Something a client said at a meeting recently has been mulling around in my head. What she said was a great compliment, although I don’t think she realized it. She validated that my work with their organization is not just to help them with marketing, but it’s also to change the way they think about who they are trying to reach by getting into their story.
Here’s what she said.
“I keep hearing your words in my head, Lori. Why are we doing this?”
The context for the comment was in relation to a marketing activity that she was working on, and it means that she gets it. She gets that you must have an objective in mind so that you can decide if moving forward is worthy of your resources.
I’m always asking myself the why we are doing this question. My answer in relation to storytelling continues to be refined. At the moment, I’m reading the book “Story Driven” by Bernadette Jiwa for a second time. Her use of the word, “resonance” sticks with me.
“Companies and ideas fail because of a lack of resonance with the people they seek to serve.” – Bernadette Jiwa
Resonance. This is the simple and profound reason why we need to be storytellers.
As a musician, the word resonate immediately brings to my mind the notes of a chord. When played together they create a fuller, richer sound than any of the notes could on their own. In physics, if something is resonating it means that the energy between two or more things (electrical, acoustical, nuclear) increases and transfers.
We use the term “that resonates with me” because it means that we can make a personal connection with something – an idea, an attitude, a feeling. Doesn’t storytelling increase and transfer energy from one person to another? What blows me away is that the physics of resonance mirrors the reason why a storytelling approach to marketing works better than anything else.
When we ask ourselves the why we’re doing this question as we’re creating marketing strategy and messaging, we must answer “To resonate with the people we want to reach”. That’s why my work with companies begins with getting their clients’ story and weaving it into everything that follows.
One more thing, -- thank you for the compliment. (You know who you are!)