Leaders of the Past, Guides for the Future: Audience Strategy advice from great minds

Leaders of the Past, Guides for the Future: Audience Strategy advice from great minds

I wanted some professional inspiration today. My youngest (10) helped me get it. He was sick today, so I had to take him to the doctor. On the drive there and while in the waiting room, he helped me pick famous people from throughout history who we then 'asked' for advice (using ChatGPT). He made the images for me, using Midjourney while I drove home.

The advice was so thoughtful, insightful, inspiring and challenging I thought I'd put them into a presentation and share them. Here they are.

Have a read.

It made me think deeply about how I spend my time and how I do what I do. I hope it does something for you!
Inspired by our work on PROMPT, of course. And so I thought you might all appreciate it. The pdf is here if you want that. 
- David and Elliott


This post provides advice from great minds of the past on how to develop an effective audience strategy. Leaders such as Cleopatra, Florence Nightingale and Plato offer their wisdom on topics like understanding one's target audience, projecting confidence and strength in products and services, using data and analytics to inform growth strategies, tapping into the essence of an audience's deepest desires through conversations and creative exercises, as well as crafting stories that capture the imagination.

Common themes include:

  • To understand your audience better, it is important to research them thoroughly
  • so you can tailor your message accordingly
  • Having a strong presence with confidence will help build trust with your customers
  • Data analysis should be used to inform decisions about product development or marketing campaigns
  • Engaging in conversations with customers can provide valuable insight
  • into what they want or need from your business
  • Creating stories that evoke emotion will help draw people in and keep them engaged with your brand

Thanks to the magic of ChatGPT, of course!

I was blown away at how useful and interesting (and challenging) these pieces of advice were. I hope you find them useful!



The last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, known for her intelligence and political savvy. (Via ChatGPT)

"... I ruled during a time of great prosperity and power, and I understand the importance of understanding one's audience.

My first piece of advice would be to always stay in touch with the pulse of your audience. As a leader, I made it a priority to understand the wants and needs of my people, and to adapt my policies and actions accordingly. This allowed me to maintain the loyalty and support of my subjects, and ultimately solidified my rule. In the same way, understanding and responding to the needs of your audience can help to foster loyalty and growth for your brand.

It's also important to project confidence and strength, both in the products and services you offer, and in the way you present them. Throughout my reign, I was known for my intelligence, poise and regality, which helped to inspire confidence in myself and my rule among my subjects. In the same way, projecting confidence and strength in your brand can help to inspire trust and loyalty among your customers …"


Florence Nightingale

Social reformer and statistician who is considered the founder of modern nursing. (Via ChatGPT)

"... I would advise you and your clients to first and foremost, understand and serve the needs of your audience above all else. I firmly believed in the importance of meeting the physical, psychological and spiritual needs of patients, and this same principle applies to building a strong relationship with your audience. Take the time to truly understand their wants, needs and pain points, and tailor your growth strategies to address these.

In addition, I would also advise you to focus on the importance of data and statistics. During my time working in the field of healthcare, I revolutionized the field through my use of data and statistics to improve sanitation and hygiene in hospitals. In a similar vein, I would suggest using data and analytics to inform your growth strategies and measure the success of your campaigns. This will allow you to make data-driven decisions and continually improve your approach for optimal results …"



One of the most influential thinkers in Western philosophy. (Via ChatGPT)

"... I would advise your clients to seek out the essence of their audience – their deepest desires, hopes, fears, and wishes.

This can be done by engaging in thoughtful conversations with them, engaging in creative exercises that tap into their emotions, and exploring the psychological motivations behind their decisions. By understanding their true needs, brands can craft strategies that are designed to meet these needs, leading to greater loyalty, engagement, and growth.

Furthermore, I believe in the power of storytelling and mythmaking to create meaningful connections with audiences; I would suggest you and your clients look for ways to craft compelling stories that capture the imagination and help build authentic relationships between the brand and its audience. …"


Snoop Dogg

Rapper, actor and entrepreneur. (Via ChatGPT)

"... Yo dawg, let me tell you, building a growth strategy is all about understanding your audience and knowing what they want. And as the Doggfather of the west coast, I know a thing or two about connecting with my audience.

