By: Joe Michalowski
By now, you must have seen the viral Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic, right? Nicknamed the Martech 5000, the image shows that the MarTech landscape reached a total of 5,381 solutions at the start of 2017. And as you know if you’ve seen the image, saying the landscape is complicated is a vast understatement. From CRMs to MAPs, CMSs, CDPs, DMPs, and beyond, vendors from every corner of the landscape promise you better marketing operations.
While these technologies are essential to creating agile, fluid structures and driving customer engagement, is any one piece of technology really going to make all the difference in your marketing? The marketing technology revolution is certainly important. But when you get to the heart of your brand’s marketing, you’ll find the story is truly your most valuable asset—not any one piece of technology.
Here are 4 reasons why your story should be the focal point of marketing.
1. Don’t Just Rent Algorithms, Own Stories
Artificial intelligence and machine learning will become increasingly important for marketers in the coming months and years. Those aren’t the algorithms I’m talking about right now. The algorithms that have sent marketers into tailspins in recent years have been those from social platforms. Most notably, the recent news of Facebook’s algorithm change sent shockwaves through the marketing world.
Are you one of the marketers who started to panic when Facebook said organic reach would dwindle (more than it already has) for business pages? If you are, it might be because you’re valuing third-party platforms—rented land—more than your own story to engage audiences.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn—these companies don’t owe us anything. The free engagement you enjoyed may have been nice, but changes are only going to separate the good from the great. Take this opportunity to focus on your story. Make it as engaging as possible and see how your performance thrives in the face of algorithm changes.
2. Customer Experience Is the Key Differentiator
More and more, brands are seeing that customer experience is the key to success. It’s impossible to beat Amazon in a race to the bottom on price. And technology makes it easier than ever to replicate products. Customer experience is what sparks loyalty and that’s where marketers can make a difference.
In many ways, story is the foundation of customer experience. Without it, you’re left with a customer experience that blends in with the crowd. You don’t just want to advertise your products and services—you want to get customers to buy into your story and increase their lifetime values in the process.
3. Story Is the Heart of Influencer Marketing
How do influencers become influencers in the first place? They amass a following based on their own personal stories. And as a marketer, you want to tap into that influence to create buzz for your product.
But what’s stopping your brand from creating that same kind of audience? Don’t just expect ad retargeting, marketing automation, and other technologies to make it happen. Story is the foundation that makes all of these technologies and marketing tactics work.
4. Medium Follows Message
Everywhere you turn, someone is telling you where you should focus your marketing efforts. Should you be putting out more video content? Do you need to start a podcast? Will people still read your blog? Is it time to move your blog to Medium?
These are the questions that can keep content marketers up at night. But if you don’t have a refined story, none of these mediums will work. Choosing the right channels for content delivery is important. Just don’t lose sight of story in the process.
Story Is the Engine of Your Marketing Strategy
Storytelling isn’t just a new marketing buzzword. It represents the realization that we can’t just build products and wait for customers to come.
Story is your most valuable marketing asset because it’s the foundation of your entire strategy.
Have you started to make the shift to story as the core of your marketing? I’d love to hear your thoughts on how it has changed your tactics and processes.