Statistics, research and data can make your case.
But people tell your story.
A client reminded us of this recently. Talking about prospects and their decision-making processes, he described one who was analytical, who liked digging into data and examining empirical proof before moving ahead. But as much as he enjoys pie charts and bar charts, what ultimately nudged him into action, the client told us, was an anecdote with a human in it. What he really wanted to hear was how another customer benefited from the product.
He’s not alone. Even the most rational and analytical among us are more likely to remember faces than names, to respond more strongly to a well-told tale involving a human experience than to a spreadsheet full of data.
I doubt any of the editors I worked for at various newspapers had a psychology degree, but still they knew intuitively that no matter how well-documented a story was, it wouldn’t resonate without an example of how it impacted a real live person. That was true whether the story was about a crime wave, a forest fire or the failure of some government agency to do its job.
Fortunately, at 3 Aspens Media, our clients aren’t dealing with such high-stakes drama. But the principle is the same. Content that makes a solid case with data to back it up establishes authority and credibility. And that’s essential. But when putting together a marketing content plan, keep in mind that as impressive as your customers’ growth and market penetration year over year may be, that data will be much more memorable, not to mention more engaging, if you can offer a front-lines example of a customer. Ask a loyal customer to describe in detail how your stellar service and exemplary product expertise made their business run more smoothly.
In other words, to reach people with your story, tell your story with people.