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Every business has a unique story to tell.  Though our closest friends and we know the story, we often ignore the importance of it when marketing and fail to share it with our target audience.  What is our story? The history of our business; why we started, how we started; what influenced us to know our product or service’s importance in the marketplace.  For many, it is our compelling story that sells our product and/or service.  Our key message personalizes our business and adds emotional value. If we don’t take the time to think through our story and develop it thoughtfully from beginning to end, it will seem boring and not worth our listeners’ time—much like flavorless food at a restaurant we try only once.  When your target audience listens to your story, they should feel as if they are  sitting down to a fine multi-course meal where the food is enjoyable and worth savoring.  When people leave, they should remember how good it was long after their visit; they should eagerly invite friends, family and co-workers to return with them.  Your 45 or 15-minute presentation of your key message should leave the same lasting impression.   Your target audience should revisit your story in their mind long after hearing it and should share it with their friends, family and co-workers.  You already possess all of the elements of your story.  So, this week we will tell you how to develop it into a flavorful multi-course cuisine.

The Appetizer:

Your appetizer, the opening of your story, should peak the taste buds of your target audience and leave them craving more.  They need to enjoy it enough to stay for the main course but not be so full and satisfied that they could leave and not be hungry for the next two courses.  As you open your story, you set the stage.  You will communicate what need you are fulfilling in the marketplace.  Your audience should immediately see the gap between where they are and where they need to be as well as understand they need your product/service in order to reach their goal.  For them to be intrigued enough to stay for the main course, you communicate clearly to them why they are listening to you and the importance of what you are saying.  Like no other piece of your marketing campaign, your key message creates the emotional and logical appeal you need to authentically capture your audience.

The Main Course:

After the appetizer, you move into the main course, the meat and substance of your story.  Your main course should be flavorful, colorful and thoughtfully prepared.  The  target audience should be delighted they stayed.  Through the details of your key message, you should answer the questions: how, where, and why.  When preparing this course of your story, ensure your audience leaves with something  new to consider—an unexpected fact.  This should be easy for you, right?  After all, we do run our own businesses because we have a product like no one else’s.  There is something irresistible about what you have to offer.  Take this time to explain and persuade through a new revelation only you can provide.

The Dessert:

After a satisfying appetizer and main course, your target audience will be ready to sit back and enjoy a full flavored cup of coffee or cappuccino and a rich dessert.  This is not the time to send your audience out of the door just because they seem full and mostly satisfied.  The patrons use these moments to reflect on the meal and make plans to return.  This part of your story should give them the resolution.  Take the time to frame you, your thinking, and your product service offering.  Recount the key elements of your story and lay the decision path out for them. After they hear the story and finish the flavorful desert, there should be no unanswered questions.

Now, you have captivated your target audience with your story.  The emotional and logical appeal of your key message creates a compelling and relevant element of your marketing strategy.  They have loved and savored every course of your flavorful meal: your story. After they have heard your persuasive story—eaten the flavorful food, they will make a decision to become a customer, a patron and return promptly bringing their friends, family and co-workers.  Never underestimate the power of a flavorful message and the success it will bring to your business.

Category : Strategy

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