More effective product marketing by using storytelling techniques
Most people think you don’t need to factor “stories” into marketing until campaign development. Most people are wrong.
Let’s take a look at the product development process.
Maybe you are an inventor.
Maybe you are the founder of a startup.
Maybe you own a business line at an established company.
What’s the product development process entail?
You come up with an idea; you like it. It makes sense. This idea will change how people go about doing something. It will make their lives better.
You start to share your idea with few trusted confidants.
This idea could save the company! Drive the stock price up! Bring us all tremendous monetary success!
This idea could change the world!
Your idea bleeds with ‘why.' There are people in the tale. The people whose lives can be better, faster, more entertained, happier, stronger, smarter. Because of your idea.
Then you begin to test your hypothesis. Why? Because you want to see if it rings true and find out if it fits with peoples lives. You conduct research. You get feedback beyond your trusted confidants.
Things are going well. Your idea pops! It resonates. People do want it!
Time to double down. How do you ensure the whole team understands? Your investors?
You work to crystallize the idea and it’s surrounding story into a “value proposition.” What people get for it. What do they give up to get it? Why should they care?
Then you combine your research with people’s needs and pains with your value prop. You create a positioning and messaging framework.
Everyone on your team now has the tools to talk about and create content for your product.
You develop a marketing strategy that includes everything from mailing lists to content marketing, PR outreach, and paid advertising.
The idea resonates. You get the attention of your prospects. You draw them in.
People realize how their lives can be different, better.
They visualize how to fit it in their lives. They are close!
They dig a bit deeper to check that it is as good as they believe. It is! They buy it!
They love it!
Their life is better than before, and they become an evangelist for you and your company.
They love it so much they share your content with others. They bring more and more people on the shared journey.
So, now, a question.
How can you do that without a story?
I’ll tell you how.
If you didn’t focus on it, then it is there implicitly. By happy accident.
If that is the case, your living, breathing passion made it be. Or Luck.
Your commitment to who it will help, who will buy.
It is implicit in how it will help people.
It is visible in your diligence to ensure your potential customers know how life can be better.
You might find success like that. Once. Twice. Maybe even three times.
Or your luck might run out.
Would you like to ensure this process is repeatable, into the future? Every. Single. Time.
As your team grows how are you ensuring everyone is “singing from the same hymn sheet?”
The answer to these is: put storytelling at the heart of product development and product marketing.
Storytelling can be your north star in this process. Putting it at the core will ensure your customers’ needs and journeys are key elements. It will help you communicate to your trusted confidants and beyond. It will speed up value proposition development by reducing trash and be the guide rails for your customer experience.
Here is where you start. Ask yourself the following question:
“What is the story about the person that will have this in their life?”
Storytelling isn’t the only part of the puzzle. But it is a big part. You can either embrace it with intention and harness its raw power. Or you can take a shot in the dark.
The choice is yours.
For example: with a recent client we were reviewing their product strategy. They have a compelling product. When discussing their platform and asking questions about their ideal customer we came across a hidden benefit to their platform. Something which many people could benefit. It was buried away as an option. Available to all. It was on their freemium product. So, I asked the question. “Does anyone else provide this service?” The answer was “No!” We dug into the story-scenarios for people who would benefit from the capability. We went story-exploring. Then we coached them through putting it front and center. A loss leader for the entire platform. It was an equivalent of “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD),” a trojan horse that could pull their entire platform through. If they hadn’t considered their prospects lives and how their platform helps, then they never would have harnessed its power. Let me know if you’d like to know more about this story.