Many trends come and go in direct marketing. Some of them have a lasting impact, such as personalization and market segmentation. Others, such as the CueCat, should have never seen the light of day. However, certain cornerstones of marketing get ignored in all the technical and fashionable hoopla of the day, yet remain pivotal no matter what happens. Then, when enough trends walk through like a fashion show, they resurface, with people remembering these things matter more than the cutting-edge flotsam and jetsam seen daily. Storytelling is one example of this, and with the advent of content marketing, it's become more important than ever to include a story in promotional efforts.
Wonderfully lost in the plot
Why do stories still matter when all these trends deliver better CTRs, cost per lead, and other notable metrics? Well, picture yourself in a happy, funny or heartwarming moment. It could be the moment you knew you fell in love with someone, where everything made sense at that moment. Perhaps you remember that time you finally paid off your student loan debt and were free to move on with your life. Maybe you think instantly of that time a duck saved you while kayaking in Berlin, or accidentally sped through a construction zone while singing along with your friends to a pop song.
What story are you telling customers?
All of these moments are amazing stories. As Kapost noted, they create a great mental image in your head, triggering memories visually and aurally, among other senses. They stir emotions and reactions, forcing you to engage with the world at last. These stories are what make you as a person.
The story is the brand
The very thought processes that go with storytelling apply equally to marketing. What makes marketing different from sales is you're not trying to actually make someone purchase anything, at least directly. You're trying to tell them something: a story. Not every marketing strategy is centered on presenting a problem with a solution. You need to give weave a tale that will persuade and interest them in your products.
In an age of mass content, where, according to Little Jack Marketing, YouTube users upload three days worth of video every single minute, storytelling becomes more important than ever. Instead of focusing on your products, you should be telling an engaging story that differs from everything else that's out there. When you have a good tale to speak about, you lay the foundation for your marketing campaign, for it serves as your brand.