“It doesn’t need any marketing. The technology sells itself.”
That was our CTO at a nearly billion-dollar firm talking to our sales folks. This was back in 1999. The marketers in the room, including me, looked at one another and tried not to roll out eyes.
As Don Draper famously put it “Technology is a glittering lure!” So it is easy to fall into the trap that customers will be just as enamored of it.
Ok, here’s the bad news. Technology does not sell itself.
Stories are what sell whether the brand, a person, a product or a service.
Good stories usually have a protagonist that the customer can identify with.
It can be someone the customer relates in their present role, whether as a project or sales manager or parent. Or aspires to be such as an athlete or leader or awesome human.
Great stories are ones that they can make their own and retell!
Don’t get me wrong. Stories, however great, aren’t going to create sustainable demand without real substance in your product, service or offering.
The customer should not only benefit but it needs to be apparent to them how they will benefit.
And they shouldn’t need a 1-unit college course to get it!
This is the power of well-crafted stories. They meet three needs:
- Relatable through empathy with the customer and their problem or need,
- Relevance how they will benefit and a vision of what the future is
- Reason addresses why you are the right companion for the journey from here to there
As you’ll see in the famous scene from Mad Men where Don Draper pitches to Kodak why their product isn’t a wheel but a carousel!