Business Innovation and Marketing with Mike Parsons
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Business Innovation Blog

Read about marketing, innovation, emerging technology and Design Thinking Methods. Includes lean startup, agile development and rapid prototyping tools.

The Best Way to Make a Story Worth Sharing


I've been a student of marketing for a long time. Every couple of years a different approach to storytelling seems to rise to the top. I've seen these three significant ideas help create world-class marketing campaigns:
1. Reach and frequency
2. Awareness Interest Desire Action
3. McKinsey Consumer Journey



They Don't Work Anymore

The change in how we tell stories has been primarily driven by the transition from a few linear channels such as the TV in the 1980's and 90's, to an explosion of channels driven by the internet.

What works now? And by "now" I mean a world that is lead by mobile and social. The answer lays, ironically, back to the old-fashion idea of word of mouth and human social behaviours.


Contagious: Why Things Catch On

By Jonah Burger

The best model and approach to content marketing and storytelling is the STEPPS model by Jonah Berger. He launched this model in his book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On.

I've employed this model, and it works. So if you're launching a product or a company I advise you read Johan's book or watch the videos that I pulled together.

One small note here, I recommend Simon Sinek's Start With Why as a pre-read before you get into Contagious/STEPPS. As post-reading, I recommend Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares.


What is the STEPPS model?


STEPPS in one slide



Social currency: We Care, We Share

We share what makes us look good. This means we need to share stories that engender emotions such as pride or status.


Triggers – Timing is Everything

This means telling the story at the right time. Think about anticipating before and event and refection after an event. Not that other way around


Emotion – Give Goosebumps, Get Traffic Bumps

Your story should clearly evoke emotions such as joy, surprise or shock. Without a strong sentiment, your story will be ignored.
Public – we imitate what we see people around us are doing.


Public - Provide Social Proof 

Over 70% of Americans say they look at product reviews before making a purchase. Given the social proof that others feel that way too.


Practical value – Where's the utility?

We share things that have value to others and are useful. People are looking for help, support and inspiration all over the web. Just try typing in 'How to..." on YouTube.


Stories – Tell me a Tale.

We share stories, not information. Don't bore the audience with data, transform your information into a narrative.


Remember everyone has a story to tell. So get moving and tell a tale that's worth sharing.