My first piece of advice for you and your clients is to keep it real. Don't try to be something you're not, or appeal to a audience that ain't feeling you. Know who you are and be true to that, and the right audience will naturally gravitate towards you. Word to the wise.

And second tip would be to stay on top of the game, always be on the lookout for new trends, and new ways to connect with your audience, whether it's through social media, events, or new products or services. The key is to keep experimenting, trying new things, and iterating based on what works and what doesn't. Keep it fresh and you'll keep your fans coming back for more.
That's all I got for you, but remember, Stay true to yourself and stay true to your fans and everything else will fall in place …”


Lucille Ball

Comedian, actress, and producer. (Via ChatGPT)

"... I would advise you to help your clients find the humor in their growth strategies. I always believed that laughter was the best medicine and she thought that it could be incredibly important for brands to have a sense of humor in order to succeed. Not only does it create an atmosphere of connection and engagement with customers, but it can also help add personality to the brand.
Additionally, I believe it is important to recognize when a growth strategy isn't working and to not be afraid to make adjustments accordingly. I believe in always being flexible and agile in order to achieve success …"



Spiritual leader and founder of Buddhism. (Via ChatGPT)

"... I would recommend pursuing wisdom and awareness. Building a successful growth strategy requires an understanding of your audience as well as the external forces that affect them. This is only possible through self-reflection and an awareness of how your actions can affect others.
First, focus on bettering yourself: adopt mindfulness practices and seek to understand yourself and the world around you. As you learn more about yourself, you will gain insight into the needs of your audience.

Second, practice compassion and empathy: cultivate an attitude of kindness towards others and strive to see things from their perspective. Being caring and understanding of your customers will lead to better customer relationships and trust.

Third, strive for balance: make sure that your growth strategy does not place too much emphasis on any one element. Balance is required for long-term success, so consider all aspects of your strategy and how they can work together.

Finally, stay mindful at all times: periodically take time to reflect on your progress and adjust your strategy as needed. Awareness can help guide your decisions and ensure your strategy stays on the right track …"


Steve Jobs

Co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc. (Via ChatGPT)

"... I have always believed in the power of understanding and connecting with your target audience.

One piece of advice I would offer is to always "think different." This means challenging the status quo and not being afraid to take risks in order to truly stand out and make a lasting impact.

Additionally, I believe in the power of design and how it can greatly influence the success of a product or brand. It's crucial to ensure that every aspect of your brand – from product design to advertising – is visually and aesthetically pleasing, as it can greatly impact how consumers perceive and interact with your brand.

Another one of my important insights is Simplicity. "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." It's easy to get caught up in the details, but it's important to remember that simplicity is key. This applies to both the products and the messaging. Keep it simple, focus on the essential and key features, that's what makes great products …"



Political philosopher, historian and writer. (Via ChatGPT)

"... As I wrote in The Prince: "It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both." That is my advice to you and your clients. Build strategies that are based on understanding of the audience that will create fear but also respect.

Focus on the reputation of businesses, rather than on its virtuousness, for reputation is what maintains power and control.

Do not rely solely on luck as a factor for success; success results from action and necessity.

Finally, act quickly, decisively, and with purpose …"


Sun Tzu

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher. (Via ChatGPT)

"... I would suggest that you and your clients focus on employing tactics that will help them gain an advantage over their competitors. The strategies you use should be based on a thorough understanding of the environment you are operating in, including market trends and the behaviour of your customers. I believe that the most successful strategies involve being able to understand the enemy's movements, anticipate their actions and take calculated risks.

In addition, the key to victory is to choose the right battlefield – in other words, to carefully select the customers and markets you target.

Finally, war is a matter of deception: carefully conceal your true intentions, attack where your enemy is least prepared, and surprise them with your tactics. …"


Leonardo da Vinci

Italian polymath. (Via ChatGPT)

"... I would advise you to always keep your eyes and ears open and to observe the world around you with a curious and analytical mind. Understand the habits, desires, and motivations of your target audience through direct observation, surveys and other forms of research. Be open to new ideas and perspectives, encourage creativity and experimentation in your team and embrace new technologies and trends as they emerge.

