In marketing, a story is NOT a nicely written series of events in chronological order.
A story is a narrative that pulls in your customers and attracts them like a gigantic magnet. Because it resonates with them on multiple deeper levels.
In order for a story to work in marketing (aka: achieve the above objective) it has to have 5-9 key ingredients – the exact number depends on which framework you use.
1. A hero: the hero is your customer, not you. Hearing/reading your story, they have to think aha, that sounds like me
2. A bigass problem: your hero’s challenge – your story will resonate if you understand and verbalize their problem better than they can. Hearing your story, they’ll think wow, that’s reallly me! (eyes light up, you have their attention and sympathy)
3. A plan: you need a simple to understand, easy to follow plan.
Internal reaction of your buyer: oh, so it’s that straightforward?
4. Painting the desirable outcome, the happy end: paint a clear picture of the transformation the hero can achieve, if they follow your plan
5. what’s at stake: the story needs to have an element of drama, which is a realistic picture of what happens if they keep doing things the same way. There is a cost at least to inaction, and they need to understand that.
How do you use the story, once you have it?
No, you don’t put in on your website under our story and hope it flatters everyone. It’s not that easy.
You’ll very rarely write out the entire story, but you’ll use elements of your it or an abbreviated version of it consistently in many places:
– sales collateral
– press releases
– your app
– social posts
– sales/demo conversations
– employee onboarding
– client onboarding
– cocktail parties when people ask you ‘what do you do?’
– at the gas station when you have to wait hours in line because of shortage and you start talking to people…. you get the point.
In fact, I can’t think of a place/channel where you wouldn’t be seeding your story…