Why Marketers Should Write Fiction

Day 4 - Magic Kingdom

Somewhere in the back of his mind he remembered hearing that army snipers underwent special training that allowed them to not move for hours at a time.

He didn’t know if there was any truth to that or if it was one of those urban legends but he was certain they didn’t drink three cups of coffee before assuming their stakeouts.

Not that any of it really mattered because after 27 years on the job he had picked up his own set of tricks.

Some people would have been offended not to be noticed. Some people wished they had the sort of presence that made everyone notice but that wasn’t him and it was a good thing.

He had one of those forgettable faces that people just didn’t remember and a knack for blending in wherever he was. It was a big part of why he was so good at stakeouts but it wasn’t his best or only skill.

Ask the other guys about the pools of blood and body parts from the cabin and they would tell you they had never seen anything like it. Even the guys who had done two tours in Iraq and the captain that had busted up that Al-Qaeda ring in Afghanistan said it was bad.

But with one exception the blood and carnage had never made him miss a step.

Why Should Marketers Should Write Fiction?

The answer is because our jobs is to tell a story about the products/services and companies we work for or represent. Our objective is connect with the reader and to touch them.

Sometimes we want to touch their heart and sometimes we want to touch their brain but the ultimate goal is to use that connection to build a relationship.

A relationship that makes them reach into their wallet or company coffers and sign a contract to do business with us.

One of the ways we learn how to become more effective at building these connections is by writing fiction. When you write a story you have to think about how everything connects.

You take your words and create a beginning, a middle and and end. You insert characters into it and give them challenges to overcome and objectives to achieve.

Construction and Deconstruction

When you start to understand how a story is constructed you gain a greater understanding of how to build a story around your company and whatever products or services you are selling.

Some people might suggest that fiction has certain advantages because you don’t have the same limitations. It is not something you can apply across the board.

If you are writing about science fiction or fantasy you can build characters that have abilities normal people don’t have. The cop character from the story above could have super strength and x-ray vision but once you insert that people start seeing things differently.

They may suspend disbelief for a while but they won’t necessarily buy into what you are selling. But if you say he isn’t fazed by blood well they can accept that because it is not beyond the pale.

It is a characteristic that can be developed but that is a discussion that takes us a bit further afield than we should go.

Why Marketers Should Write Fiction

The point isn’t to get into what characteristics that particular character should or should not have but to think about ways to become a more effective communicator.

To think about ways to learn how to tell a better story that will resonate with people. Writing fiction isn’t a bad way to work on those skills.

Some of you might already be doing this and applying those skills to your job, after all I have read your material and I know you just might be exaggerating about how good a job that broom/soap does cleaning. 😉

What do you think?

(Visited 55 times, 1 visits today)

18 Comments

  1. Pingback: The 1,982nd Greatest Story Ever Told

  2. Craig McBreen April 9, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes Maybe I’ll work up the courage to post on Facebook 😉

  3. Craig McBreen April 9, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes Maybe I’ll work up the courage to post on Facebook 😉

  4. Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes April 8, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    Craig McBreen I’d be very curious to see what you came up with.

  5. Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes April 8, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    Craig McBreen I’d be very curious to see what you came up with.

  6. Craig McBreen April 8, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    I’ve been writing some of my own … not sure if it will ever be released to the public, but it’s something I get lost in. That’s all that matters.

  7. RobBiesenbach April 4, 2014 at 7:20 am

    creativeoncall Chuck, I should have added songwriting and music to the list. No doubt that helps you think in different ways about how to convey ideas.

  8. Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes April 3, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    creativeoncall  Hi Chuck. There is merit in learning how to think and how to create first before they take business courses.

    Some people believe you are born with creativity and that if you don’t have it you never will but I am not one of them. It is something that can be developed but that is probably a topic for a separate post.

  9. KDillabough April 3, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes Well at least the debacle looks like it was worth it 🙂

  10. Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes April 3, 2014 at 11:51 am

    RobBiesenbach It makes me crazy sometimes to see what people try to pass off as “business storytelling.”

    Sometimes I read material and wonder how many people read it before publication because it feels like it was mailed in.

  11. Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes April 3, 2014 at 11:49 am

    KDillabough Thanks. I have to blog about the hosting debacle that led to this change.

  12. KDillabough April 3, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Well you know I’m going to quote you, especially on fiction: “Just write baby, just write.” Cheers! Kaarina

  13. KDillabough April 3, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Well you know I’m going to quote you, especially on fiction: “Just write baby, just write.” Cheers! Kaarina

  14. creativeoncall April 3, 2014 at 6:39 am

    RobBiesenbach  “…in business people will call anything a story.”   Good understatement

  15. creativeoncall April 3, 2014 at 6:38 am

    I agree… learning, or even seriously attempting, to create art, be it fiction, poetry, a short film or a narrative photo or illustration, makes us better communicators.  Over the years I’ve always encouraged students looking to get into the business to first study how to think (I still like the liberal arts) and share their thoughts creatively before bothering to study advertising or marketing (sorry, but you can better learn that on the job, assuming you bring some human-to-human skils with you).

  16. RobBiesenbach April 3, 2014 at 5:12 am

    Truth! Fiction writing will turn you into a better storyteller. The standard for storytelling in fiction is rigorous, while in business people will call anything a story. So classes in novel writing, screenwriting, playwriting, even comedy sketch writing can be really, really valuable to any communicator.

  17. RobBiesenbach April 3, 2014 at 5:12 am

    Truth! Fiction writing will turn you into a better storyteller. The standard for storytelling in fiction is rigorous, while in business people will call anything a story. So classes in novel writing, screenwriting, playwriting, even comedy sketch writing can be really, really valuable to any communicator.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  
Please enter an e-mail address

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You may also like
%d bloggers like this: