Narratives - What Marketing Is Really About
Telling A Compelling Story Is Everything
Google defines narrative as, ” a spoken or written account of connected events; a story”. At ORB, we believe what marketing is about, the real key to winning in marketing, is CONTROLLING YOUR NARRATIVE. The story that you tell about your business, products, and services is everything to your potential customers.
The presence (or absence) of a strong brand which tells your story and defines how prospects perceive your contracting business as a viable service provider. In the trades, this concept is actually very easy to grasp and is highly evident in most markets. What we often finds separates the leaders from the rest of the pack is their attention to detail with their brand image. Whether they realize it or not, the market leader’s brand messaging to their customers screams that they are the best in their local market. Even if their craftmanship or pricing is subpar, even if this fact is well known amongst contractors and industry peers in the marketplace, none of that matters in the eyes of the uninformed customer who is not an industry insider. The fact is, because they appear to be the best option to new prospects, THE BUSINESS IS THEIRS TO LOSE. That is what marketing is about.
To be clear, I’m not saying that pricing or subpar quality don’t matter, those are hugely important for customers, people shop rates and referrals are still the number one way for contractors to generate additional business. But if you appear to be the best option in your local market, you will have the first shot at the most warm prospects in your local market.
Details, Details, Details. How to Make Or Break the Sale You Can't See
By the time you receive an email, text, or call, a decision has already been made. The same way you pick the best cooler from Amazon or decide on what restaurant to eat out at, people are consuming information both online and in person and making snap judgements about your business. They have already preprocessed boiler plate information about your company like your logo, colors, testimonials and reviews, whether they have seen or heard of you before, or if they know a friend or family member who had a positive or negative experience. The initial step of ruling you in or out as a viable provider has already occurred in their head alone and you haven’t even had a chance to say a word and convince them one way or another.
All of us have made decisions like these when faced with an overwhelming number of choices or options.
But why do we buy this way?
Social Proof and The Halo Effect
One reason for explaining this behavior from a human psychology standpoint is through The Halo Effect. Applied to the principles of your business, the Halo Effect is when one aspect of your business is used to make an overall judgment of the quality of the whole business. An example would be something to the effect of: “Your logo looks great and your t-shirt’s are cool so you must be a great roofer”. While this appears ridiculous at first glance, reality can be stranger than fiction and this is actually a beneficial adaption that mankind has made to process the crazy amount of information being thrown our way. According to frontiersin.org, “Scientists have measured the amount of data that enter the brain and found that an average person living today processes as much as 74 GB in information a day (that is as much as watching 16 movies), through TV, computers, cell phones, tablets, billboards, and many other gadgets”. We can’t possibly store and process all this so we make snap judgements about things in order to categorize them as good or bad, useful or not.
How Can You Control Your Narrative: Tell To Win
So how do we leverage the Halo Effect to win? You need to ensure the story your telling with your brand is compelling. Everywhere your business is visible is a chance to make a good impression, a bad impression, or no impression at all. This includes:
- Your Appearance on the Job – Employee Uniforms, Truck Wraps, Clean Job Sites, Yard Signs and Banners
- Your Office Appearance – Clean and Tidy, Professional Signage
- Your Print Media – Business Cards, Door Hangers, Flyers
- Your Website – Modern and Sleek, Quality Testimonials, Video, Modern Tools, Colors and Images
- Your Community – How are you involved? Volunteer! Sponsor a Sports Team or a Local Charity
- Your Craftsmanship – Do Great Work, Strive for Happy Customers, Get Reviews and Testimonials, Master Your Craft, Utilize Drones and Technology
You never know where your next job, your next lead, or referral will come from so ensure that you always put your best foot forward and use your brand to cast a wide net!
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