• The Value of Using a Story in Your Marketing

    If you have read anything on marketing communications or spoken to a marketing company expert in the past fifteen years, you have heard the advice to develop “a story” for your brand.

    “What exactly do you mean . . . a story?”

    For a company’s brand communication, a story, on the most basic level, consists of three acts: setup (explain the situation), conflict (explain the challenge or pain point within that industry while illustrating drama), and resolution (explain how that company resolved the conflict with its service or product). During the resolution portion of the story, you also want to include the capabilities of the company, including case studies, marquee clients, number of years the company has been in business, and awards and accreditation the company has received.

    Whether you are writing content for a company’s “about” page on its website, writing a script for a radio or TV spot, or producing a company profile video, this blueprint remains the same.

    A Company Video Story

    Recently, we had the pleasure of producing a profile video for a company called BenefitVision (click video thumbnail above).  BenefitVision offers benefit packages to companies throughout the United States. It allows Human Resources to outsource their benefits for employees, directly to BenefitVision. The business model frees up the workload of Human Resources and enables companies’ employees to receive a very detailed and hands-on approach when choosing a custom benefit package. BenefitVision’s clients include the Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Los Angeles County public employees, and Pep Boys.

    If you have viewed the video (this is the six-and-a-half-minute version. We have also created shorter versions for their sales staff and social media pages), you will notice the first thirty seconds describes the setup—what is happening in the industry. The second minute has the CEO explain, in a compelling and dramatic tone, the conflict within the benefits industry (notice the music bed we chose for this portion of the video to increase the drama). The final part of the video (from about the 1:40-minute mark until the end) consists of the resolution. Also notice the change in music here. It is up-tempo, hopeful, and optimistic.

    Readers, listeners, and viewers are more engaged when your marketing message contains a story.

    The Psychology of Using a Story

    The advantage of designing your communication this way, as opposed to just creating a sales video trumpeting your assets, is that it draws in your audience by showing conflict and characterizing pain points.

    Human psychology has always favored stories resulting in the listener or viewer being engaged in the outcome.

    As Kimberly A. Whitler, a former Proctor & Gamble marketing manager, says in her July, 2018, Forbes article, “Storytelling enables marketers to develop a deeper connection with the audience. Storytelling is a fundamental human experience that unites people and drives stronger, deeper connections.” See the complete article here:

    Great Salespeople Make Great Storytellers

    By the way, we have noticed that many CEOs who started successful businesses using their stellar sales abilities are expert storytellers. If you are one of them, get your story on video and market it on your website and social media platforms.

    As you develop your next campaign, try applying the story model to your communication. If you execute it authentically, you will see better engagement than you’ll see with just a selling-and-telling communication.

    Cerami Creative is a full-service digital and traditional marketing company founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1995. Cerami Creative has worked with national, regional, and local companies like Yuengling Beer, Penn Medicine, and Rita’s Water Ice. For a free evaluation of your company’s marketing strategy, contact Cerami Creative at or call 215-893-3004