about my theatrical interlude today wasn’t the timing, the venue or the price; it was the play itself. It was good, really good. The subject was interesting, it was well written, the acting was excellent, I guess the directing must have been good too and I left entertained, stimulated and discussing it at length on the walk back to the office. It’s all very well making something accessible, but you’ve still got to make it good.