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Unlock the Magic in Your Story Now

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The Forgotten Power And Purpose Of Story

As business leaders and entrepreneurs, our motivations for understanding the power of story are clear—we want to create compelling narratives so more people will hear, believe and buy into our stories. We know we can use story to inform, educate, entertain, inspire and importantly, persuade people. We leverage story to perform valuable sales and marketing functions in our businesses.

According to Bloomberg, in the dying days of the recent U.S. Presidential election, the two campaigns spent a combined total of $44.5 million on TV advertising in battleground states attempting to persuade voters to believe their story. Overall the Clinton campaign spent $137 million more than the Trump campaign on TV advertising during the 21 weeks leading up to the election. As we know, it wasn’t enough to ensure victory.

As marketers, we understand that now more than ever our potential audience can tune out when they want to, and so we leverage every channel we have to find new ways to make them listen. The irony is that while we’ve doubled down on ‘telling’ we’ve neglected the opportunity to use story as a discovery tool—we’ve forgotten the importance of actually listening to the stories of the people we want to serve.

If we deeply understand the stories of the people we hope to convince we have a better chance of telling a story they want to hear. But more important than that—we get the opportunity to put their interests at the heart of everything we do. Imagine the difference we could create if we invested as much in trying to understand as we do on trying to be heard.

Image by Francis McKee.

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