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New Managers January 2020

MARKETING CHALLENGE: Tis always the season for telling a story


'Tis Always the Season for Telling a Story

Diane Harrison

December is a time for retrospection, introspection, and connection. Family and friends gather to share their favorite memories while making new ones together. People respond to storytelling in ways that other communication channels can't match. Indeed, the Hallmark Channel has made a virtual industry of this season, creating reams of holiday-themed movies, based loosely on 3-4 main feel-good tales, which are wildly popular across America and all age groups.

Why is storytelling important if you are a business looking back at your success, or lack of, in sales in 2019? Because there are tips to take from the art of storytelling that can increase these sales figures in 2020, if one is willing to take note.

Years ago, the Harvard Business Review ran a piece, The Irresistible Power of Storytelling as a Strategic Business Tool, which really captures the benefits of being able to tell a tale. As the author, Harrison Monarth, so aptly put it: 'A story can go where quantitative analysis is denied admission: our hearts. Data can persuade people, but it doesn't inspire them to act; to do that, you need to wrap your vision in a story that fires the imagination and stirs the soul.' Monarth points out that there is an art to telling a good story. Stories need to evoke emotion to stick in the minds of the listeners. Indeed, while there is an unlimited range of topics from which to choose a story to tell, the construction of a good story invariably takes shape within a familiar framework, shown here in what is called Freytag's Pyramid. This classic progression of storytelling dates back to the days of Aristotle, and was used by master storytellers, from Shakespeare in his plays to Budweiser in their award-busting Super Bowl commercials, because it works. Let's examine how this might be useful to the sales process in financial markets. DON'T SELL IT, TELL IT Too o......................

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This article was published in Opalesque's New Managers a top-down monthly analysis, news and research publication on the global emerging manager space.
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