All too often businesses struggle with having something unique and compelling to say in their marketplace. Now, with the rise of content marketing as a means of connecting with customers and standing out in the market, the challenge of “what to say” seems to increase daily.
If you’re looking for new, fertile messaging ground to build your story, *stop looking inward* and at “how to” topics, and look upward at the larger scope of your industry and, more specifically, your market category.
As an agency that leads companies through industry-level discussions to develop a true Strategic Narrative, it’s amazing how many organizations we see that have never discussed industry dynamics and, more importantly, the potential to define and share their future vision for their market category. When I say “Strategic Narrative,” I am not talking about the latest marketing buzz-process, “storytelling.” What many companies don’t realize is the huge opportunity to raise their voices to the industry level, and to rise above the noise and confusion that plagues almost every market with a unique narrative.
To create an industry Strategic Narrative, look at it as a three-part play.
- Identify and define your current industry trends. What industry is not being disrupted and grappling with continuous change? Start by articulating the mega-trends that are affecting your customers, company and industry. What are the top three-to-five? Blog on each one.
- Outline your company’s own, unique view of how the industry stands today. This lets you expose misperceptions in the market, share insights into how “things really are,” and debunk much of the marketing hype and clutter that causes market confusion. Set the record straight. You know what’s going on. Assert your leadership voice!
- Paint your company’s vision for your industry’s future. Not of your company! A Strategic Narrative is hardly about you and what you do. That’s the stuff everyone else is saying with the same 16 words, but in a different order. Outlining the vision for your industry, based on input from a wide spectrum of team members (not just marketing), results in narrative messaging that is completely and totally unique to your company. Perhaps there’s a new category that can be defined. Or, steps that your industry needs to take to remain healthy and relevant not only today, but in the future.
Focusing on industry level messaging isn’t easy or a light undertaking. However, once the work is done and the three-part strategic narrative is outlined, you’ll have discovered a higher calling and, most importantly, created meaningful messages that are impactful and garner the attention and respect as a true market leader.
Don’t wait for others to define your market and industry vision!
Also, stay tuned, as Catapult has much more to come during the next week on the topic of Strategic Narratives and how businesses, education and government can elevate and transform messaging from “look at me” to true industry leadership.