Whether you’re highlighting your career accomplishments or developing the next great marketing campaign, a storytelling approach can set you apart from the competition.
When crafting a marketing story, there are six components to keep in mind. In this article for B2BMarketing.net I share those elements, along with lessons in storytelling from Serta’s “Counting Sheep” and how State Farm’s characters overcame the monster to deliver a marketing campaign that was scary-good.
Hardwired to Hear: The Storytelling Six
Too much marketing relies on the old motivators. You’ve probably heard about all five: fear, greed, guilt, exclusivity, and approval. Maybe you have used these triggers. In his book “Winning the Story Wars” Jonah Sachs explores empowerment marketing. Instead of focusing on your target audience’s inadequacies, make them the hero. And use your product to help people on their journeys. Read more—and see examples of brands that use empowerment marketing—in this guest blog post I wrote for Q’s Views.
Mark Quinn is a wonderful client of mine that blogs about marketing and the mattress industry. The image above is the header from his blog called Q’s Views. From time to time I write guest posts. I wanted to share them here. Many thanks to Mark for allowing me to contribute.
How to Profit from Low Expectations: For most people getting an oil change is no fun. Find out what happens when a business re-imagines what is normally a painful experience.
Mental Shortcuts Even Millionaires Unintentionally Take: How do you make a choice? It’s sounds like a simple question, but you might be surprised to find out what is going on in your brain. In this guest post you’ll get inside information on how your mind substitutes hard questions for easy ones.
‘Start with the Heart’ and Supercharge Your Mattress Sales: Your mattress is a place filled with personal memories. Unfortunately, most mattress marketing concentrates on price-and-item promotions. Find out why it’s important to connect with shoppers on an emotional level.
James Bond and the Nature of Changing Times: In the film “Skyfall,” James Bond woke up in a world he did not understand. What did he do to overcome his irrelevance and beat the bad guy? He went back to basics, teaching us that some things never change. Fundamentals can still work — even in a world where technology often wins.
In advertising, bad clients can suck the soul out of your team. They should be avoided at all costs. But there’s a problem—sometimes you don’t realize you are getting a bad client until after you’ve built a relationship and made a significant time investment. You’ve spent weeks (or months) talking about your agency, building value in your strategic approach and showcasing your brilliant execution. Then you have a moment of clarity and realize the potential client is going to nickel and dime you to death. Even worse, you realize they don’t know how to run their business and marketing isn’t going to help. As a communication pro, you can only do so much to inject new life into a withering brand. Many times, the real problem is in operations. If a client doesn’t have their house in order, there is nothing to market except shitty food, poor presentation, and awful service—which means there is nothing to market. If you find yourself facing a moment of truth and decide to go with your gut, how do you say no? How do you essentially reject this person you’ve been pursuing, while making them feel good and keeping the door open for future conversations? Let me tell you a short story. Continue reading
America’s Got Talent is the equivalent of watching a performance by the Wild Men of Borneo followed by Marilyn Monroe. After the odd feats of strength, you can count on seeing a sultry singer captivate the crowd. Then it’s back to something like Mr. Frank Lentini. Besides the sick-fascination-factor, I’m not sure how this circus sideshow stays on television. It needs a common thread, like that blue stripe they painted through China during the Olympics to let marathon runners know where to go. In the form of a shock jock with a mop top, that blue stripe has arrived.
Howard Stern is the new judge on America’s Got Talent and he will change the show. Scratch that. He’ll make the show. And he’s the best marketing asset they’ve got. The self-proclaimed “King of All Media” is joining a panel of judges that includes Sharon Osborne and Howie Mandel. Like I said, I have never been interested in America’s Got Talent because it’s unfocused. It wasn’t a singing competition. It wasn’t a dancing competition. Contestants could choose to juggle chainsaws or river dance. Sporadic. And at the end of the competition a singer always wins. Except for season two where a ventriloquist who was also a singer won. We can make bets on which talent is in higher demand. That outcome, where a singer-always-wins, makes the other talent somewhat irrelevant. Right? It makes the show seem like a fraud and people want the truth. Lucky for them, the truth has arrived in the form of Howard Stern. And in that truth, there’s a lesson about marketing.
An EF5 tornado hit my hometown of Joplin, Missouri. My family and I are blessed. We suffered no damage. Avoiding the path of demolition was like hitting the lottery because about 30% of the town is gone. I was on a disaster documentation team and my journey up and down each street inspired what you’re about to read.