Stories make it easy for all Employees to be Marketers


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It is the provider’s marketing leadership that is charged with helping buyers go through their steps.  But the big cultural shift is when everyone in the provider’s company decides to be a marketer. 

Stories are as old as cave drawings it seems.  It’s the opportunity to describe what has happened to someone who took the leap to know something others didn’t know and came back to share their information.  That gap between what they know and what they don’t know is what keeps buyers from progressing.  Stories can motivate buyers to take the leap because they pin their rationale on the benefits they want.  Perhaps the greatest thing about stories is it allows the buyer’s brain to learn raw information with context.  Stories are needed to make it feel relevant.

Most employees will tell stories that show purpose in what they do for a living.  People want others to know that they are part of something that matters, something that makes a difference.  Let’s say Mary works in the accounting department of a provider.  Mary doesn’t get a lot of direct buyer contact and she’s busy with her accounting job.

At a dinner party, someone asks Mary what she does and what her company does.  Would she rather answer with “we do cloud computing” or “we help organizations save up to 50% on their computing costs”?  It just so happens that this dinner party guest works for a company trying to lower their fixed operating costs.  What’s going to be easier for Mary to explain; the technical specifics of the solution or a documented customer story?  In order to avoid glazed eyes that could lead the inquirer into a deep sleep after a glass of wine, Mary is going to tell the story.  She’s going to tell the story because it’s simple and it gives her purpose.  Mary isn’t just a terrific accountant; she works for a company that is helping other companies improve their results.  The inquirer may not fully grasp what Mary is telling him, but one thing is obvious, Mary has a passion for what her company is doing and she has a story to back it up.  What Mary didn’t know was this dinner guest has lots of influence at his company.  Mary the Accountant just became Mary the Marketer.

Take your best customer stories and turn them into pithy stories for all employees.  They’re inexpensive to do, motivating and the provider gets word of mouth marketing.  It’s only a matter of time that someone in finance relays the story about how they unexpectedly sourced an opportunity through story telling. 

Republished with author's permission from original post.

John Ryan
Speaker, Author, Marketing, Corporate Communications and Business Development Leader with over 25 years experience in US and international markets. Former Director at Webtrends, VP of Marketing at Tivoli/IBM and VP of Marketing at Siemens. Has helped many start ups and companies who want to go through marketing transformation. Author of the book, "Buyer Steps" in 2011 which is a buyer-centric view of the revenue growth effort.


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