Hello, and welcome back to the Hugoversity library, where we read and review PR and marketing-related books to help you learn.
For this month’s review, Prefect Natalie read Marketing a love story: How to matter to your customers, by Bernadette Jiwa, a book which is all about our favourite subject – storytelling.
What’s it all about?
What it says on the tin really, how to matter to your customers and get them to fall in love with your brand.
Everyone is bursting with ideas, but not all of us have the knowledge and tools to tell the story of how our ideas are going to change the world and why they should matter to our customers.
Bernadette encourages her readers to take a different view of marketing, to see it as less of a form of promotional activity but rather about reaching out to people to help them solve problems, and see the world through our customers’ eyes.
The book consists of a series of edited popular posts from Bernadette’s blog. She says: “Each article is like a tiny love letter to someone who wants to make an impact in the world through her work.” Spilt into three sections – strategy, context and story – the author covers everything from the planning stages to finding the hole that your product or service fills and how to tell your story.
For start-up companies, or those who simply want to refresh their strategy, Bernadette highlights all the basics, including how to write a mission statement, content creation and more.
Lots of examples are given in this section, providing some great inspiration to readers, but the most important message I took away from this part of the book was, “Don’t make people click. Find ways to make people care.” We all know that calls to action are essential, but your website should make visitors feel like they belong. You know what that feeling is like, you yearn to visit that same place again because you believe you’re part of something special.
“The platforms and tactics we use to reach our customers in a digital world keep changing, but the strategy for touching human beings who make decisions with their hearts and not their heads remains the same,” and I couldn’t agree more! We need to create a memorable customer experience, take care of them once they’ve done business with us so they are encouraged to return.
This chapter delves into understanding the customer, their needs and how your product/service solves a problem they have.
You may have the best offering on the market and fantastic USPs, but “When you innovate and build your business from a place of empathy and a desire to crease difference for your customers, those values bubble up into everything you do.”
Bernadette emphasises the importance of understanding your customers’ triggers as “Triggers lead to actions that can become behaviours.” This is the true key to building a trusted relationship with your target market, which will entice them to continue to keep coming back to you.
The final chapter of the book is probably the most important and I encourage you to grab a cup of tea, perhaps a couple of biscuits too, and sit in a quiet place to absorb all of this fantastic advice and knowledge.
When you know what you need to do to meet your goal (strategy) and where your product/service fits in you customer’s life, you should then consider how you’re going to communicate why you do what you do.
Marketing shouldn’t be seen as a department, it’s “the story of how you create a difference to your customers.” In this section you’ll learn the purpose of brand storytelling and examples of how to tell your story in an innovative way. By telling your brand’s story your customers can attach meaning to you product/service and that’s the reason why they then want to belong. When they feel like they belong, they become part of the brand and its story and become loyal customers.
One of the key takeaways I took from this chapter was: “Marketing is a transfer of emotion. We buy with our hearts and justify decisions with our heads.”
To help readers engage and practice the strategies within the book, Bernadette has created activities in each of the three sections to really get you thinking. From a one-page marketing plan to thirty questions for every entrepreneur, this book really gets the cogs turning but it’s worth it as it really gets you thinking about your brand.
What did we learn:
I learnt so many things! It reminded me why I fell in love with marketing and how powerful it can truly be.
Optimising our businesses for building trusted relationships first, and focusing on results second will help increase brand loyalty but people must believe in you and your story, and in order for them to do that they need to hear your story!
It’s also important to remember that not everyone is going to want to listen to your story, which is totally fine, you don’t have to matter to everyone. Just be yourself and tell the world why you do what you love.
If you don’t fancy reading this book, or you simply don’t have time and would prefer us to do the hard work for you, email us email@example.com or call 01325 486666.