People, It's Really Simple. Are You Listening?

Everyone wants to make marketing some complex, research driven process whereby you magically unearth the secret for pushing products. Well, I am here to tell you that it is much easier than that. Oh, I've talked about it before. Good marketing is based on good, wait for it, here it comes...storytelling.

Good musicians have it, i.e. Johnny Cash, Springsteen, Mellencamp, Elton John, Loretta Lynn, and the list goes on. It is simply what pulls people in. Nothing more, nothing less. I wish people would get this. The charade that goes on with agencies and research and focus groups makes me ill. It's a shill so the agency covers their ass for whatever they produce whether it works or not.

Seth Godin has been on this for a long time and I read an article in the Chicago Tribune once about Jon Favreau, the speech writer for President Obama, that is worth your time. A quote jumped out at me and grabbed me.

Storytelling is at the core of Obama's public speaking, overriding the modern obsession with the sound bite.

Favreau has explained their joint approach to friends simply: "Tell a story. That's the most important part of every speech, more than any given line. Does it tell a story from beginning to end?"

Folks, that is all marketing is. President Obama is selling his ideas and either you buy them or you don't. So for the people that think they "are being preached to" when they hear President Obama that there is purpose and rhythm in those words. We forget that communication and storytelling still reigns in our text-message, 140 character tweet driven world.

Additional reading on storytelling.

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  1. Cristiana Jurgensen said...


    I just got back from a conference in Bahrain(on Storytelling in the classroom) and one of the presenters, Mike Ford made a case that the best way to make sure kids remember something new is to connect it to an emotion... Tell them a story about it! Same could be said for adults. By storytelling, advertisers connect products to emotions. We remember the emotion and in turn, the product.

    There was this Dove commercial a while ago that showed the "transformation" of a model from what she really looks like to what shows up on the ad. The "story" of this ad reminded me how much it pisses me off that women (me too!)set our own standard of what is beautiful based on these manipulated images. The idea of the ad was that Dove is against this. Well, let me tell... I was sold. Whenever I am in a country that sells Dove soap, I will buy it every time.