Stories say so much more than just words…

Feb 05, 2016

Stories say so much more than just words…

The purpose of marketing is to persuade customers to pay attention to your message and engage with it long enough to take an action in line with your bigger goals. It is a stepping stone to another destination, such as visiting your website, picking up the phone, starting a free trial or placing an order. Marketing can be subtle (brand recognition), direct (sales letters, email and offers), or simply stumbled upon.

Marketing can be visual, audio or in word, but ultimately it is a sales piece designed to attract attention and draw people into making a buying decision. Most companies make the mistake of ‘talking at’ their prospects and customers through their marketing, rather than ‘engaging with’ their reader’s emotions.

Stories are intuitively opposite to most sales orientated marketing in that people ‘want to’ read them. They appeal to our basic inquisitive, human spirit and when we find one that appeals to us directly, we simply cannot put it down until we discover how it ends. That is why some people can’t resist reading the final page of a novel long before they get there. Others will simply read on into the night until they reach the happy ending… or otherwise.

Imagine if your marketing had that effect?


Appeal to your customer’s natural obsession!

Our natural obsession with stories is the reason that Reality TV and Seasons 1-6 of your favorite shows dominate flat-screens and tablets the western world over. It is why annual book revenues still outstrip computer games by three to one and why soap operas continue to clean up when it comes to viewing figures each Christmas.

The Pyramid Principle! This is how it works!

Picture an upside-down pyramid in your mind and let me tell you a story. The first line of that pyramid is like the start of the story. If it grabs your attention, you will read the next line and the next until you are hooked. The closer you get to the end, the more you feel engrossed in the characters, the plot and the promise of a twist or happy ever after. As you descend further into the pyramid, angling towards the point at the end you simply cannot resist the final page. And you read every single word that leads you there.

Now turn the pyramid into its standard position. This is traditional marketing. Your intention now is the long line at the bottom. It is the first sale, the satisfied customer and the ongoing relationship that will make your business successful. The problem is that you have to start at the top. You only really have one chance, a short window of opportunity in which to win their hearts. Your headline has to be stunning to get them to read further down. Your next line has to engage them even more because by now they have clocked that you are trying to sell them something. You need to get them into the irresistible detail of the sale as soon as possible before they lose interest and go somewhere else. You have a tough job on your hands and, in all truth, you probably won’t win on the first attempt. You’ll need to build a desert full of pyramids to get there.

Go and find your story…

I promise you this works. Go and find your story, your why, your passion and then share it. Tell the story well and tell it from the heart. Get it in front of the right people and the right people will listen right through to the lifelong customer and beyond…

Category: Storytelling

About The Author

Martin Gladish

Specialist business ghost blogger and business book ghost writer...