Value of Storytelling in Marketing

Marketing has to be a lot of storytelling. When I say this, you’ll give it a little bit of a laugh and say, OK, so I’m actually in a very serious business. Then how do you talk about storytelling? They don’t relate to my business.

I personally feel every business, at whatever stage of business they are, they need to continue talking about different things or different stories. When you’re actually with your existing customers, they obviously know what you’re capable of doing and how you’re helping them and how you’re actually solving problems for them. But you want to grow and open up new customers in new segments, in new geographies. If you want to do that, you have to communicate to these new customers. And tell them stories about how you can actually add value for them. Without you doing that, they are never going to be able to understand what you are capable of doing.

Storytelling can have different forms

So now you see why I say that storytelling is important. Storytelling can have different forms at different points of time. They can take different content asset types. So, for example, you can create a story using a brochure. You can create a story using a case study. You can create a story using a video or a podcast. You could even do a white paper.

All of these are actually storytelling mechanisms. You are essentially telling a new prospect what he’s actually going through in terms of challenges. How you could potentially solve those challenges and why he should actually trust you to work on these challenges for them?

Some examples

I’m actually going to give some examples through this conversation so that,  it is very easy to understand. I have had numerous conversations with a lot of entrepreneurs, CEOs, and their immediate reaction is, hey, you know what? I already got a lot of stories. I got a brochure. I have a website which already talks about a lot of things. So people can understand about it.

I personally feel that is more of an inside out approach. It is like my company can do this. My company has these capabilities. I have an ISO 9001 certification, I have production facilities that are certified, etc. I personally feel a lot of businesses need to move to an outside in approach.

What is an outside in? An outside in approach means you have to talk about what are the pains that the industry is going through right now and then relate to those pains and see how your solution can make a difference for the customer in the current scenario. So I’m want to give two examples of how we’ve actually modified some of our stories in the current covid-19 scenario for some of the clients that we’ve been working with.

So one of the clients is a payroll service provider. So it’s a cross-industry. We’re trying to relate to what pains the HR head is going through right now because HR is the key decision-maker. We are building lots of stories of how HR can get more time to do performance management, HR can get more time to manage emergencies, how HR can focus more on employee engagement, etc. Each of these stories is someway linked to our core messaging which is payroll outsourcing. But because I am talking of things that they are actually worried about, they listen to me much more and are much more interested in understanding more details.

Similarly, I’m also working with a company which is a producing high end engineering animations. With sales across manufacturing firms grinding to a halt and virtual meetings, the need of the hour, we are talking of how engineering animation can help them continue their sales process and continue engaging with their customers. If you want to communicate a complex idea, engineering animations can do the job for you.

Linking the stories with the current context

We started building stories where we talk about how to make virtual sales meetings productive. How to get the most from virtual conferences? How you can make an effective sales presentation, or show visitors around using a virtual factory tour. All of this can be done using engineering animations.

I leave it to you to think about, you know, what other stories you’d like to build as a business, whether in the form of videos or a new website or new collateral or you podcast, webinar, or a white paper, whatever that is. Each of those are powerful assets that you can use in your marketing warfare quite often.

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