Can You Illustrate a Simple Truth?

Can You Illustrate a Simple Truth?

Can You Illustrate a Simple Truth?

By John Jantsch

The best stories often illustrate one simply truth for the reader and in doing so can illuminate an idea, a principle, or belief in far greater fashion than an overt statement to the same effect.

I believe this notion can be applied very powerfully to something I call the marketing story. Your marketing story is a tool that can and should be included as one element of your suite of education based marketing materials, but done correctly, can facilitate a prospect’s ability to connect and trust in ways that are far more powerful than any other marketing document.

I would like to suggest that you add a story, something personal or telling in nature, to your marketing message toolbox as a way to help prospect connect more deeply with your company. Reveal through your story why you do what you do, where you are going and how your intend to serve every customer that walks through your door.

This is certainly not a history of your business. The best marketing stories start from one simple idea and build in engaging ways, much like the stories we all grew up relishing at bedtime. There are a handful of classic story formats – who I am, where I’ve been, where I’m going, I know you, what I’ve overcome – but like to start with one idea and build.

Here’s an example of a story starter – mind you, I don’t have any idea where this would go, but it reveals something about me that I could work with for a story.

Growing up there were ten children in my family and I remember vividly the times we would all pile in the Impala station wagon for family outings. Legend has it that on these occasions my father would playfully remark to my mother – “I’ll watch John and you watch the other nine.” It seems my insatiable curiosity to discover people, places and things led to some anxious moments for my parents.

OK, I believe there is a relationship to what makes my business go, a simple truth, contained in this nugget, but I also believe it speaks much louder to a prospect than if I just blurted out what makes me tick. The key of course is to then take this story starter and wrap it into my already established core message in a way that is magnifying.

Years ago I worked with a man who ran a very successful window cleaning business. I drew this story out of him and became the centerpiece of his marketing efforts. He printed on the back of his invoices, ran snippets of it in radio ads, and shared it with prospective customers and employees alike.

Marketing Story Example: A Tale of Passion


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