Thinking of all the individual moving parts, that marketing departments are responsible for, as a whole is not intuitive. As marketers we use words like touch points without really grasping the journey that the customer will go through. There are several reasons for this. Many marketers see their jobs as a series of tasks or executables. This shortsighted view makes seeing the bigger picture impossible.
Be The Brand’s Storyteller
However, this is just one obstacle. Even if you have a better sense of the mosaic of activities and digital assets in your marketing mix as a whole, the permutations are nearly endless. Ed Abrams, IBM’s VP Marketing for Midmarket, sees them in a holistic framework. He looks at it as the story of a brand.
Storytelling As Solution-Telling
Storytelling is absolutely essential whether it be traditional paid media, owned media like social networks and blogs, or earned media where someone else is telling your story. It’s critical to connect your story of how you solve the customer’s problems at each step of their journey.
The key in storytelling though is to recognize that people are going to enter your story at different chapters and pages along their journey.
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★ Weaving Storytelling Effectively Into All Marketing Touch Points ★
It’s Their Story, Not Yours
So as you think of telling your story you must visualize it through their eyes. You should ask, where is the customer in the buying cycle, where are they in the learning cycle, and how does it relate to their job’s role as it relates to that stage of the process? That way the story is relevant to their needs, their issues, their requirements.
Ed stresses it’s vital from the storytelling perceptive that it is not delivered as a one-way communication. It must be crafted so the consumer of that information can interact with it, and be able to share and contribute to that story in their own way. That means you must see social and collaborative as intrinsic to the total experience. Then they can participate when and how the customer chooses.
Interviewed: Ed Abrams VP Marketing — Midmarket at IBM This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.*
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VP Marketing — Midmarket at IBM