What’s your story? – The role of storytelling in B2B marketing

My father taught me long ago that an engaging story is more important than the strictly factual truth. He explained that this was just as much the case in business as it is when telling a story around the camp fire. Sounds bad, right? Well, that’s not the case.

Know your audience

Great storytelling in B2B sales and marketing does not mean embellishing the truth or lying. It simply means knowing your audience and applying techniques that tickle them the right way. Firstly, you need a common language. If you want to gain the audience’s trust and undivided attention, that language should be theirs, not yours. Sometimes this may require simplifying your story or taking a broader approach to a subject. When you have identified the needs of your audience, you can highlight and emphasize the parts of your story that resonate with them the most. Your argumentation must be meaningful from their point of view. Leave out the details that don’t carry your story towards the desired outcome.

Evoke emotion

Emotional engagement does not mean making your customers laugh or cry. But it does mean that they should feel some type of way about your company as a result of your communications. The most common emotional factors that will result in a customer choosing you over your competitors include feelings of being understood, appreciated and taken care of. Trust is the foundation of any successful customer relationship. Convincing a customer and giving them peace-of-mind regarding their purchase decision should be your ultimate goal. It certainly is for us as your marketing agency partner.  

Deliver a punchline

Always know what you want to achieve with your story. Let’s define one clear message and work consistently towards driving that message home. The best way to lose track of the goal is to get side-tracked or drown yourself in the details. There is a time and place for those details, but we all know that none of us have ever bought a car based only on reading the owner’s manual or technical drawings. We enter the dealership based on a perception we have that mirrors our needs, desires or values. That singular perception has been built through a consistent marketing message (mostly supported by facts).

Aspire to inspire

After almost 15 years as a Copywriter and Planner, I’m still not sure if my professional interest in writing and my passion for the art of storytelling stems from the stories my father told me, but it’s worth noting that I am now telling his story to you, as a part of my own. Now, isn’t that the exact effect you’d like your marketing communications to have on your audience – to have your story become a part of theirs?

Petri Laine