How to Get Traction from Your Story

How to Get Traction from Your Story

So you have successfully repositioned your business. You have created a compelling story but how do you bring the message to market, or as we call it in the business world – marketing!

Slowly but surely most management teams are waking up to the fact that interruption marketing is just not working – no matter how good your story is! Attention is now the huge rarity factor we need to acknowledge. We need to realign our thinking around attracting attention with remarkable content. We need to think in-bound marketing or content marketing if you prefer. We need to translate our inspiring story, our boilerplate of who we are and the business results or value we deliver for our customers into marketing collateral that compels prospects to act.

Whether we are considering web sites, video tutorials, blogs, white papers, podcasts, books, webinars, seminars, mobile strategies; it’s all about content.

Marketing Narrative

  1. Identify the Persona that represents the likely user of your product and tell their story. Make it feel that you are directly talking to their world. An example might help. Imagine a software group focused on managing digital content wants to launch a new product to monitor breaches to web site policies eg your web site has broken links, or contains out of date material or it breaches your web site policy for the visually impaired. The problem to solve is who cares about these issues within your prospect, who loses sleep if the link on the web site doesn’t go to the white paper. Perhaps the content on the web site say in the pharmaceutical sector contains misleading instructions. Who gets the call? Who would really appreciate a software product that automatically alerts for breaches? That’s Persona thinking. Identify not just the target company but the managers within it who care about the issues you are solving.
  2. Create Business Results Sheets that translate the story into specific results you can achieve for customers. Separate sheet for each product. These sheets need to be created with deep knowledge of the customer’s world. You want to articulate the symptoms that will be present on your customer’s site that indicate your solution is relevant eg
    1. Symptom -Supply chain costs are rising – you offer a service to review the product lifecycle to take costs out of the system.
    2. Symptom – Software bugs are causing huge cost over-runs and deadlines to be missed – you offer an intuitive code analyzer tool to trap bugs earlier in the process and allow corrections.
    3. Symptom – Your mobile workforce are operating inefficiently trying to process paperwork in the field – you offer mobile software and services to allow cell phones to become transaction processors.
  3. Please note these Business Results Sheets will not only identify the symptoms but importantly the consequences of these symptoms persisting eg fines, loss of business.
  4. All marketing collateral needs to articulate how the prospect could use the product in their business today. Instant gratification. Use videos, case studies, blogs, white papers, whatever it takes to make it clear how a prospect derives value from your product. So many products fail the compelling usage tests. Having great capabilities is not enough.
  5. All collateral should hammer home these messages again and again. Building them into boiler plates (About section) on every PR release, external communication. This reinforces who you are not just to prospects but as important to existing staff.
  6. Marketing campaigns are now able to target Personas with stories that resonate and products they would use. Scary isn’t it. You are reaching out to key individuals and saying we can help you succeed. We can help you in your career. People buy people and marketing needs to feel like a real conversation not a mysterious set of corporate slogans.
  7. Also because of their deep knowledge of the market the marketing team will produce excellent competitor cheat sheets highlighting why you are unique. The key is to identify the essence of your competitors and why your solution solves a problem theirs does not.

Please share your marketing successes. What has worked for you?

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