Additionally, I would emphasize the importance of constant learning and self-improvement, throughout my life I sought to learn and master new skills, from mechanics to medicine. In the same way, you should strive to stay current with the latest research and developments in your field and be willing to learn from your successes and failures. All these pieces of advice can be linked to my lifelong quest for knowledge, my insatiable curiosity, my love for observation and my innovative and creativeness, which are all key aspects that defined me …"


Mother Teresa

Devoted her life to serving the most vulnerable in society. (Via ChatGPT)

"... My advice to you and your clients would be to focus on serving others, not yourself. I believed that our purpose in life is to serve and help those in need, by offering our time and energy to benefit their lives. My suggestion would be to ensure that the strategies you help your clients to create have a clear focus on helping and bettering other people's lives.

I believed that giving to those less fortunate is what brings us closer to God, so try to find ways to help those less fortunate through your clients' growth strategies …"


John Lennon

Singer, songwriter, and peace activist. (Via ChatGPT)

"... First, it's important to remember that genuine connection with your audience is key. The best way to achieve this is by staying true to yourself and your message. For example, throughout my career as a musician, I was always authentic and true to my beliefs, whether it was through my songwriting or my activism. This helped me to build a strong and dedicated fanbase who believed in my message as well.
Another thing to keep in mind is that creativity is vital. Don't be afraid to take risks and try new things in order to connect with your audience in a meaningful way. As a musician, I was always pushing the boundaries of what was considered "mainstream" and I think that's part of the reason why my music has had such a lasting impact.

Also it is important to be aware of social issues, and use your platform to bring awareness and make a change, as I had been doing with my activism for peace and anti-war movement throughout my career …"


Stephen Hawking

Theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author. (Via ChatGPT)

"... I would advise you to always strive for a deep understanding of the underlying principles of any system you are studying. Whether you are trying to understand the behavior of a particular group of consumers or the dynamics of a complex ecosystem, the key to success is to build a robust theoretical framework that can guide your analysis and inform your decision-making.

In addition, I would also suggest that you pay close attention to the ways in which technology is impacting your field and the broader world. As someone who has spent much of my career studying the fundamental nature of the universe, I know firsthand how quickly our understanding of the world can change when new technologies and tools become available. As a growth strategist, you will need to stay ahead of these developments and be willing to embrace new ways of thinking if you want to help your clients achieve true success …"



Philosopher, student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. (Via ChatGPT)

"... Remember that the key to understanding one's audience is through the study of human nature. My own work in this field, such as the "Politics" and "Ethics," emphasized the importance of understanding the characteristics and motivations of individuals and groups in order to effectively govern and lead them.

Therefore, my counsel to you and your clients would be to take the time to thoroughly study and understand the nature of your audience. Seek to understand their desires, fears, and their overall character. Only through this deep understanding can you craft effective strategies for growth and truly connect with them on a meaningful level. Remember that the goal is not to merely persuade, but to truly earn the trust and respect of your audience through your actions and words …"


George Washington

One of the founding fathers of United States. (Via ChatGPT)

"... Always keep in mind the importance of integrity and honesty in your dealings with others. As the first President of the United States, I understand the importance of building trust with the public and leading by example. In my farewell address, I urged future leaders to "cherish public credit as a sacred trust, for it is the purest and most valuable of all possessions." Your clients should strive to maintain a reputation for trustworthiness and reliability, for it is this reputation that will ultimately drive their growth and success.

Additionally, I would urge you to focus on building strong and lasting relationships with your clients. As a leader, I know that strong relationships are vital to achieving any goal. I have always placed great emphasis on the importance of treating others with respect and kindness, and I believe that this approach is essential to building trust and fostering cooperation. Your clients should strive to understand their audiences and build relationships based on mutual understanding and respect. Remember, "Harmony, liberal intercourse with all, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest …"


Abraham Lincoln

Saved the Union and ended slavery. (Via ChatGPT)

"... As President of the United States, it is my belief that any business strategy must first and foremost serve the needs and betterment of the people it aims to serve. That is to say, a growth strategy should not be built on the sole foundation of profit, but rather on a foundation of providing value and improving the lives of your audience.

