I just got finished reading an interesting article on MarketingProfs entitled “Today’s Greatest Marketing Secret: Telling Stories in Eight Words or Less.” The article, written by Bill Schley, encourages us to use Micro-Scripts, or small story bites, to get our point across. Schley explains that it’s all about having a succinct message that rises above the clutter in today’s marketplace.
While I think his charge is a valid one, what really caught my attention was how he started the article – by promoting the idea that the story is king. Schley asserts that our unconscious can’t help but let stories in. He goes on to write that “something in our hardwiring actually hypnotizes us when we hear the words: Let me tell you a story.” He also shares a nice nugget that a well-respected sales trainer once told him: “Spend two hours telling a prospect every fact you have about your product-and he’ll forget 95% in 10 minutes. But tell him a story, and, 20 years later, he’ll repeat it word for word.”
That’s all great. But what does this have to do with market research?
If you’re a market researcher, just ask yourself – Do your data points in your presentation hypnotize upper management? Do your decks live on? Does your analysis make the most complex ideas digestible and sticky?
I thought not. Simply put, your market research deliverables MUST tell a story. Here are a few more reasons why having a narrative is so critical.
- Data alone doesn’t promote action – You want to move the needle and get people to do something, give them the story so they can feel the urgency and importance
- Stories bring the Aha’s to the forefront – Not everyone who needs to understand the research was part of the process. Stories are a great way to make things matter to those who weren’t involved
- Data doesn’t spark emotion – When was the last time you truly felt a connection to a number? Exactly.
- Stories require scrutiny – Transforming your market research into a story requires examining, analyzing and making hard choices, never a bad thing.
In part two of this series, we’ll give you some tips on how to make to make your deliverables tell a story.