There’s an old saying in the world of advertising:
Tell your story, or someone else will tell it for you.
Now that mass marketing channels have fragmented and social media has blossomed, getting someone else to tell your story sounds pretty damn good. But, from the look of things, most companies just don’t get how this stuff works.
It’s simple, right?
Tell people a story they want to hear, and they’ll repeat it to friends, family, and strangers at the bus stop.
But is it really your story that people want to hear, or in this case, tell?
People tell stories about themselves. They even buy things in order to say something about themselves.
They don’t give a hoot about your story unless it furthers their own personal narrative. If it does, your story comes along for the ride.
If not… too bad for you.
You’re not the star of this story. Smart marketers don’t even try to be the star.
Smart marketers want to be indispensible supporting characters.
It makes sense if you think about it:
- People don’t detail every component of their new home theater system out of love for the manufacturers.
- People don’t proudly drive their new BMW because they idolize German engineering. People don’t recommend Tide because they want to make sure Proctor and Gamble stock stays vibrant.
People respond to marketing stories when they either identify with the hero, or desire to become the hero.
Your story must put the prospect front and center as that hero.
And your product or service must be the indispensible supporting character that makes the hero look good.