This expansion post is related to this excerpt of my marketing vision 2009 post:"
In 2009, marketers will step up to the plate to make sure the buyer is engaged from the beginning of their buying journey through to their purchase decision because that path will become as smooth as silk without a knotted mess at the hand off to sales."
Stories are often thought of as customer testimonials, case studies or one-time events by marketing. In this new age of storytelling, marketing needs to consider stories as they apply to buyer scenarios and introduce an overarching story theme from lead generation through customer conversion.
A marketing campaign story won't be effective if it is disconnected from the company's overall story. Stories are not just used in the way articles are written to inspire dialogue, but serve as the thread that pulls a buyer from interest through consideration to purchase.
Using a story theme helps provide consistency and continuity in your marketing programs. Likewise, buyers don't care if that (for you) their status changes when they begin to interact with your salespeople. They will, however, notice if the story they hear from sales doesn't have the same resonance and quality as the one they've participated in with marketing.
This means that instead of focusing only on how to create qualified opportunities marketing can handoff to sales, the story needs to reach farther through the pipeline to ensure the buyers' engagement never wavers.
A company's story is:Oriented around prospects' needs, priorities and perspectivesTold through every content and conversational exchange with your prospectsA way to make needed knowledge accessible and easily understoodFuel for pass-along conversations amongst decision makers, influencers and stakeholdersSupported by customer experiences, success stories, testimonials and referralsExtended across sales activities for the smooth transition of progressive relationships
Substantial enough that your prospects needn't be forced to accept it in linear fashionMemorable You may also find value in my complimentary eBook: Why Marketing Stories Have CatchOther Marketing Vision Expansion Posts:Part 1: Marketing ContentPart 2: ListeningPart 3: Sales Enablement
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