Storytelling For H2H Brands or From Marketshare to Mindshare

I’ve been writing lately (see June 19th post) about H2H communications and our adaptation and application of this movement into all programs, platforms projects and initiatives that McKnight Kurland handles. It’s a shift predicated by social media’s growth and affect on communications overall. I recently came across this article that seemed to summarize many of our thoughts on the subject. The opening salvo seemed to hit the proverbial nail on the head:

“ …no matter how complicated or complex a business and its products may be, there is a human story to be told.”

It goes on to convey the fact that buyers today are moving past just ‘the rational’ in their decision making and wanting emotion—a stronger connection to the human story. And that ‘connection’ is key to storytelling. Connecting with the buyer; understanding their needs and fears and wants; connecting to the truth of your brand; connecting on a human level.

Included in this article also is a 4-minute video titled ‘The Future of Storytelling’ with Beth Comstock, CMO of GE, embracing—no, championing—this H2H movement. I think she captures the essence in the line, “People don’t want to be sold, they want to be inspired.” People want to understand what happened that got your organization to where they are, why you do what you do, and why it matters. Marketers today must tell stories that are interesting and true. Stories that have relevance and a point, not to mention point of view. And how do we make them relevant and relatable? By first listening. Human to Human brands converse, not preach. That’s what social media has done to corporate communications (and communicators)—it has forced them to listen to consumers, customers and clients. Then tell a story relevant to the conversation.

Because after all, the measure of success in today’s marketing and communications sphere is “did you make a connection?”

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