Challenging short Stories for Marketing

Challenging short Stories for Marketing

Let me begin with four short- very short- stories and they are all real stories.

An A student (B)and beyond expectations scored 60 in the math exam. He told his parents โ€œI am glad I scored 60 because my friend X scored 50โ€. Knowing X was an outstanding student, the parents of B werenโ€™t very dissatisfied. In fact, they were pleased that their son scored a higher grade then B. The parents didnโ€™t ask about other students who scored more than 90.

A woman told her friend that sadly her husband passed away suddenly. The widowed wife cried. Amid crying her friend told her the truth is that your husband didnโ€™t pass away; rather he divorced you to marry your closet friend Maria. The wife stopped crying abruptly to curse her husband. It was easier for her that her husband died than hearing her married her friend. This approach is an example of Door-in-the-Face Technique.

A patient was rushed to a hospital after fainting. A consortium of medical doctors told the family that the initial, but not final, diagnoses their son had cancer. The family were shocked and were at loss. A little time later the same doctor told the family โ€œI have good news for you. Your son doesnโ€™t have cancer. He has epilepsyโ€. The family was somewhat relieved.

An opportunist employee served his boss and the boss in return relied on him to inform him of every detail that was going on in the company. The employees feared this employee for fear he would report them to the boss. The boss was suddenly replaced by another one. The employees were so happy and threatened the employee to report about him to the new boss upon his arrival in few days. The employee had different thoughts. He started collecting information about the new boss and his hobbies. He found out he was a member of a popular football club. He joined the club and bought a membership. The employee knew what times the boss visits the club and equipped himself with information about the club history. The new boss arrived and became very skeptical of the employee. He met with him just to figure out who he was. The employee lost status- only for a short while. Soon the boss met with the employee in the football club. The employee kept talking about the glorious football club and its previous successes. He even mentioned his donations to the club to cater for new talents. They then jogged together. suddenly, the employee became the closest employee to the new boss. The employee used what is known as the โ€œIngratiation Techniqueโ€. Ingratiationย is a psychological technique in which an individual attempt to influence, manipulate or control another by becoming more attractive to their target.


I believe strongly that the previous stories may be used to increase the efficiency of sales and marketing. I invite the readers to share their thoughts and insight. I am trying here a new way of engaging readers in sharing their creative ideas and extending the possibilities. Let us see how many ideas we may generate.


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Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#21
Jerry- I agree with you. However; the dynamism between the effect the group has on an individual and vice vers may end in having an individual behaving alone than in groups. Would I buy a suit if I like it and my fellows would mock it? I am still digesting your probing comment. Thank you

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

3 years ago #18

Ali, Challenging as always. I believe the translation from the French is (The more things change, the more they stay the same." Marketing is directed to the mass. Sales are directed to individuals. The adaption of the techniques you are suggesting to marketing is limited by the number of people that have the same problem/condition/situation. It is not uncommon for even skilled practitioners to make the same mistake. Behavioral science is only useful in marketing if it delivers bunches.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#19
Lovely approach and you determined the sweet spot on the intersection of your three circles- yours, the lady and the man. A great example indeed.

John Rylance

John Rylance

3 years ago #16

#5
The nub of this was the mantra collaborate with your customers. In this case I was supporting a man who enjoyed leafing and liked to work a few hours each day ( not more than two) . I used to liaise with the Veg lady and decide the precise roads she wanted targeted. For her it meant a higher rate of new business than other leafleting could achieve. It was easier for her to meet demand rather the " scatter gun approach of other methods. From the point of view of the man I supported he could work as he wanted. So where possible collaborate.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#17
The hidden hierarchy till too late. WE talk about shadow management, but it is time to discuss shadow hierarchy. A great point that deserves a dedicated discussion. Thank you Harvey Lloyd for highlighting this rather hidden phenomena.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

