In part one of this series, we talked about marketing being all about telling stories. As a marketer, I tell my client’s stories to their customers. And yes, I do it because I enjoy it – but I also do it (as does every other marketer) because consumers demand it.
So, if marketing = story telling, does that mean that all storytellers are marketers?
Yes, it does.
It doesn’t matter whether you are in a “marketing position” or not – the fact is, if you have an idea you want to spread or a story to tell, you’re a marketer.
It sounds like it should be pretty easy, then – tell stories, people buy your stuff – what could be easier, right?
Unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated than that.
The challenge starts with people’s perceptions and belief systems. That’s why 2 people can look at the exact same thing and have completely opposite opinions about it.
An obvious example of this phenomenon can be seen in any parking lot in America. If cars were really all about getting from point A to point B, we wouldn’t need more than a couple different models to choose from.
But car manufacturers tell a story – some cars are “practical” while some are “environmentally friendly.” Some are “utilitarian” while others offer speed or luxury.
And the person who claims she needs a car for transportation to and from work – but “wouldn’t be caught dead” in one type of vehicle or another – has simply believed the story that auto marketers have told her – the type of car she selects will align with her perceptions and beliefs about the world.
Perception, as they say, is reality.
It’s why all products don’t appeal to everyone. Take diets, for instance. Many people want the exact same thing – to lose weight, get in shape and feel fit and healthy.
Yet if everyone’s perceptions were identical, there would be no need for 90% of the hundreds of diet bestsellers on the bookshelves. The diet someone chooses – or the car they drive – or anything they purchase fits with their perception – how they see the world.
If you want to attract bees – put out the honey! As a marketer, one of my most important goals when I’m working with a client to develop their marketing plan is to help my client determine who their best customer is, and how we can best market to those customers.
As we’ve seen – not every story will resonate with everyone. The trick in telling authentic stories is to frame your story so that it hits home with your specific customer group – the customer whose way of seeing the world aligns best with the story you have to tell.
Find those customers, tell your story using language that reinforces the way they see the world – and watch your sales grow!