It's clear that Seth Godin and me inhabit two different universes. Him: best-selling author, major business builder and frequently original marketing thinker. Me: moderately-selling author (and yes, actually we both share Penguin I believe), growing business builder and sometimes original marketing thinker.
So I was kind of chuffed this week to read this post from Seth about the key elements of a marketing promise, uncannily similar to some of the messages in my recently produced True Story Marketing Manifesto.
Seth's talking about the story of Jack trading the family cow for some worthless beans that turned out to be magical and how the deal was done. His third step to a successful marketing promise is to tell a true story.
You must be able to keep the promise. If not, you're ripping people off and shortcircuiting any chance you have to build something of value. If the beans hadn't grown, end of story. Future sales will come when Jack tells his friends...
Seth goes on to say that marketing failure occurs because at least one of these three elements isn't present.
Reading this, I'm feeling a sigh of relief. (It's confirmation I'm not nuts, I think to myself.)
In the True Story Marketing Manifesto I talk about how I think marketing is both broken and misunderstood. I also talk about the fact that your brand is a real life story, told in three acts. Act 1 is the promise. Act 2 is the experience and Act 3 is the memory.
Your promise is what attracts prospects to you, told through what you write and what you say.
The experience is how you deliver on the promise, what it’s like to do business with you; uour systems and processes and how you behave.
Then, if the unique promise is pitched at the right people AND backed up by an experience that’s in perfect alignment, then you can’t fail but to create a powerful memory – and loyal customers.
And loyal customers are the goal. They buy more, cost less to serve and spread the story of your brand.