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Steve Farnsworth is the Chief Digital Strategist at Jolt Digital Marketing where he consults mid to large organizations on communication strategies to create product preference and build customer communities that foster brand loyalty. With over 13 years as a senior executive, Steve writes, blogs, and speaks about how smart companies can effectively integrate social media, PR 2.0, and content marketing into their marketing mix. As a director with the Silicon Valley Brand Forum and an adviser to other professional organizations, Steve has moderated panels, spoken at or facilitated industry events at Intel, Yahoo!, HP, Sun Microsystems, Cisco, Adobe, Electronic Arts, Hewlett-Packard, and Stanford. In 2012, he Steve is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 31 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Weaving Storytelling Effectively Into All Marketing Touch Points

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Thinking of all the individual moving parts, that marketing departments are responsible for, as a whole is not intuitive. As marketers we use words like touch points without really grasping the journey that the customer will go through. There are several reasons for this. Many marketers see their jobs as a series of tasks or executables. This shortsighted view makes seeing the bigger picture impossible.

Be The Brand’s Storyteller

However, this is just one obstacle. Even if you have a better sense of the mosaic of activities and digital assets in your marketing mix as a whole, the permutations are nearly endless. Ed Abrams, IBM’s VP Marketing for Midmarket, sees them in a holistic framework. He looks at it as the story of a brand.

Storytelling As Solution-Telling

Storytelling is absolutely essential whether it be traditional paid media, owned media like social networks and blogs, or earned media where someone else is telling your story. It’s critical to connect your story of how you solve the customer’s problems at each step of their journey.

The key in storytelling though is to recognize that people are going to enter your story at different chapters and pages along their journey.

It’s Their Story, Not Yours

So as you think of telling your story you must visualize it through their eyes. You should ask, where is the customer in the buying cycle, where are they in the learning cycle, and how does it relate to their job’s role as it relates to that stage of the process? That way the story is relevant to their needs, their issues, their requirements.

Ed stresses it’s vital from the storytelling perceptive that it is not delivered as a one-way communication. It must be crafted so the consumer of that information can interact with it, and be able to share and contribute to that story in their own way. That means you must see social and collaborative as intrinsic to the total experience. Then they can participate when and how the customer chooses.

Published at DZone with permission of Steve Farnsworth, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)