3 years ago #14

#16
And it is that association with Rich versus poor that I speak to in marketing. Weโ€™ve become very adept at setting up social status and tiers. By having those tiers we can now establish marketing that can help people climb through them. Not sure why but for some reason we canโ€™t see the placement of the tiers in front of us until it is too late. Very interesting discussion thanks for your post

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#15
Precisaely and I fully agree with you Harvey Lloyd. The ruler in our head compares even sometimes the incomparable. You mentioned the death Vs. Divorce. Divorce for the woman for her husband to marry her friend was more harmful than the death of her husband. She lost the husband anyway, but to lose him to a friend of her compounded her loss to exceed that of her husband dying. There are cases when the wants and needs of customers are there. To find ways so that the customer selects a company's product is legal. It is when illusion wants and needs that are created that raise a different issue. For example, a low-income family might sacrifice her basic needs to buy expensive clothing that are aimed for the rich. I have seen places where most of the income of the family goes for buying social products so that the wife and husband would look good to their peers. This is on the expense of buying food and other basic need for their kids. Yes, social positioning is sadly more important for then than raising their kids healthily.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

3 years ago #12

Could i extend the conversation? Methods are observed and labeled. But are they reproducible through others? Methods generally work because of principals, Values or emphasis on win win. Your โ€œIngratiation Techniqueโ€ is what i am referring. The bait and switch technique used in the others is an older one. Baiting someone with something in order to up sell what you have. But is also expressive of where we have come to. A hierarchy of comparison. Depending on narrative we each have a ruler inside our heads. We hold out this ruler for comparison when engaging with customers, friends or situations. Marketing has two paths, selling what the customer wants or selling what they need. Sometimes these are not mutually exclusive. But more often than not they are, in our current environment. We create needs, settings and situations within the customer then sell them something that overcomes these conditions. Your stories were striking in that our narrative has been conditioned to receive information in very specific ways. Death Vs. divorce solicits different responses. Amazing.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#13
Thank you for highlighting this point dear Tausif Mundrawala. Yes, I aimed at making the comments an integral part of the buzz. I call it "shared-thinking" in practice. I shall tag you and soon.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#9
Great contribution my dear Tausif Mundrawala. You do add a very relevant story which extend the applications in my mind. You touched upon a very important point which is social or group selling. This is one lesson I learnt. We think we do individual decisions; in fact we are affected by our associates. Your example is perfect. The lady would bring her daughter and their group as well. Social or group marketing has many hidden potential and rippling effect embedded within. Surely, I shall refer later to your excellent comment.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#7
Thank you my dear friend Lisa Vanderburg for contributing a very wise comment. You do extend the utility of the story to the management domain. I focused on marketing. Sometimes we get too focused and get immersed in the tunneling effect. I have no ideas popping up. Thank you also for sharing the buzz and for adding new perspectives.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#6
All stories are real and including the one you mentioned in your comment dear Debasish Majumder. The challenge is how to turn their lesson into marketing practices I have few thoughts and L hope to read the thoughts of readers as well. Thank you again for your sharing.

Lisa Vanderburg L

Lisa Vanderburg

3 years ago #7

Mind games are fun if they're thought-provoking, and you certainly have done that Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee! So the maths student has deflected his parents attention by giving them an inaccurate measure. They should know better, or maybe they should be less pushy? The woman who was told two conflicting awful stories should know the 'other woman' is probably less of a bitch than the one who told her (sounds like jealousy issues). Her husband has no stones for not 'fessing up. The sick guy's family do not have internet. They believed the doctor when he said it was 'good news'. The weaselly employee is only interested in his own perceived 'cleverness' - it'll cost him dearly in every way. Dumber than a bag of hammers to mention his 'donations'...to the guy that will pay his salary??

Debasish Majumder

Debasish Majumder

3 years ago #6

lovely story sirAli \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee! i guess, it is easier to see the characteristic of an employee from out side, where it is evident to judge his pernicious trait. but, in a certain organization to judge the character of n old as well new boss all of a sudden is perhaps little difficult and even to reach to a conclusion in a short span of time is really hard. although that is why it is called stories. however, lovely buzz sir. enjoyed read and shared. thank you for the buzz.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#4
Thank you John Rylance for sharing a lovely and relevant fifth story. I would to read the details of this story. I surely hope you do.

