Selling with story

The idea of telling stories has been picked up by others.

Marketing depends on story.

That’s the message that regularly comes from Copyblogger, an online marketing site whose newsletter I get.

A recent post by Brian Clark reinforced that with mention of a book by marketer Seth Godin, All Marketers are Liars.  The latter, according to Clark, emphasizes the need to tell authentic stories if you’re to effectively market your product to the buying public today.

Clark also demonstrates the role of story for readers by launching his post with an anecdote.   His story – about a cancer patient who believed  he would be cured, and therefore was, by what later turned out to be a therapeutically worthless drug – illustrates how stories lure readers in .

Clark’s underlying point is that people want true stories.  Readers connect with them and, in an example from Godin’s book, if they believe the story about Riedel wine glasses making wine taste better, then subsequent taste tests in those glasses will show that the wine does taste better.  (Even though double blind tests demonstrated that it was all in their heads.)

The impact of story has a further payoff for marketers, since true believers will end up promoting the product to others.[1]

I’ve long known that I connect with stories – get carried away in them – which in large part is why I want to write them.



[1] Clark has a great line: “This is how religions, cults, and Apple work as well.”

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