Plan marketing messages around how you can improve the future for your clients and customers.[/caption] It might sound like the beginning of a joke: “Why is marketing like fortune-telling?” But the answer can mean a serious improvement in revenue for your business. That’s because marketing is a two-part process, even though people often focus on one side of it more than the other. The first part, and the one where energy and resources are often concentrated, is promoting the products and services that a business offers. The second part, which is the one where you might want to dedicate a little extra attention if you’re seeking ways to get an edge on the competition, is that marketing is also a tool that lets businesses predict the future. That’s because, one way or another, adding your product or services is going to affect the recipient. The benefits will, ideally, change their future for the better. Why not promote that, instead of just how great you are? Creating a marketing arc with the future in mind will help you shape a strong narrative. It creates more of a storyline, encouraging the recipient to visualize a trajectory toward “happily ever after.” In many cases, you’ll ask them to take part in the creation of this story, filling in the end on their own, with themselves as part of the picture — ideally, as the triumphant protagonist. (Imagine those silly late-night infomercials as a dramatic example. Asking: Do you know what it’s like to struggle with pesky cereal boxes? How would you like it if someone came along and made it much easier to open a hundred cereal boxes every single day? They may be ridiculous most of the time, but they do invite the viewer to jump into the story of their own brighter future, thanks to the product being sold.) It’s also more persuasive in terms of strategy and content, with selling points that are less tangible but appeal to people on a more emotional level. Here are a few of the strategic benefits:
- It shifts the focus to your audience and what you can do for them.
- It means looking ahead and envisioning a better future together — one that you’re already part of.
- It’s the beginning of relationship marketing, which puts your audience and your brand together, in a positive light, with a future ahead of you.