What is Story Marketing and How Does it Work?

If you've been doing any research on marketing trends lately, you've probably seen a lot of buzz around story marketing.

Story marketing sounds good, but what the heck is it?

Well, one thing that most people don't know about me is that I love TV commercials. A great commercial is 30 seconds of art - it can make you laugh or even cry (remember those old AT&T commercials?).  Today's commercials are chock full of story marketing.

Let me give you a few examples of story marketing commercials I saw tonight:

  • A woman uses her new, cheaper home phone service to stay in touch with her mom in a foreign country.
  • A man uses his fast mobile device with great picture quality to say goodnight to his son while he's away on a business trip.
  • A woman uses an online dating service that helps her find the right person to marry, rather than just reviewing photo after photo and trying to make a decision.
  • A man uses his credit card's concierge service to send his parents a special gift after they are transferred to another country and they feel homesick.
  • A couple meet, get married, move in together, and start a family while their insurance company helps them meet their changing needs.
So, what's the commonality here?

Every product is connected to a person and their life story. There's the story of the woman who wishes she could talk to her mother more often, but doesn't want her phone bill to get out of control. There's the man who' s working hard to advance his career and always makes time to say goodnight to his children.

Why does this work?

Story marketing works because it connects people to products. It places the product in the context of a life. It allows us, the consumers, to see ourselves using this product and having it improve our lives. It makes the ad personal, to you and me.

So what's your story? I'd love to hear it.

Related Posts:
Creating Your Brand Story
Writing Your Own Customer Stories

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