Vitruvian man

Leonardo’s Drawings: An Enlightening Exercise in Understanding Your Audience

By the end of his life, Leonardo da Vinci had drawn thousands of sketches on the human body, horses, plants, architecture, engineering, maps, forces of nature – anything that captured his imagination.

500 years later and these drawings give us one of the closest and clearest looks into the Renaissance master’s mind.

Leonardo self portrait
A presumed self-portrait of Leonardo from 1512. He died in 1519. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

To celebrate his artistic and scientific achievements, the Royal Collection is showing 200 of Leonardo’s drawings at Buckingham Palace. So, as anyone on the other side of Green Park would do, I hopped on a bike and went to see the drawings in person.

After admiring the genius’ sketches and detailed observations, the biggest thing that stood out to me was how Leonardo saw and studied the natural world: he didn’t see art and science, painting and technology as separate spheres but as equal parts of the whole.

Which comes as no surprise then that he worked across sculpture, architecture, anatomy, engineering, geometry and more.

Leonardo even left his mark on, you guessed it, content marketing!

A Collective View of the World

By seeing the similarities in different fields of knowledge, Leonardo took a collective view of the world. He embraced correlations and spotted connections between things that seemed separate on the surface.

For instance, when it came to painting, Leonardo didn’t see it as merely an art form; he considered it a science. A painting he thought “should be a rational, objective depiction of natural effects.

Inside the exhibit at Buckingham Palace.

That’s certainly one of the reasons he obsessed over proportions, drew muscles, tendons and ligaments from every angle and described the movement of water in meticulous detail.

Through his drawings and notes, you begin to understand that Leonardo never just looked at something and jumped onto the next. He made observations in the context of nature and the world around him.

Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019

His subject’s drapery is so realistic it appears to glide across the ground and the rivers in his maps seem to spread out like veins in the body.

The presence of nature is never lost in his art. The natural world, however, is what fuses his work together and makes his creative and scientific contributions invaluable, even five centuries on.

A Unified Approach to Content Marketing

As content marketers, our goal is to connect with people in a meaningful way. We want to share knowledge and expertise with others in hopes of making their lives better.

Everything we research, plan and create for a business is based on one thing – audience. Their readers’ wants and needs, passions and fears. Because the more we understand the audience, the greater (and longer-lasting) the impression we can have on them.

In other words, a company’s audience is what powers and unifies any effective content marketing strategy.

Your audience is to content marketers what the natural world is to Leonardo da Vinci.

Follow in the artist’s footsteps and think of your content, product or service and business channels (store, website, social media) as equal parts of the whole. They are all working to serve one thing – your audience.

This unified approach to content marketing will only make your customer relationships stronger. Because when you build a product that matches your prospect’s needs, create content they can relate to and provide a positive experience across platform, you are putting your audience first and giving them another reason to trust your solution over someone else’s.

Last Thought from Leonardo

Keeping your audience top of mind will also help guide future content creation and business ideas.

If it serves your customer, then it is worth pursuing.

Focus on the solutions that benefit your audience the most and organize your content and resources from there.

As Leonardo looked for answers in nature, you can find the answers in your audience.

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