Strategic Narrative Marketing (SNM) is a new approach to company positioning and messaging. If you’ve been tracking along with our blog series, you probably have a decent grasp on what it’s all about (newcomers – start with Part 1). You’ve learned how to truly think and act like a leader in your industry and perhaps you are considering developing and launching a market category or framework for your organization.
Recently, the series covered how to develop your narrative and what you will need to launch it. This week, as this part of the SNM blog series comes to an end, you’ll learn how to bring your category or framework to life. Let’s walk through the launch process and beyond.
Before you launch it is imperative that you think through possible planning issues
Create a straw-man timeline to ensure that you are moving forward
Eye a launch date – look for possible milestones and events to launch around such as a product rollout, industry conference or event, or another significant company development
Phase 1: The Launch
SNM is rooted in Public Relations, so it is essential to follow solid PR execution and strategy to introduce the category/framework. While you can certainly incorporate a variety of marketing and advertising tactics to support and help drive the launch, a PR-centric view is the key for building awareness and establishing credibility with this particular approach.
The Launch Framework:
Set Launch Date – this is the day that the new narrative/offering will be introduced to the market. As previously stated, it is helpful to plan it around a major event or milestone.
Content development – Part 11 of our series offers a comprehensive list of content that will need to be developed to support the launch.
Rollout internally – prior to launch the entire organization should be introduced to the narrative
Pre-pitching – follow the classic PR launch process of pre-briefing the media and analysts before your narrative is launched.
Prepare social media campaigns.
Content marketing – prepare blogs and contributed articles to go live on launch date.
Website refresh – incorporate your narrative into the website.
Launch Day – on launch day the news release will hit the wire, partners and customers will be notified, social content will go live, and the internal team will monitor and respond to online buzz around the new narrative.
Phase 2: Strategic Narrative Evangelism
As we mentioned last time, your Strategic Narrative should not fade away after the launch. The PR/marketing team will need to create a plan of follow-up strategies and tactics that promote the category/framework and company vision. It will be essential to promote and evangelize through ongoing campaigns and tactics such as:
Social media marketing
Speaking and awards
Phase 3: Industry Adoption
After three to six months of evangelizing the Strategic Narrative, the focus will shift to industry adoption. The idea for phase three is to move beyond self-evangelizing and gain the support of third party influencers. This can be done in many forms, including:
Getting the category included in research analyst reports or as a track at an industry event
Op-ed articles from tier journalists or bloggers
An In-person event such as a local meetup or user group conference
These are the three essential phases of SNM for securing tangible results. As you reflect on whether this approach is for you, remember that just about every organization wants something new and compelling to say. They want to differentiate from competitors, attract new customers and create an industry leading market position. In our experience, the true industry and category leaders are the ones who are sought out by the media and analysts, raise the most money, and stay ahead (and above) the competition. If that aligns with your company’s goals, then you might consider adopting the Strategic Narrative Marketing approach.