Are Your Marketing and Training Designed To Be Ignored?
As business owners, marketers, or sales people
we have products and services that can truly help people or businesses – maybe even change their lives. So isn’t it frustrating when we spend a ton of money on marketing or training, only to be tuned out, ignored, or never given a chance?
We’re not dumb. If we’re honest, as consumers ourselves, we know why this is happening, don’t we? Let’s face it, aren’t we inundated by more messages than ever? Many of us are glued to our screens like zombies; with all the email, social media, podcasts, and video we consume daily, it’s not long before our eyes glaze over with information overload. There’s a reason for this: our brains are wired to focus on what helps us survive and thrive, and we discard the rest. Why?
As “Science Mike” explains in this podcast, Reality is complicated, and our brains are working so hard processing all the information we receive, we daydream up to a third of our lives to try to digest it. In order to survive and thrive, “the brain builds models of reality by throwing things away.”
“So if our message is hard to understand and our marketing or training are adding to the noise, is it any wonder we are being ignored?”
Now, this begs the question: as brands, how do we cut through the noise so people will listen to our message and embrace our offering in the Information (overload) Age?
ANSWER: Through the power of story.
Why is Story So Powerful?
Science Mike further explains that brain scans show that when people are wrapped up in a story, they stop daydreaming and are fully present as if they were in a life or death situation. He says:
“Story is an ancient device, developed [by our ancestors], to allow our brains to build a simplified, usable model of reality.”
Why do we need a simplified, usable model of reality; why can’t we just deal in pure reality? It’s simple: as finite beings, we just can’t process all the information we take in. We have to throw things away for reality to be usable, so we can survive and thrive, remember?
For this reason, although it’s certainly true that we must have a great product or service to keep our customers when it comes to attracting customers in the first place, Donald Miller says,
“It’s not necessarily the best product or service that wins. It’s the one that people can understand the fastest.”
THE BOTTOM LINE: in today’s culture awash in information, clarity is King, and a good story offers clarity (the ability to cut through the noise) more than any other communication device.
Applying Story to Your Marketing and Training
There are a lot of ways to apply Story to our marketing and training at deep levels, but here are some tips and resources to get you started so you can finally cut through the noise and reach your target audience(s).
1. Learn about the power of Story and how to tell one. Although there is certainly an art to storytelling, there are specific scientific rules to a good story; we lose interest in stories that break them. Seek to understand the seven critical parts of a story you simply can’t ignore if you want to keep your audience engaged. If you’re looking for faster transformation, check out the BEST STORY WINS workshop.
2. Create a Story Message Map for your company. First, a message map lays out the seven critical parts of your story so they intersect with your target audiences’ story. Then, it constructs a framework that helps you produce new, clearer messaging you can use everywhere: your website, emails, face-to-face meetings, elevator pitches, keynotes, etc. Get the free Story Message Map here.
3. Get some help. Even with all the great self-serve tools online, having someone guide you through unfamiliar territory prevents you from wasting valuable time and money in the learning curve. As a StoryBrand Certified Guide and Copywriter, I’m here to help you shorten the learning curve. Schedule a free marketing assessment today.
Founder + vCMO
I tech help brands grow through story-based marketing. When I’m not doing that, I’m stopping my two boys from burning down the house.
Some of the pandemic habits we’ve acquired are good to keep — washing hands! Cooking more! — but there’s one holdover from 2020 we could all use a lot less of: procrastinating. It takes many forms, and none are easy to shake.
What comes next for work? Thanks to technology, we are returning to a new normal faster than most anyone would have predicted. Will things ever return to what was normal just 18 months ago?
Choosing and implementing marketing technology can be an overwhelming process. There are thousands of martech solutions on the market, making it challenging to determine which ones your business should invest in (and perhaps more importantly, which it shouldn’t). Without a strategic marketing plan or experienced leader, marketing technology decisions can be daunting. Too often, businesses end up committing random acts of marketing in their technology decisions.