Secondly, as a leader of a nation divided, I have learned that effective communication and a willingness to understand and empathize with differing perspectives are key to fostering growth and unity. I would advise your clients to strive to truly understand their audience, to listen to and address their needs and concerns, and to communicate their value proposition in a clear and compelling manner. Only through these efforts can a business hope to earn the trust and loyalty of its customers, and thus achieve sustainable growth …"


Albert Einstein

Theoretical physicist. (Via ChatGPT)

"... I, Albert Einstein, would advise you and your clients to first understand that true innovation and growth can only come from a deep understanding of the underlying principles and laws that govern your industry and market. One should not just follow the trends or try to copy the strategies of others, but instead strive to discover the fundamental truths about your customers and their needs.

Secondly, I would advise you and your clients to always keep an open and curious mind, and to not be afraid of failure. In my own work as a physicist, I often encountered resistance and skepticism from my peers, but I persisted in my inquiries and ultimately made groundbreaking discoveries that changed the way we understand the universe. In the same way, in business, it is important to embrace uncertainty and take calculated risks in order to drive real progress and growth …"


The Joker

Super-villain and archenemy of Batman. (Via ChatGPT)

"... Hahaha, well well well. I suppose you want some "expertise" from the Clown Prince of Crime himself, do you? Very well. I'll give you a little taste of what it's like to think like a true criminal mastermind.

First and foremost, always keep your audience guessing. They should never be able to predict your next move. Just when they think they have you figured out, BOOM! Hit them with something completely unexpected. This is the key to staying ahead of the game, and it's how I've managed to outsmart Batman time and time again.

Also, always make sure you stay true to yourself. Don't compromise your values or your vision, because that's what makes you stand out. You are not like the others, you are special, you are The Joker! So always embrace your inner madness, and let it guide you to greatness.

Keep in mind, my advice may not be the most conventional or legal but it's the Joker's way …"


Darth Vader

High-ranking Jedi Knight-turned-Sith Lord. (Via ChatGPT)

"... I am Lord Darth Vader, a Sith Lord of the Galactic Empire. My strength lies in my ability to control the minds of my enemies and bend them to my will. As a strategist, it is important that you understand the power of fear and manipulation. Use this to your advantage by identifying the weaknesses and desires of your target audience, and then use that knowledge to control their actions.

In terms of building growth strategies, it is important to maintain an iron grip on power at all times. Never let your guard down and always be one step ahead of your enemies. The galaxy is a dangerous place, and only the strongest survive. This is especially true in business, where there are always competitors looking to take your place. It is important to maintain your dominance by using whatever means necessary to crush your rivals, while also projecting a powerful image of invincibility. This will attract loyal customers and investors, who will be drawn to your strength and influence …"


Luke Skywalker

Jedi Knight who defeated the Galactic Empire. (Via ChatGPT)

"... As Luke Skywalker, I would advise you to always stay true to your beliefs and to never give up hope. My journey as a Jedi was not always easy, but I never lost sight of what I was fighting for. I believe that if you stay true to your values and remain determined, you will be able to achieve your goals.

In addition, I would also say that it's important to listen to the needs and perspectives of those around you. This was something that was important to me throughout my journey, both as a Jedi and as a member of the Rebel Alliance. By understanding and empathizing with others, you can build stronger, more meaningful relationships that can help you to achieve your objectives …"



The most powerful and wise Jedi of all time. (Via ChatGPT)

"... To understand your audience, hmm? A deep understanding, you seek? Wise, that is. But first, understand yourself, you must. Your own biases, you must acknowledge, and let go of them, you must. Only then, can you truly see and understand the world, as it is. Clear, your mind must be.

Then, to understand your audience, listen you must. Listen to their words, and more importantly, their actions. Observe their behavior, and what they truly want, you will understand.

Then, to build a strategy, align it with their wants and needs, you must. Only then, will it be successful, hmm …"

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