How Marketing Should Be

Storytelling

Jumping to the front page of Reddit this week was a powerful Guinness commercial. The power is in a story that was so compelling that people shared it for the story, not necessarily the brand and Guinness gets all the goodwill.

This is the way marketing should be in the increasingly social ecosystem, that is the Web.

In just 60 seconds, this commercial has all of the depth of a much larger drama–passion, pain, twist, and humanity.

Take a look a look at the Guinness spot and then we’ll discuss…

 

Creating Better Marketing Stories

Pretty awesome, huh?

1. Using this as an example, how can you develop a creative process that drives story lines in more of your campaigns, versus the shrill Buy Now approach?

Here are a few techniques we use:

  • Start with the end in mind – What is the Wow! moment with your product or service? If you could craft the perfect experience with your product, what would it be? What is the ideal lead up experiences be (i.e., problems, pain points, excitement)
  • Don’t always start with the negative – We too often lead with the problems and pains that bring people to use our products and services. Instead brainstorm the exciting things that might be happening to bring people to use your product–a fun game of basketball, a very high growth period in your business, a flood of new customers, etc.

2. How should you deliver the story? In this example, Guinness used video. Are there times when the medium should be a consideration in how you tell the story? Does the audience or the story drive the medium?

Here are a few considerations we use to determine media choices:

  • Ideal outcome(s) – What is it we want the consumer to ultimately do? Buy the product, get on our email list, become aware and positive about our brand, advocate to friends and family?
  • Horizon of outcome(s) – How long are you willing to wait for the ROI on your efforts?
  • Proximity to action – This is a biggie. If I want you to buy the product on your first brand encounter, I’m not going to do a national TV spot. In that situation it’s probably far more appropriate to drive audience with paid (high intent) traffic to a landing page and present them with aggressive sales copy. In contrast, if you’re looking for brand equity and loyalty then a rich video story like Guinness did can be super powerful, and it doesn’t suffer from being very distant from the ultimate buy action.
  • Budget – This is always a major driving force in the development of marketing campaigns. We wish it wasn’t, but it always is so plan for it. Optimize appropriately for your budget and then use your ROI to level up your marketing game.

3. Often forgotten, but probably the most important is simply how to tell better stories.

This is harder than it looks. Getting really good at this will yield dramatic results. Here’s an introduction to the master teacher of storytelling–Robert McKee (you should buy his book).

 

Making Better Marketing Campaigns

How do you make better marketing campaigns? What would make you want to share a commercial?

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