I’ll admit that I went to the monthly AMA Iowa meeting unsure of what more I could learn about the topic— “Storytelling—The Secret of Irresistible Marketing.”
Did I really need a reminder of the importance of storytelling? I use storytelling all the time—in ads, in client meetings, and—to the consternation of my fellow brainstormers—in brainstorming meetings. I’ve even written a book about stories told to me by television comedy writers. (Shameless plug!) My greatest concern going into the luncheon was what was on the menu.
The speaker, Kindra Hall, quickly acknowledged that storytelling is hardly a new idea when it comes to marketing. But then she demonstrated how effective storytelling is by—wait for it—telling us a story. In fact, she told several stories throughout her presentation to make her point. We should be telling stories more often.
Stories are memorable and people are attracted to them. So it’s only natural that marketing that involves stories has pass along value. Stories literally change brain chemicals that increase focus, attention and emotion—emotion that leads to action in ways that taglines and mission statements can’t.
Hall recommended telling stories wherever possible, including:
Think how much stronger your marketing is when you tell a story. You can support it with facts and figures, but it’s emotions that make people’s eyes light up and help them remember why you exist.
According to Hall, the biggest storytelling mistake is alluding to a story without really telling it. My business is nearly seven years old, so I sometimes get tired of telling our stories. Thanks to Hall, I realized I need to get back to telling those stories. In full.
So that’s the story of how I learned something valuable. Through storytelling, I was reminded that I should be telling my company’s and my client’s stories more often.
And, by the way, the turkey sandwich on grilled bread hit the spot, too.