First, I started with a sub story.  Now I can’t really repeat it here and it’s one of my favorites so you have to hear it in person but let’s just say it’s a very memorable story about submarines (I rode one for a few years in the Navy) and poop.

But the big part of the presentation was about story.

When marketing fails, what do you blame?

It’s easy to blame the strategy, the tactic, the media buy, the target audience, the competition, the five Ps with the C’s and ABCs or any other letters you feel.

But we all know the real reason.

The Boss.

If he/she actually gave us the right budget (blank check),

listened to our recommendations instead of their spouse’s opinion (who was a marketing minor)

and just praised us all the time.

Everything would work just fine.

But most of the time it doesn’t.

And there are so many moving parts in the machine, we can blame just about any thing and everything we want.

Instead of the thing that might be most important of all.

The story.

And the story is the boss.

So what’s in the story?

The benefits that the target audience is looking for?

The reason you are better than the competition?

The solution to their problem?

That’s crap that the boss will have no problem approving.

But the problem is that it sucks.

Real bad.

You can bullet your benefits like the Bonnie and Clyde but that won’t get people to pay attention or remember who the heck you were.

You need to wrap your marketing in a story.

Why?

Because we remember stories not facts.

Because our brains are wired around emotions, senses and language not numbers.

Because we love…

mysteries.

jokes.

romance.

the hero.

Can your service or product be wrapped in story? Of course it can.

How do you do it?

Basic building block of short stories.

Exposition.
Quickly set the scene.

Conflict.
THE HOOK. Get to the problem.

Rising Action.
KEEP THEM HOOKED. Now really speed it up. Or add more issues.

Climax.
IN OR OUT OF THE BOAT. Everything comes to head.

Denouement.
YOU GOT THEM. Resolution and recount what they learned. Here’s why I’m wasting your time.

I finished up the presentation by wrapping it back into the sub story.  Then I told the audience, that they may not remember anything about my presentation except the story and how I tied it back to the HOOK.  And really, that’s all I wanted them to remember.

Then I told them to do this on their own.

Go get your facts about whatever you are selling.

Look at them for a long time. Rip all the marketing fluff away.

Then write create different stories about each benefit. Use mystery. Use funny. Use romance. Use hero. Combine them. Have fun with them. Madlib them.

Remember when you are writing the story to use the basic building blocks of the story.

Start with the Hook.

Paint with exposition – be brief.

Get to the conflict immediately.

And then whip up the rising action into the climax.

Bring in the denouement.

Also to make sure and get “The Story Factor” from Annette Simmons.

And stop blowing crap in your face and get the story right.

How do you feel about story in your marketing?