If I promised to give you $25,000 as a gift and then only gave you $10,000 you might be grateful, but you’d also be disappointed. Don’t bother to deny it. Once an expectation has been set, anything that falls short of that expectation is disappointing.
Good marketers are paid to attract prospective customers. When attracting those prospective customers, promises are made both implicitly and explicitly. The stories marketers tell prospective customers set their expectations.
And great marketers tell great stories.
There is so much excellent content about storytelling, it’s no wonder that marketers are now telling better stories.
Since you’ll ask, here are two examples:
- This is an awesome post by Jeff Sexton about storytelling in advertising: “20 Moments of Greatness.“
- This is another excellent blog post on “How to Tell a Great Story,” by Carolyn O’Hara in the Harvard Business Review.
No doubt, marketers are telling better stories.
But will businesses keep the promises marketers are making?
The facts suggest that most businesses don’t deliver great customer experiences. That unintentionally turns great marketers into liars.
Virtually all of the senior marketers I know are uncomfortable with this situation. Of course, many of them are not in charge of the entire experience, but all of them have influence over the customer experience. At the very least they are responsible for the portion of the customer journey that they control.
By simply flipping the perspective, your marketing strategy becomes more integral to your business strategy. This is a process we call Buyer Legends.
So what happens when you take the perspective of the customer and describe the actual customer journey as a story the entire team can share?
I’ve seen three outcomes from writing the customer journey narrative:
- Expected Case: The narrative starts to influence the details marketers can control and optimize. Subsequently, the results gain attention for the technique and it begins to influence other areas of the company.
- Best Case: The effort originates in the C-Suite or, as part of the expected case, the narrative makes its way into strategic planning and permeates how the business thinks about customers and their experience.
- Worst Case: The marketer realizes that the gap between the brand promise and what the business delivers is too wide and looks for another job where she can maintain her integrity.
In every case, it’s a thoroughly worthwhile investment of just a few hours.
Would a Buyer Legend help your company sell more and delight more customers?
You won’t know unless you try.
It’s important to remember that Buyer Legends are not the stories your business tells your customers; that’s promotion. Buyer Legends are stories told from the point of view of your customers; because your brand isn’t what you say it is but what your customers say it is. The types of storytelling used in Buyer Legends are designed to create and improve the interactions your customers have with every touch point of your brand.
Today’s greatest brands are customer-centric, data-driven, and managed by narrative. Will you be one of them?
Image via Shutterstock.
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