Everyone Has a Story to Tell...

Jim LeFevre

Most (if not all) of today’s marketing professionals have realized that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to reach their customers. In the good old days of digital marketing, one could simply find an interesting article or piece of content that a targeted audience would enjoy, and then interrupt it with intrusive ads.

Today, that model is ancient history as consumers are ignoring, skipping, blocking, or avoiding those ads at unprecedented rates. Browsers and other content access technologies are providing built-in ad-blocking functionality and there has been a fundamental shift in the expectations content consumers have when accessing articles, posts, and other interesting content. Woe be to the advertiser who comes in between a reader and his/her content!

So what’s a CMO to do? Innovative marketing leaders are quickly realizing that storytelling is the future. They recognize that in an increasingly ad-free world, effective, interesting, and unique stories need to be at the center of all of their marketing strategies and initiatives.

Ok, so we all need to make story the centerpiece of our marketing. But what exactly is ‘story’? What does it mean? More importantly, how do you effectively apply storytelling to your business to drive revenue, margins, and brand loyalty?

All great and important questions, of course. Think of industry-leading brands that you currently love. What stories are they telling? Why are they so effective?

Here’s an example. When Apple launched their iPhone 5s (I know, that was a long time ago but goes to show that Apple is very well deserving of its reputation as an innovator not just in the tech they sell but in their marketing strategy) they launched a campaign titled “Parenthood”, which focused on showing how the iPhone could integrate into the lives of parents to make parenting, and as a result their lives, a little bit easier.

You can check it out here:

 

 

The story told is one of peace of mind; the ironic soundtrack repeating the chorus refrain “I’m living the life of dreams” while showing all of the little daily challenges facing parents as they cope with parenthood, and how the iPhone can help overcome them. It makes it incredibly easy for parents to relate to these situations, and at the end, the message we’re left with, “You are more powerful than you think” makes the connection between the iPhone and the ability for parents to find their own power and be better parents in the process.

Apple definitely gets the power of storytelling and has used it effectively across a great variety of initiatives for quite some time. But if you’re new to storytelling, you may need some help getting started.

One of the best ways to learn more about how to apply storytelling to your business is to learn from those who have helped other leading organizations do it – and do it well. Companies like Mercedes Benz, Kraft, UbiSoft, and Pepsico have leveraged a series of seminars called Storynomics to drive marketing success. Delivered by industry pioneers Robert McKee, The best-selling author of STORY and the recently published DIALOGUE: THE ART OF VERBAL ACTION FOR PAGE, STAGE, AND SCREEN, and Tom Gerace, the founder and CEO of Skyword, a leading content marketing technology and services company that focuses on the art of storytelling, these seminars are designed to help you understand what story is, the impact storytelling can have on your marketing efforts, and considerations you need to take into account when starting to integrate storytelling concepts in your marketing efforts.

If storytelling sounds like something you’d like to explore, feel free to attend an exclusive webinar/interview on Thursday, November 3rd at 1:00 PM EDT that will focus on the reasons why story has become so critical, and more importantly – how you can effectively apply story to your organization. Mark Richards, FranklinCovey’s senior consultant, and Tom Gerace will discuss how innovators are adopting solutions such as Storynomics to leverage storytelling structure and drive revenue, margins and brand loyalty. You can register for this session here: http://bit.ly/2eoZMj0

Let us know what you think about the importance of story in marketing – have you told some great stories that have made an impact? Share them in our comments section!

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