It does not matter if you are marketing with direct mail, reaching out digitally or enhancing your website. The key is reaching the right people with the right story.
Regardless of the marketing channel, to successfully market any kind of product, it is important to create a story that connects with customers and prospects. Consumers are exposed to nearly 10,000 advertisements every single day, but most people notice fewer than 100 of them. You need to stand out.
Stand out with Storytelling
Storytelling is an excellent tool for humanizing your dealership. It is how you build closer relationships with new and returning customers. When consumers hear a compelling story and feel that your brand aligns with their core values, they tell their friends. A word-of-mouth referral is priceless. And do not forget the pictures. Often, a picture is worth 1,000 words.
Water Quality Storytelling Conveys Emotions
There are lots of examples of how the water quality industry can use story telling. I can think of a lot of great examples that show emotional responses to problems. Let us face it, every day the news features catastrophes caused by lead pipes, water main breaks, water shortages, drought and more. The news is often very depressing. But you offer solutions. And your solutions are encouraging, reassuring, uplifting.
Here are some concrete examples:
- Telling a story where a customer’s family life (and pocketbook) was impacted by a water conditioner.
- Sharing how guests enjoyed pure filtered water at a dinner party
- The visuals of a grateful homeowner who received bottled water from your dealership after a hurricane.
- The joy and confidence of bathing a new baby in quality water.
- The enjoyment of home ownership – no rust stains
- Conveying the delight of watching a thirsty dog lapping up quality water
- The absolute pleasure of a great shower, featuring glowing skin and shiny hair
- How soft water improves skin conditions
- The pride of being a good citizen of the Earth as we provide our children with refillable bottles.
When people can see themselves reflected in your stories, they will be more apt to do business with you. This kind of emotional engagement with consumers will lead to an increase in your business. And this is excellent content for your SEO.
In 2023, the buzzword for storytelling is scrollytelling. This means telling your story in a digital format as the user scrolls to read your story.
Scrollytelling is defined as visual storytelling for the web. Basically, new content and visuals appear or change through transitions as users scroll down or up the web page.
In the water quality market, where stories can be emotional, this offers consumers a visual journey that they can relate to.
Focusing the Story to Your Target
If you want your stories to be relatable, you need to remember to reach the right people with the right story. That is part of the beauty of direct marketing.
If you are marketing water treatment to families with children, your stories need to feature families, mothers lovingly bathing or feeding their babies. You want to make your story relevant to the target market.
The story for ailment sufferers may focus on the effects that soft water can have on affected skin.
If you are marketing to new homeowners, your story needs to focus on taste, health, and home appearance.
Promoting ESG involvement
ESG stands for environmental, social and governance. Many marketers are leaning towards using environmental, social and governance as part of their brand promise. It becomes part of their story. They promote it and encourage customers and supporters to join them. For many companies, their name becomes synonymous with their “good deeds.”
A few companies whose brand recognition has soared because of their commitment to make the world a better place include TOMS Shoes (For every pair of TOMS shoes purchased, a pair of new shoes is given to a child in need in partnership with humanitarian organizations); Bombas socks (donating a pair of socks to people at homeless shelters for every pair sold) and; Patagonia, (donating all of their profits to sustain the environment).
Is there something in your local community that your dealership is involved in? Can you make that part of your brand story?
Example: Quality Home Products in Texas. This is on the home page of their website – “Help us to spread our love and our faith. From donating thousands of pounds of food to local Texas communities to partnering with Lions Club International and the Bill Gates Foundation to vaccinate hundreds of thousands of children in developing countries, Quality Home Products of Texas is dedicated to making a positive impact in our local community, and around the world.” Users can click on a Learn More button that directs to an entire page of community outreach photos, agency logos, as well as a photo of Bill McGraw, the company’s president, donating blood.
These types of stories personalize the dealership in a way that transcends basic salesmanship. It makes their customers proud to do business with them. Promoting their community involvement elevates their dealership. Their photos tell their ESG stories in a compelling way.
Dale “Data Dale” Filhaber is president of Dataman Group Direct, a marketing list company that focuses on the water treatment industry. Data Dale will be speaking on Preparing for the Next Marketing Revolution at WQA (Water Quality Association) in Las Vegas. Dale can be reached at (800) 771-3282; [email protected]