John Rylance

John Rylance

3 years ago #4

Mary was just starting her Vegetable Box Franchise. She had customers scattered through out her region, she needed to target areas. Leafleting firms all seem to blanket areas. One day she was at a event for start up businesses there she met someone who could organise leafleting to specific areas, that is several roads in an area. She gave it a go and was soon building a manageable client base, out performing neighbouring franchises. What the leafleting firm had was a USP (unique selling point) which was just what Mary needed. Every firm should have at least one. This is based on a personal experience. I could explain further why it was so successful.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#2
You bring to the attention of the readers of your comments some very interesting ideas. First idea- "and this depends on whether the market questions or whether the market is passive". I tried to make this buzz active by only telling the stories and not revealing their relevance to marketing. I am inviting readers to share their thoughts. Second point- "there are still psychological effects and that means narrative combined with understanding persuasion". I fully agree. The behavior of an individual is different in groups than when alone. When we market to an individual we may forget that our perceptions of his behavior is different in a group than it is if he/she were living alone. When we affect the group we also affect the individual's behavior. This is true in all forms of life. I am writing my next buzz in response to this key point CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit Third point- "This thinking is a relationship whereas the 20th Century thinking was an interruption". Yes, it is based on interruption and push marketing. The great marketing trend is building relationship and asking for permission and feedback. It is at least a pull marketing. As you wrote "I am more than willing to learn approaches relevant to this century, but that is an emerging effect..., but I have no interest in serving that mass", I am wondering if serving the mass doesn't affect the individual! Again, I shall try to include this point in my next buzz.

CityVP Manjit

CityVP Manjit

3 years ago #2

The role of narrative and storytelling is a skill that I certainly recognize and this depends on whether the market questions or whether the market is passive. For years marketers had it easy serving passive markets because communication was one way. As people today get to speak about their marketed experiences rather than how they market to others, that adds new complexity, as well as reduction in the amount of attention or bandwidth available. Even if consumers are becoming more interactive, involved or even activist in their approach, there are still psychological effects and that means narrative combined with understanding persuasion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFdCzN7RYbw adds to new approaches which can be justifiably called 21st Century marketing. So long as those who were conditioned to 20th Century marketing tactics continue in their same learned behaviours, 20th Century marketing tactics will still work. It is only 21st Century thinking if it is the consumer who understands this science of persuasion and marketers respecting this. I am not interested in 20th Century thinking and marketing has its place also in 21st Century thinking. This thinking is a relationship whereas the 20th Century thinking was an interruption. I am more than willing to learn approaches relevant to this century, but that is an emerging effect, for the mass market is still alive and kicking and in that respect I have no interest in serving that mass. Narrative for me in terms of marketing then depends on the context it is applied.

CityVP Manjit

CityVP Manjit

3 years ago #1

The role of narrative and storytelling is a skill that I certainly recognize and this depends on whether the market questions or whether the market is passive. For years marketers had it easy serving passive markets because communication was one way. As people today get to speak about their marketed experiences rather than how they market to others, that adds new complexity, as well as reduction in the amount of attention or bandwidth available. Even if consumers are becoming more interactive, involved or even activist in their approach, there are still psychological effects and that means narrative combined with understanding persuasion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFdCzN7RYbw adds to new approaches which can be justifiably called 21st Century marketing. So long as those who were conditioned to 20th Century marketing tactics continue in their same learned behaviours, 20th Century marketing tactics will still work. I am not interested in 20th Century thinking and marketing has its place also in 21st Century thinking. This thinking is a relationship whereas the 20th Century thinking was an interruption. I am more than willing to learn approaches relevant to this century, but that is an emerging effect, for the mass market is still alive and kicking and in that respect I have no interest in serving that mass. Narrative for me in terms of marketing then depends on the context it is applied.

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