A few weeks ago we announced a new book by Catapult co-founder and principal, Guy Murrel. The book, “A Practical Guide to Strategic Narrative Marketing,” is a brief ‘how-to’ guide for those looking to lead their market and stand apart from competitors while embracing a new messaging strategy. I asked Guy a few questions this week to get his perspective on what Strategic Narrative Marketing is and what it means to the PR and marketing industry. Here’s what he had to say:
1. You recently introduced a new approach for the PR and marketing industry, “Strategic Narrative Marketing.” Can you describe this approach in a few sentences?
Sure, Strategic Narrative Marketing helps organizations elevate messaging to the industry level as a means of saying something completely unique and compelling to the market. It aims to have companies focus on defining and shaping their industry, and in many cases creating an entirely new category, process or framework. It is not about the “essence” of the company, or what they do, but about painting an industry vision and making a contribution to advance the overall good of the industry. It’s about leading the market, not just proclaiming they are a leader.
2. Catapult has been practicing Strategic Narrative Marketing for clients for years. What inspired you to write a book about it?
This approach is the result of Catapult’s 17 years in the b-to-b high-tech PR trenches. We noticed some years ago that the common quality all successful tech companies have is their industry leadership. At the same time, most companies we worked with were frustrated with their messaging, as they sounded too similar to competitors and what they were saying to the market wasn’t “breaking through.” As we started formalizing our messaging process into Strategic Narrative Marketing, (but not necessarily calling it that), we decided to take our own good advice and define a new marketing category.
3. Who needs a strategic narrative to guide their positioning and messaging?
Every organization needs a high-level strategic narrative. On an organizational level, an industry-defining and aspirational narrative helps align an entire company, nd set a course of action to become a true market driver. Most importantly, every CEO needs a strategic narrative. This is what employees, customers, prospects and investors look for in a leader. The great CEO’s of our day are industry disruptors and those that challenge their organizations to advance their industry as a benefit to all.
4. What opportunity is presented to the PR industry with Strategic Narrative Marketing?
The heart and soul of “positioning and messaging” is really up for grabs these days. With the rise of data-driven ad tech, and content marketing that increasingly relies on frequency over quality, the PR industry has the long-held chops and should, in my opinion, take the lead in developing higher-level messaging. I know “storytelling” is a new trend, but it lacks the depth and strategic qualities that an industry narrative can deliver. I hope Strategic Narrative Marketing, which is outlined in the book, helps the next generation of PR pros develop into strategic thinkers and leaders of messaging.
5. What is the most important lesson to be learned in your new book?
That thinking higher and being a category defining company should not be left to others. In fact, every organization has the right to create and lead a category!
Want to learn more? Check out our Strategic Narrative Workshops or buy the book if you are considering your own Strategic Narrative Marketing journey.