Marketing as an Art of story telling

Great artists steal. I am not sure they lie. But Marketers are liars. But again, all of us are.

For example, we lie to ourselves that Coke is better than Pepsi. In fact, when we reverse the contents of the bottle, we would still stick with the drink in the Coke bottle to be better. In reality they aren’t much different.

That’s one among many lies we tell ourselves.

But really, we are just telling ourselves a story that makes us believe in our biases (in this case, Coke the brand is a story).

It’s not a new thing.It’s a as old as – like attracts like (except if you are a magnet). Only, it’s wearing a different costume now.

We hangout with people who tell similar stories like ourselves.

(But we don’t have share the same story, just similar ones).

Simply because our ego needs a little thing they call it “ huge stamp of approval” for our idea say – Coke is better than Pepsi. And that’s final.Nah Nada No. Final words.

Yeah, we don’t usually change our biases. (until we form them)

So, If I have to succeed as a marketer,I can intervene at two places:

a) When I from my first Impression of a product – the story I form

b) When I reiterate my bias (this indeed can go on for ever and ever) – the story I continue to believe.

[Quick Note: That’s why Facebook is famous of one reason – the Like button, the reiteration of my story, hence more posting, hence more friends..]

The tricky part is first impression need not happen when consumers first see the product. It can happen anytime.

That means – the ideas surrounding the product has to be consistent (Else, as a consumer I would be confused, I don’t have a bias to believe, so I wouldn’t buy the idea or a product) and authentic (if its not authentic it will not be consistent).

A great example of consistency I would site is Starbucks. Which ever branch you go, you find a similar setting, similar menus cards and a similar taste (with respect to countries).

So, at whatever point consumer has their my first impression – it will be the same no matter which branch I visit.

But,the part of marketers job isn’t over yet, in fact it hasn’t even begun.

The biggest challenge of any marketer is to identify the cohort – the idea or product shares story with. And tell a great story they the consumers want(read:love) to share. As Seth Godin puts it – the story should match the worldview of a set of people. That’s enough to get the ball rolling.

In simple terms , I can’t sell Steak Burger to a vegetarian. If I do, I probably loose the market or never open my accounts in the first place.

As well as I can’t tell a Apple-mongers that I source my components from China.

But I can tell, him that every single product is designed in California, USA. Thus,when we buy the product, we buy the idea (or story) associated with America – free thinking, forward looking, etc.

In conclusion,

Marketing has got nothing to do with logic or mechanics of an idea, but the story that goes with it.

The views stated here are my understanding of the book Marketers are Liars by Seth Godin. If by any chance, I am contradicting the author any where in this article, it’s not authors views but mine and mine alone. Though I have used quite a few ideas, I hope this article has given you enough spoilers to pick up that book and to give it a go.

If you are looking for a detailed summary of the book check out this mind map.

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