If you didn’t show up to the party, would people ask: “Why didn’t you show up?”
What if you didn’t send out that newsletter or direct mail? Didn’t attend that sales meeting? Didn’t posted that LinkedIn blog message? Would you be missed? Do you actually connect with your audience and add value to their lives?
In marketing, there’s a constant focus on customer experience and the customer-centric approach. It is – more than ever – crucial that brands understand how to effectively engage with their target audience. To grab their attention and get them involved with your brand – on a long-term basis.
Unfortunately (or fortunately given your point of view), these days, it’s very much a buyers’ market. Customers have an overwhelming abundance of choice. They have sky high expectations and little loyalty to spare if brands fail to stand out and connect with them in a genuine and personalized manner – that they prefer.
Don’t be confused. Standing out is not just about being noticed. Running down the street naked sure will get you noticed, but it won’t accomplish much in the long run. It won’t make you stand out in a positive way. No, making your corporate branding able to actually connect with customers requires a bit more effort and thought.
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but about the stories you tell.”
– Seth Godin, dot com business executive turned entrepreneur
To make a long story short …
According to experts, 90 percent of all purchasing decisions are made subconsciously. They’re based on empathy towards a particular company or brand. That’s why emotional branding is such an effective marketing strategy. Storytelling in marketing triggers these emotions and captures imagination. Great stories are remembered far more than just basic facts, features and benefits as they lead the audience on a journey.
Take it from dot com business executive turned entrepreneur Seth Godin: “Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but about the stories you tell.” Yes, meeting your customers with authentic, meaningful, sincere and value- oriented storytelling is one of the best ways to stand out from the crowd; to expose your brand positioning and define your brand’s value proposition towards your audience in an efficient and energising way.
Why it works
Storytelling plays a vital role in our lives and culture. And has been for as long as humankind has had cognitive capabilities. Stories are essential to human existence – and to your overall marketing campaign. By telling a story, you speak to your audience. Not at them – by ear-splittingly trying to sell them your product or service using terms only you know the meaning of. They really don’t really care much for that.
If you want to stand out, you need to find a better way to connect. And when you tell a story, you spark that connection. Because, the brain not only detects patterns in sounds and in visual forms – such as faces and figures – it also detects patterns in information. Stories are recognizable patterns, and in those patterns, people find meaning.
Storytelling comes in many shapes and sizes. It may involve illustrating the reasons your company was created, what inspires the products and services you offer, or perhaps giving your customers a behind-the-scenes insight into your company.
Storytelling is not just a powerful tool in communicating to customers. It’s also a great way to engage employees in the workplace. Robert McKee, the world’s best-known and most respected screenwriting lecturer, believes that even business CEO’s have a greater chance of captivating listeners if they skip their PowerPoint slides and learn to tell good stories instead.
So, try storytelling in your marketing. Because a great storyteller will always be missed.