Three steps to engaging customers and selling more
You're racing to get customers attention, have them hear you and buy from you rather than your competition.
What are the three steps along the path to success?
They are (1) Product Marketing + (2) Storytelling + (3) Marcom = Magic
In short, getting product marketing and marketing communications (marcom) right isn't enough.
Stories take people on a journey, they support and fuel transformation.
It's about the customer, not the product.
People buy products to transform themselves, to make things better or different. This goes for everything from toothbrushes to artificial intelligence hosted in the cloud.
Think of the last time you traveled, or went on an adventure. The trip transformed you. You learned new things, you changed and grew. After the expedition, you were no longer who or what we were before.
It doesn't take a journey to change us. We are living our own story and evolving. Every. Single. Day.
When we buy something or add something new to our life, we experience change and embark on a journey.
It's possible to tell a story about a vacation and experiences. Likewise, share stories of our lives changed by-products.
How do you and your products/services fit into your customers' journey?
How do you help them in a way worthy of stories being told?
If you put this consideration at the core of what you do you will be getting ready to harness the power of story.
Let's look at a simple high-level example and a potential message.
Service: cloud computing provider
Message: the most flexible, cost-effective way of hosting your applications in the cloud.
Seems fair enough, right? Practical. No buzzwords. Honest. Let's consider that message from the customer point of view, outside in if you will.
Customer perspective: It's flexible - good I don't want to be locked into one way of doing things, especially someone else's style. It's cost effective - great I have limited budgets. Plus it fits into the category I need - cloud apps so my employees can use and them and access their anywhere.
The problem: It's an inside-out message. It covers benefits but doesn't map to that which the customer cares. A common problem with "solutions" messaging. The customer has to spend time, energy and effort decoding the message.
Either you do the heavy lifting creating a crisp message, or you force the customer to do the heavy lifting.
Marcom is an arms race in simplicity. With all things being equal customers will chose the most straightforward message to understand.
What to prioritize: The elements the customer cares about that will take them forward on their journey.
Let's take another run at the message with this in mind.
Message No. 2: the cloud service that helps your employees get things done by providing access to apps and data, anywhere, in a way that fits your organization's budgets and way of working.
Value propositions and positioning frameworks are fundamental. They are, however, a foundation, a starting point for downstream marketing communications (marcom) content.
If the outputs of marcom content need more than just the initial foundation. They need a human-shaped framework on which to build the messaging. That framework is story.
When you storify your content, you get it ready for easy consumption by the human brain.
Storifying means building content that works with the API of the human brain.
When the human brain accepts and engages with content, everyone wins.
Get attention. Be heard. Sell more.
Onto the links
If stories need people then when you are creating story-driven content it helps to have personas
Consider this take on segmentation, closely relates to persona efforts
The rubber meets the road in your campaigns via relevant channels. Make sure you bring your stories to life!
Go Narrative is a marketing consultancy that assists business leaders in technology firms to build and implement advanced marketing strategies. Our secret sauce is storytelling for business growth and transformation. We can help you cut through the noise and improve your reputation. We love helping business leaders understand, use and apply storytelling in business via writing, presentations, video, strategy and actionable plans. Get attention. Be heard. Sell more.
More about what we do, download the PDF.