The burning issue for many businesses is getting noticed. The competition is fierce, and while there are plenty of channels for exposure, especially through social media and networking, standing out among the competition can be a challenge.
At its recent Marketing Challenge Breakfast event, M3 Media Publishing focused on differentiation and, specifically, how to make it work in a face-to-face situation.
What Makes You Sound Different?
Garry Samuels, M3 Media Publishing’s Head of Media Content, gave a short workshop on:
- How to put the right networking pitch together
- Avoiding over-used phrases
- How to communicate the value of what your business does
“Too many people settle for simply giving a job description and hoping for the best. In a room full of potential contacts and prospects, that is not going to resonate in people’s minds.”
While many business people like to describe themselves in certain ways, using words such as “passionate”, “going the extra mile” or “customer-centric”, these lack true meaning.
Instead, the approach should be to create a concise, impactful way of illustrating the benefits of your business.
The key to this is telling stories.
The Value of Storytelling
- Help you draw a mental picture to make it easy for people to understand what you can offer them
- Make you memorable and enable you to engage better when meeting and networking with others
- Are very shareable, helping to spread valuable information about you
To use stories effectively means distilling them to their concentrated essence.
“What is the benefit you bring to others, and what is the legacy of it for them? How did you solve their problem in a way that gave them something of lasting value?”
In this context, the story itself begins with a kind of punchline, to gain the listener’s attention, then works back to explain the problem and the legacy of the resolution, not dwelling on mechanics of it.
“Don’t focus on the nuts and bolts of what you do, but on what value it has to your clients or customers.”
Everyone Has a Story
To prove the point, Garry encouraged the attendees at the event to come up with their own individual stories following this model.
‘It’s like a form of elevator pitch, with the emphasis firmly on the benefits for the customer.”
The participation of attendees is a vital component in the Marketing Challenge Breakfast events.
“People see the true value of telling stories in business if they apply it to themselves. It’s a form of personalised content, and it’s extremely versatile when done right”
The aim is always for the event’s guests to take something away from the event that can help them think differently about how they market themselves.
“What challenges do your customers face? What are the results of you helping them meet these challenges? What is the impact on their business?”
Real Life Marketing Issues
Another key facet of the event is The Marketing Challenge which focuses on real life marketing issues and sparks lively discussions about them.
This time the focus was on creating strategies to differentiate and help re-position event and destination management business, All Points North.
“By looking a specific case, we raise issues with our audience and encourage them to discuss and problem-solve collaboratively, so they benefit, and so does the business whose issues we are looking at”
“I found the whole event both useful and stimulating,” concludes Nick Wagg, Managing Director of All Points North. “It’s given me plenty of pointers and lots to think about. And I’ve met a dynamic group of people who I hope will become valued contacts.”