As content takes its rightful place at the forefront of marketing, I'm seeing many marketers fail at basic storytelling.
Marketers are ineffective when they use the classic "customer testimonial" format and pop that onto their blog or make it into a video. "Here’s our product. It is great. Here are customers who say it is great. Now buy some of our product." This just doesn't hold people's attention.
How interesting would a book or movie be were it to have this plot?: Boy meets girl. They fall in love. They get married.
That's what most people do with their business writing.
The best stories drip with conflict. They have a hero and sometimes a villain. There is a story arc. As a writing teacher once told me: "Writing without conflict is propaganda."
"When launching a new product, it is important that customers understand what problems your product is solving. You don’t have time to tell a long story so you need to make sure your message is effective in creating a desire to learn more. This is where context can help. If you are trying to tell a story about your product, context is the background information that helps the scene make sense. Without this context, you leave it up to the customer to figure it out on their own."
This piece was written by R "Ray" Wang for softwareinsider, there are great insights and strategy for businesses who want to stay ahead of the curve.
Why did I curate this article? Because the foundation for an effective story is providing context. But what do we mean by that, especially when we are using biz stories to influence sales, build relationships, and grow loyal customers?
This article by R Ray Wang digs deeper into context from a marketing perspective that will definitely make you smarter about how to craft your stories to connect to your audiences. My friend and colleague Jan Gordon scooped this first and wrote the following review. Happy reading!
Review written by fellow curator Jan L. Gordon:
Here are the highlights of this article:
The Real-Time is Filled with Flaws
The hype around big data, social media, and mobility has many folks imagining the real-time enterprise in the future of work, next generation customer experiences, matrix commerce, or the data to decisions journey.
While real-time theoretically leads to quicker information and faster response times, t.he reality requires closer examination for three reasons:
Here is a brief overview:
1. Customers ad employees only want engagement aligned with self interest
**Relevancy of information is required for customers and employees to respond
**Real-time interactions quickly evolve into noise.
2. No human can truly handle the volume and flow of real-time interactions.
3. Real time is not fast enough - Reaction does not lead to a better customer experience or employee interaction
Delivering context is the secret to right time success
Context provides the key ingredient in improving outcome
Why? Context provides the relevancy required for not only anticipation, but also prediction
The Bottom line: Start with Seven Dimensions of Context Drivers:
"In the design of an engagement strategy, success will require organizations to factor the seven dimensions of context drivers."
relationships, time, location, business process, role, sentiment, intent
Selected by Jan Gordon covering "Curation, Social Business and Beyond"
Communicating on behalf of a brand can be tricky business. A decent idea once passed through the brand’s filter and massaged and molded to hit key messaging targets can come out the other side a shell of its possible self.
This stage in story design is itself another face of wonder. Wonder is experiencing something anew. At first, wonder opens us to the moment, feeling suspended in time and space for a few seconds. Or a few months.
Wow -- what a gem of an article! I love love love it. It's perspective is unique, different and so right on.
The author, Jeffery Davis, tackles the emotion of wonder and how critical it is for 'storytellers and business artists' (that's us, BTW) to understand it, and build it into our organizational stories.
Davis does a great job explaining 2 types of wonder and how they relate to business and business storytelling. He talks about why working with wonder is important, and then goes on to suggest how we can bring wonder into the stories we share.
Run -- don't walk -- to read this significant piece. You will be glad you did!
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