Sound Advice – What’s Your Story?

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What’s Your Story?

          At this time of year, everyone is making predictions. But you don’t need a crystal ball to predict that you will have more competition in 2013 and you will have more media choices than ever before.
          With more new media platforms and more competition clamoring for your prospect’s attention, your marketing “story” has never been more important.
          It is your marketing story that will distinguish you from your competition and capture the hearts, minds, and eventually the wallets, of your prospects.
          Long before marketing stories began to go viral via social media, advertising guru Roy Williams proclaimed, “For some insane reason, advertisers want their ads to look and sound like ads.”  Williams asks, “Why is this?”
          With the ongoing demise of printed media like newspaper and yellow pages, traditional ads that look like ads are less relevant and less meaningful that ever before.
          The purpose of advertising is to move your prospects from unawareness of you, to awareness of you, to considering you, to preferring you, and eventually to purchase your products or services.  Nothing can transition customers through these phases more effectively than telling your story in a consistent series of well-told stories.
          Humans have been using stories for thousands of years to convey messages, relay information or teach important lessons.  We are all wired to appreciate a great story.
          Serious stories can remind us what is important in life, funny stories can lighten our mood, and fairy tales can teach us lessons. The three characteristics of powerful marketing stories are:

1.)   They target the emotions. Using tools like music, humour, real-life characters and causes, can connect your prospects with your business at an emotional level.

2.)   Stories must be simple and relevant. The classic story of the tortoise and the hare, where the plodding turtle eventually wins the race over the hare who has run too hard and exhausted itself is easy to understand and clearly makes its point. 

3.)   The most memorable stories are told consistently over time and with repetition. You wouldn’t remember the phrase ‘Bah Humbug’ or the name Ebenezer Scrooge had you only heard it once, even though the story did strike an emotional chord. Consistency and repetition is also the reason you know which cola is “The Real Thing.”

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