Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Is Marketing a Bunch of Smoke and Mirrors?

No... but if done correctly, Marketing can be magical.

When my kids were young we used to drive around town and take turns making up stories. At first it was pretty simple, a kid walks past a cave and he sees two red eyes. But after a while we started creating more intricate stories. We added tension and suspense. One day my son, who was about six at the time, made up a great story about a lion and a peacock. I was absolutely captured through to the ending... it was magical.

A great story is magical.

I've been in and around marketing for the better part of 20 years and the one thing I continue to stress is the importance of telling a great story. Yes, you can tell the story about features and benefits. You can tell the story of differentiation. You can tell the story of cost and value... But if you really want to see something magical, tell the story of integrity, prosperity, confidence, tension, suspense and values.

Your product or service is much more than a fact-sheet. Your story is about you, your employees, your values, your passion to solve problems in a unique way. Your story is also something your customer has been waiting to hear. It connects with them in a meaningful way. The Toyota Prius was never about MPG, it was a story about the earth... it told a story about integrity and values, and it allowed the customer to tell the same story just by driving it.

When I made up stories for my kids I used to try to build characters with strong values, but I never forgot to have fun, act silly and entertain them at the same time. Telling your customers about your features and benefits is like always telling your kids to brush their teeth. Entertain them instead.

Connect with your customers in meaningful ways. What is your story?

Whisk me away :)

--Mash

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