Narrative goes beyond marketing

Let me get this out of the way early on: narrative is more than marketing. Narrative making shapes the very fabric of your company. Of course, if there is one place where narrative is highly visible it is in marketing.  

Narrative is the force for how customers experience your brand which in turn informs how they feel about your brand which subsequently defines your brand in the market. Buyers know Cisco understand networking and that they approach things with the highest levels of rigor. Buyers experience this via certifications, quality performance and up-time. 

How are people experiencing your brand? Are you approaching narrative development and application it in a methodical manner? Do you have a plan and does it reach beyond your immediate horizon?

Start with your objectives, this will fuel your overarching narrative arc. Then break down each of your steps to get there and all the target audiences your are prioritizing and which channels you will leverage to reach those buyers. For each of these you need to identify the steps of your  customer's journey.

Then it's time to build your micro-narratives for each combination of audience and channel. Next up is core content. Content with a big C generally includes your value proposition, positioning and messaging frame works (for each target audience), and prototype messaging (keynotes, exec blog series, internal staffing emails).

Then the rubber is ready to meet the road in execution. The three big dogs here are one, your leadership to drive the organization forward, two the creative messaging (that directly comes out of the core content) and third your marketing automation plans - where you will A/B test, iterate and hack your marketing to optimize and zero in on results and growth.

Narrative is the red thread that ties your business strategy to what your customers experience. 

Time to write the narrative of your company's future.