In chess, there's only one way to win: Capture your opponent's pieces. Marketing is similar, because, unless you capture people with your message and your value proposition, you won't win. So how would you capture me, and make me a buyer?

1. Capture my attention. First, you have to be noticed. You need to engage my faculties, my senses, my front-of-mind interest. You have massive competition for my attention, so this is where creativity and daring are required. Giving away $20 Amazon gift cards for $10? That garnered a ton of attention for Living Social. Offering 5% off this Wednesday only? Yawn ...

2. Capture my imagination. You need to engage my mind, and make me think and dream. Use a compelling illustration that will stick, or start a train of thought that builds its own momentum. Don't tell me about a three-tiered architecture that will create efficient data exchange. Make me imagine how I can find an answer to an obscure question in 10 milliseconds.

3. Capture my affections. We all know that engaging the emotions is the most powerful way to bring people along. So don't merely explain, tell a story. Tell me about someone like me, someone whose life has been changed. Yes, the use of video in social media is a cool thing. I don't need the technical details---just show the video of the discovery of Ted Williams. Even though that story continues to have twists and turns, it strikes us at a deep emotional level.

4. Capture my self-interest. All of the above doesn't yet move me to action. You need to clearly explain the WIIFM (What's In It For Me). I'm not going to act unless I know why I should. If it's only because of something you want, I'm going to set up an elaborate defense. I will, however, take action for something I want---you need to put a spotlight on that, and point it out to me.

If you're a marketer, or a public speaker (yes, that includes preachers), you need to structure your communications to touch all four of these "captures." Grab your audience in the first 15 seconds. Move their minds and hearts immediately after. Make the call to action clear and compelling. If you want to capture the king and queen of my assent, then you need to neutralize the pawns and castles that fill my board each day. These four moves will go a long way toward achieving the goal.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Steve Woodruff

Steve Woodruff is the world's only Clarity Therapist. He connects people with their purpose, their message, and with other people in order to create new business opportunities. He writes at the SteveWoodruff.com.

Steve is an unusual hybrid of conceptualizer, strategist, marketer, analyst, wordsmith, semi-techie, and all-around decent fellow, except when there's bad coffee or lousy wine.

Steve can also be found on Twitter, LinkedIn.