Monday, July 8, 2013

HIO: Marketing is Storytelling

In an interview for an internship with a small marketing agency, the owner provided his view on marketing. He compared marketing to a magic trick, an illusion, with the goal to fabricate a desired emotional response and action. With that end goal in mind, the difficult task is getting the target audience to the end.

While I agree a marketing campaign is a journey, I politely disagreed. From my vantage point, marketing is more like storytelling than a magic trick. Guiding consumers through a story is innocent and entertaining. Any comparisons to purposeful deceptions or illusions provide the wrong perception.

Don't agree? Here is an easily digestible example.

Generally, marketing a product or service needs a strategy as a guide, just as a story has a plot. You need to create an overarching journey for your set of target consumers. For example, if you wish to entice young mothers to purchase a family pack to a minor league baseball game, you need a strategy. You ultimately need to make the mothers find value in your minor league game experience. You want to craft your story in a way that makes attending a game an irresistible opportunity.

Usual marketing initiatives with this goal in mind would likely be discounted family tickets or concessions discounts. These are trite and quite old-hat. Imagine being a young mother who is a non-user of baseball. Even with discounts, there is no value. You need to spin the story and experience so that there is irresistible value.

This can be done by creating a theme night centered around young mothers and their families. A furniture store that sells furniture for children could spend money to showcase a sampling of furniture sets near the main gate. A crib manufacturer may be interested in holding a crib safety seminar prior to the game. A cereal manufacturer may be interested in testing a new flavor of kids cereal during the game to add to their market research data. These are the thoughts in the minds of young mothers and families: furniture, safety, and what to feed their children.

When marketing, the possibilities are endless and are only limited by a lack of creative thinking, just like when telling a story.

1 comment:

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