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Hi <<First Name>>,

It was the first week of June. My two sisters had come to visit the old city in Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. It was about 8:30 PM when they decided to take a cab from the Western Wall to a nearby restaurant at Mamilla shopping mall.

The Western Wall is the last remaining structure of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, that was largely destroyed by the Romans 2000 years ago. It’s known as a holy place that attracts over a million people a year that come to pray for solace for any human ails.

The driver in his 30s said that he didn’t know that particular restaurant but he would drive them to the shopping mall. 

“You’re not from here, right?” He asked.

“No, we’re from Tel Aviv.” My oldest sister replied.

“So what are you doing here?” The driver curiously asked.

“We came to pray at the Western Wall.” My youngest sister volunteered.

“I bet among all of your prayers there was one for finding a husband, am I right?” Ventured the driver. 

The whole cab then broke into a burst of laughter.

With his confirmed hunch building his confidence, the driver summed up the situation: 

“You Tel Aviv girls all you care about is a cat and a dog. You keep praying and praying, God keeps sending you boys but you never take. This guy has hair on his hands, the other has something else and on and on...”

“I see that this topic is very important to you. It sounds like you could also be quite picky.” Observed my oldest sister.

“I guess it’s true. The girl I want, she doesn’t want me. The girl who wants me I don’t want her.” Confessed the driver.

“So, why don’t you go and pray at the Western Wall, too?” My youngest sister suggested.

The driver smiled, opened his cab’s sunroof and with his index finger pointing up said: “I don’t need to go to the Western Wall, I have a direct line to God!

Your audience is always scouting their environment for the shortest route to solve their problem. Great stories work as attention magnets.
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When you’re developing your business narrative and your subsequent business stories, I can’t stress enough the importance of first running deep-dive research with your ideal buyer persona. 

Don’t rely only on Indirect Research by analyzing what your ideal buyer is saying on social media. Yep! I know It’s way easier to do it from the comfort of your office. But this data offers only a half-truth. 


Simply because it puts you in a reactive mode. You learn only what your buyer chose to share with the world. In Design Thinking parlance, you see only what your buyer decided to Do and Say. But as you may know, the most important information nuggets you are after are almost never shared. 

They are buried deep in what I call “Blind Country” and refers to what your buyer Thinks and Feels.

You would think a cab driver in Jerusalem will use the most popular holy spot for praying - the Western Wall - but as the story reveals he found an unusual shortcut that only makes sense for his personal story.

Your mission is to find this kind of non-trivial shortcuts your buyer is taking when trying to solve the problem your product or service solves. Finding these shortcuts could drastically change your assumptions and your entire visual storytelling strategy.

How do you find these shortcuts?

Easy! You use a Direct Research program where you start by gathering your team and mapping out key questions that affect critical behavioral aspects at every stage of your buyer’s journey. Then, with your master question list in hand, you run in-person interviews with your buyer.

Now you’re on the proactive end of your research effort. 

You go out and pull the information your buyer would have never considered to share because for her it might be a non-issue, too personal or for other reasons outside your radar. 

How are you finding your buyer’s shortcuts along your buyer’s journey? Feel free to reach out and share your thoughts. 



Shlomi Ron
CEO |  Visual Storytelling Institute 
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