Stories and ITM – ‘In The Moment’ Marketing

(post by Andrew Thorp)
Today’s BBC website features an extraordinary story of a man who saved a little girl’s life at the check-out desk of an Australian supermarket. The CCTV footage is gripping and you feel for the girl’s parents as fellow customers frantically try to revive her. In the end a man successfully applies the kiss of life and the story has a happy ending.

It struck me that this is the type of story that organisations promoting the importance of first aid training should be publicising. And in that sense it has a lot to say about marketing in the age of instant, global communication.

For one thing it once again shows the power of stories. The NHS, St Johns Ambulance or other first-aid promoters could produce all sorts of statistics and tell us we should be getting more people qualified, but the impact of a story trumps that every time. That’s because stories bring things closer to home. They paint a picture of the incident and make us wonder how we might react in a similar situation. They strike an emotional chord and produce a reaction that’s visceral. If you want to persuade someone of something, stories are your killer weapon.

But the BBC piece also reminds me how much marketing has changed. Instead of drawn-out campaigns that are months in the making, we now have this thing called ITM – ‘In The Moment’ Marketing! That’s where we can seize upon something which is suddenly in the public consciousness.

We had an example of this in the recent Superbowl in the United States. There was a bizarre incident midway through the game – a power cut! A major problem for the organisers certainly, but the people at Oreos (the biscuit) saw an opportunity. They posted a twitter message “You can still dunk in the dark!” And of course it got massive traction because it was relevant in that very moment.

This is why we have to start thinking like journalists now. It’s this ability to spot a good story, to develop the journalistic ‘nose’ that helps us tap into the power of instant mass communication and get our message heard amongst a sea of noise.

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About Mojo Your Business

Mojo Your Business is an innovative training & consultancy company based in Manchester, UK. We're passionate about helping businesses and individuals perform better through effective communication. We specialise in corporate storytelling and how it applies to internal and external communication (employee relations, employability skills, leadership, relationship building, sales, marketing and public relations). More at http://mojoyourbusiness.com/
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