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Story Telling (Marketing Messages)

By Rich Campbell

Okay, this is the first of hopefully many marketing posts which will reflect what I’ve gleaned from my smart clients, my readings and through my experience executing marketing campaigns for several companies.  Drop me a line to discuss any thing contained in here.

I also speak on marketing topics including effective email marketing, guerilla marketing and one-to-one marketing, so feel free to contact me for your group or conference.

This post will be about messaging and story telling.  Future posts will include subjects on compelling creative, timing and targeting the right people. 


I recently finished reading All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin. The book really isn't about lying marketers (although he does mention a few of the unscrupulous ones); it's really about telling an authentic story to your consumers, the powerful story of your products or services. This book is a good, quick read and I'll likely be reading it again soon.

This book articulates a lot of what I believe about marketing messages and parallels what Dan Klein and I say when speaking to groups about Effective Email Marketing and Guerilla Marketing.   

Dan and I often start our presentations by discussing the death of mass marketing and how the consumer is so bombarded by non-targeted, bland messages that they hear nothing but white noise.  This white noise is the perfect opportunity for good marketers to stand out from the crowd by using compelling creative, sent to the right people, with the right message at the right time.

Sounds easy right?  Unfortunately, it’s not that easy, but the good news is that it’s not that hard either.   Let’s focus this post on messaging.

The messaging is the story… The easiest way to truly reach people is to tell them a story through whatever medium necessary to implicitly get that story across.  Don’t try to force the message, and never beat them over the head with it.  The best stories are authentic, which means that the stories are not only true, but they are trustworthy and start with an honest intention.  This isn’t marketers pulling the wool over the eyes of the public, this is you and the rest of your company believing and living the story you are telling. Only then will it be authentic.

Your story should be obvious but implicit (talk about an oxymoron), and should be reflected in everything you do.  Your branding, your office, your people, etc.  You can’t talk about being a high-tech company and have computers from the 1990’s.  You can’t be a trendy ad agency and have a receptionist who acts like she is working at a stuffy law firm.  Live the story, be the story. 

Yours Humbly,

Brian Schwartz

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