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The Future Of Marketing In The Ancient Power Of Storytelling

Paul Koidis Jr.Guest Post: Paul Koidis Jr. he is an executive-level marketing advisor, development consultant, communications strategist, publicist, producer, agent and educator and Associate Dean, School of Media, Art and Design, Durham College.  You can connect with Paul on LinkedIn.

“Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming.” – David Bowie

The stories we tell define us, and predict our collective path.

The world is indeed an interesting place these days, perhaps the most interesting it has ever been, full of story content.

Social media is driving the development of a new and powerful appetite for some very bizarre behaviour, from water buckets for charity – for a cause that most people could have cared less about 2 months ago – to being human witness to some really horrific scenes in parts of the globe fraught with war, confusion and poverty.

Ancient RomeAnd in between, a great deal of noise.

Everywhere and at increasing speed, marketers, advertisers, and public relations gurus are scrambling to find news ways to get your attention. We want your time, your money, your information, your network, your support, and it never stops.

So, how can we do that? There are a few options.

  1. We can hammer you with relentless marketing messages until you finally give up and give us what we want.
  2. We can play the numbers game (which makes sense now in terms of our scale and reach) and hit millions of people, and hope that at least one or two per cent will respond.
  3. We can target like surgeons, and preach to the converted, (why waste time trying to win your over, when we can just sell you what we already know you want?) based on the reams of data and analytics, and modify your behaviour and patterns.
  4. Or, we can tell better stories.

That’s right. Stories. You remember those.

The things that helped you grow up, learn about life, learn about the world, learn about yourself.

What the average marketing person should remember is that all of the most powerful social media infrastructures – from Facebook onwards – are really just built on the very human trait that we all share. We tell stories to each other, all the time.

Indeed, traditional advertising, at its most powerful post MadMen era, is obviously built around stories, and most Madison avenue advertising has always been nestled into your favourite TV show, newspaper or magazine. All of which are driven by stories.

Modern movements are built around story, too.

It is what we do, and increasingly, will become all the more important, as we evolve in the age of data, because the truly great stories, will travel and populate this new universe we have created.

And that will create new opportunities, not only to sell you stuff, but to make the world a much better place. Don’t you think?