Once upon a time, there were three little marketers

Posted on May 16, 2012 · 4 min read

When faced with the task of explaining something, I fall back on storytelling. For me, it’s the easiest way to get my point across in a way that explains, explores, and solves a pain point without including a bunch of marketing speak to get there.  To accomplish this in a business setting calls for strong communication; in fact, communication is vital. Communication between different departments inside your company is important to the health of your business and equally important is the clarity of communication between yourself and your client.

When I read Tom Searcy’s article “What a 9-Year-Old Can Teach You About Selling” I had to smile and nod, because yes, this is it exactly. “In a world in which more decisions are made with less information and context, our responsibility is to get to as clear and memorable an answer as possible for all of the buyers to understand.” Yes, yes, a hundred times yes.

Listening to the sales team in the room next to me talk to existing and prospective clients about our identification verification platform, I hear them hit the talking points of what it is we do, relay the headlines of the white papers we’ve written, and bullet point all the things that make our service great. But it’s when I hear those magic words that begin a story that I begin to perk up.

“For instance,” I hear one of them start with, “Say I’m a student and I want to buy something at your store while sitting comfortably in my dorm room. I check your website and see you offer student discounts, but only if I print off the coupon and bring it in to the actual store.  As a student with little or no access to transportation and more immediate things to do on campus, not to mention a hundred other online stores that offer an easier way to redeem the student discount, I’m suddenly less interested in your product.”

As a marketer, I can appreciate someone offering a solution to a pain point I’ve spent some significant time trying to work through and solve.

“We will streamline your online discount offers for college students to an almost instantaneous level with our online verification platform. With a plug-in fitted onto your website – either backend or front end, verifying the status of a college student will take seconds, allowing your customer to continue on with their purchase, without interruption to check an email or call a customer service agent to verify manually. Oh, and we can do all that for military as well.”

And I really love what comes next, because who doesn’t love a good picture with their story? I’m completely digging the current craze over infographics for this reason. The really great infographics give you just enough information to either support the information you’ve already given, or enough to tease so that your audience asks for more.

The infographic below continues the story we started above with the student redeeming their discount. It takes pieces of the story, and the information about the platform we provide, and mixes it into just enough visual information to support the conversation and hopefully leave an impression when the prospective customer refers back to it later.

Infographic of the electronic verification processWhen you can send something that drives home the point, well… story over.

So there, we’ve communicated a pain point, offered a solution and followed up with more information in a visual format. Job well done, marketing and sales team! Go out and get yourselves a tall, non-fat, vanilla latte on me.

You could say this particular approach is overkill, but I’d reply with this thought – The marketing and sales mix has evolved from what it was even a year ago. With more and more tools, and complex platforms to communicate your message these days, you have to make sure your marketing and sales strategy is effective and clearly communicated between your departments before pitching it.  By using a strong multi-media approach, you can send the very same message in completely different ways to really make a strong and complete impression.

And the moral of this story? Communication is awesome.

p.s. if you want a big version of our infographic over there, or more information on our customer verification process, email us at [email protected] – we’d love to hear from you!

Chelle Parmele by Chelle Parmele