Marketing Trends – Part 8

Welcome to the latest installment of our weekly blog series, Marketing Trends. Each week, we will identify a key trend in the world of marketing. We’ll discuss the trend, why it’s important, and suggest ways that you can take advantage of this trend in your company.

Last week’s trend was Marketing Specialists.

Today’s Trend = Storytelling

Traditional advertising went like this –

  • We’re going to tell you about a problem you already have
  • We’re going to tell you how our product solves that problem
  • We might give you an added incentive to buy it right away
  • And we’ll tell you how to buy it

For the most part, that was it. It was easy. It worked.

But today, it is not as effective as it used to be. People are tired of being “sold to”. They are consciously opting out of advertising, even when it might be something they are interested in.

Instead, they are looking for reviews from real people. They want to research products and companies on their own before they buy. And they definitely don’t want to feel like that ad they saw convinced them to buy something.

So what are marketers doing to combat this negative connotation that consumers have with traditional advertising? They are engaging in storytelling.

The best way to explain storytelling is by giving what I believe is the best example of it. The company is GoPro. GoPro has built their entire brand through storytelling. And it’s paying off in a huge way.

Think about the company. They make cameras. They are specialty cameras used in very specific ways. But that’s what they do, they sell cameras. They could have run ads telling you how great their cameras are, how much fun you’ll have with them, how they’re the only cameras that let you do the things you can do with them. So go buy them.

But you wouldn’t. Because you’ve heard it all before from other camera makers.

Instead, they put the power in the hands of their customers. They used the amazing things their customers were creating with their cameras as their marketing and promotion. They made it easy for people to share their work, and put their own marketing dollars behind it’s promotion. And we all know GoPro not through a bunch of commercials and in your face advertising. We all know GoPro because we’ve seen a video someone took that we had a connection with. It wowed us.

That’s storytelling in action. Companies like Red Bull, Apple, Google, and many others have all worked to master storytelling in their marketing. And you should too.

What marketing trend should we cover next? Now accepting submissions for marketing trends that we will cover in an upcoming installment of this series. Submit your ideas via our contact page or in the comments section below.

How to Tell a Better Story

Marketing today is all about storytelling.

Your brand has a personality. Your brand interacts with consumers much like people interact with each other. The digital media of the day makes it so that the division between companies and the people they serve is not what it used to be. And the most successful companies of the new economy are the ones that use this to their advantage.

How can your brand tell a better story?

  1. Use people. The best stories have characters that people connect with. You can either turn your company into a personality itself, use the personality of your CEO or other employee, or create a mascot of sorts (think Flo from Progressive).
  2. Engage consumers. Marketing is not a one way street anymore. A more effective story is one that gets your audience involved. You can use customers in your marketing materials, get them to submit content, host contests, offer rewards, etc.
  3. Use multiple channels. Your story will only be believable if it’s everywhere. You want to engage with people where they are already hanging out. Involve an array of social networks, utilize your own website, and include the story in all of your advertising.
  4. Be consistent. You can’t tell one story on Facebook and another on your website and another in your advertisements. You must share that same story across all channels.