Story Tell – Fiction Style

I just finished reading a fiction book, The Swan Thieves, that made me desperate to visit an art museum. The main characters are accomplished painters. The descriptions in the story of their passion and drive are intoxicating. Not long before starting The Swan Thieves I read a story that made me hug my boys fiercely and another made me laugh so hard I almost cried. All three of these books did this with words alone. Not a single picture, illustration or chart was included.

I’ve often said I love reading because I “lose” myself in the story. It’s an escape. But after consideration I think it is the opposite. The books that really capture me are those that lure me into the story. It’s when I find myself between the lines that makes for a passionate read.

Good stories draw us in, make us think, spark an emotional reaction. We find ourselves alongside the characters . Shouldn’t good marketing stories do the same?

Here are three examples that prove you CAN bring the principles of fiction story telling to marketing:

1) The cover of the book Newsjacking does this fantastically well. Not only is the title emotionally charged, but the cover art work evokes curiosity and harkens thoughts of a good spy novel. I feel like I’m going to learn a secret that no one wants me to know.

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2) NetProspex recently published a benchmark study on data quality and hygiene. It has some really interesting statistics you should read. But what makes itstand out is the quality ofthe writing. Read the conclusion page and I think you’ll see what I mean. The words are carefully chosen to not only relay facts but to evoke action.








3)For a completely different example check out this page from On-Star. They have a carefully worded headline – “When Is It OK to Press The Red Button. Any Time You Need To”.

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But they don’t stop there. They draw you a picture of need by pointing out scenarios you might not have considered where you can help yourself, but also others.  On-Star makes you the hero not the victim with their words. That’s a pretty powerful message.



In our use of video, imagery and infographics it’s easy to forget the power of words. If we resist the urge to focus on pictures the combination of thoughtful words and imagery can be an unstoppable combination that draws the reader into your world.