Something older than language is becoming the newest killer marketing app: the story.
Since I've been in this business (full disclosure... a little less than a decade), I've heard my managers and compatriots say, "We've got to tell our story." We weren't referring to gathering our customers around the proverbial fireside and regaling them with a tale of intrigue or humor. Telling our story meant buying advertising, developing messaging, focusing on reach and frequency, assuring that everyone possible knew that Company A stood for Message X.
That all still applies. But the talk in marketing circles today is more about weaving a compelling tale than about the media buy.
Cluetrain predicted this would happen when they saw the Internet turning us back to the oldest marketing model, where villagers would go to markets not only to buy things but to share stories. Seth Godin's All Marketers Are Liars, FWIH, isn't about encouraging us to lie, but about encouraging us to weave the most compelling story.
And now this from the blogosphere:
Narrative imagining story is the fundamental instrument of thought. Rational capacities depend on it. It is our chief means of looking into the future, of predicting, of planning, and of explaining. Most of our experience, our knowledge and our thinking is organized as stories.That was cognitive scientist Mark Turner, by way of David Wolfe's Ageless Marketing. And this from Evelyn Rodriguez:
Call me crazy, but after being blown away by searing fresh writing from amateurs and professionals alike last week at a writer's conference, I'm left to wonder why we settle for just-the-facts-mam bland journalistic writing. Why can't narrative story-telling be used to illustrate and embed the statistics and five W's and have us feel the impact of the dissected facts?