Have you ever turned on the television “for just a few minutes,” stumbled upon a show already in progress, and been so riveted that you had to watch it to the end? Or have you ever picked up a book as bedtime reading and found it so interesting that you completely lost track of time until a few hours later? That’s the power of a narrative.
Narratives draw us in. They engage us. They grab our attention and encourage us to reflect on where we are—and where we might go.
Businesses have long used the power of narratives in their outreach campaigns. The famous 1979 Coca-Cola television commercial with “Mean” Joe Greene told a complete story that resonated with viewers (and had countless people wishing they were at the receiving end of the “Hey, kid—catch!” line). More recently, an IKEA ad for a lamp not only told a story, but poked some fun at the fact that the public actually expects to find narratives in advertisements.
You don’t have to hire a film crew to tell a good story, though. More and more companies are using print magazines as outreach and marketing vehicles—and enjoying tremendous success with these efforts.
Last week, for example, I caught up with one Mamu Media client who’s using our branded magazines to open new doors. We’ve been working with this client to create semi-custom magazines, a type of publication that includes some original content by the client or by other relevant organizations.
Mamu Media develops a strategy tailored for each client’s specific needs, and in every issue this particular client (a staffing agency) runs a custom article about one of its own customers. These “company profiles” each tell a story about an organization—what it does, how our client is connected to it, what people are involved with it, how it has succeeded in its market, etc.
One recent issue featured a cover story about “Company X,” a business that saw its longstanding problems with staffing turnover disappear after developing a relationship with my client. While reading that article about “Company X,” the HR director of a different organization found that she was able to relate to the stories in that article. Her company has similar staffing concerns, so she reached out to my client to see if he could help stabilize her organization’s workforce as well.
Not only is he hearing directly from other company representatives who’ve read the stories in his magazine, but my client reported to me that numerous prospective customers have also been reaching out to “Company X” to ask about him. Happily, “Company X” is thrilled with my client’s work and is happy to serve as a positive reference and send more organizations his way!
At Mamu Media, our top priority is to help our clients succeed in their fields. We thrive on figuring out and implementing ways to improve our clients’ outreach to and connection with their customers and with prospective clients. Knowing that our client is doing well is all the thanks we need. But when a client goes out of his or her way to tell me, “Thanks Mike. This is the best content we have seen in the industry,” I have to admit being a bit thrilled about that, too!