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The Art of Storytelling in Industrial Marketing | Manufacturing Marketing

The Art of Storytelling in Industrial Marketing

Marketing is a combination of storytelling and technology

Effective industrial marketing is a combination of technology and storytelling.

Balancing “What” and “How” is essential to success with any marketing effort. As someone who has spent many years involved with manufacturing, I see more emphasis spent on technology (how) than on art (what) in industrial marketing.

Your website may have a high degree of functionality, sophisticated coding and the ability to track all interactions, but without a compelling story woven throughout, it’s just a beautiful building with no occupants.

Content marketing is a relatively new term which encompasses consistent, strategic messaging across multiple media; internet, social, trade pubs, etc. A common excuse I often hear when meeting with a potential client is that what they do is boring and there isn’t much to say that supports a comprehensive program. This may be true to someone who spends months and years in the same environment, but as an outsider, I haven’t been in a boring shop yet.

Every company is unique. The challenge is to define and describe what makes them different in a compelling narrative – a story.

Following are characteristics of a good product story, courtesy of April Dunford, RocketWatcher.com.

  • Clearly illustrates the product’s unique value – A great story that illustrates the value of any product in your segment isn’t all that useful.  It needs to highlight the differentiating value of your product.
  • Short, easy to tell and memorable – You want sales folks, marketers, and customers to tell the story.  They won’t be able to do that if it is difficult to understand or overly long.  Keep it short and to the point and people will be more likely to remember it.
  • Relevant to your target customers – The story needs to be highly relevant to your target customers.  Telling a great story about a customer outside of your segment isn’t all that valuable.
  • Illustrates measurable, concrete results – The results or the “what happened” part of the story needs to be concrete and ideally quantifiable.  General statements like “improved productivity” don’t have the punch of “saved a million dollars”.

A strategic format is essential to defining which aspects of your total operation should be highlighted, and what the underlying message is to be. Over time, a series of stories provides a common thread which allows your market to feel they know you. Carefully choosing the tone and messages creates a corporate personae which is larger than any of the individual stories.

photo credit: El Bibliomata via photopin cc

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