To Make Your Message Stick, Make Your Audience Care.

To Make Your Message Stick, Make Your Audience Care.

You put a lot of effort into honing your message and sending it out into the world. For that investment to payoff, your message has to be memorable. Some companies do a good job with that, others not so much.

Why do some marketing messages stick to your brain (Samsung’s ad poking fun at iPhone users) while others slide from your memory like oil from a non-stick pan (every ad for a used car dealership ever filmed)? One answer lies in the people in the message – its characters.

Whether you overtly frame your marketing message as a story or present a list of dry facts, your audience will process it as a story, complete with characters. They know that businesses don’t take action, people do. Even automated stock trading depends on people to specify trading criteria and write computer programs.

Whether you’re in a touchy-feely, people-centric business or not, you still need to think of your marketing message as a story. To make it stick that story needs compelling characters who appeal to your audience.

Since you’re a business person, not a fiction writer, you need a tool to help you create those characters. I have just the thing in my fiction writer’s toolbox. It’s GMC – Goal, Motivation, and Conflict – from the book of that name by Debra Dixon.

In a nutshell,

Goal

The people in your message need to have an important goal that really matters to them.

Motivation

They have to be strongly motivated to achieve that goal.

Conflict

There has to be a conflict that keeps them from achieving their goal.

Here’s a quick example from Debra Dixon’s book to show you what I mean. In Wizard of Oz

Goal

Dorothy wants to get home,

Motivation

because she’s worried about Auntie Em,

Conflict

but the Wicked Witch of the West is out to stop her.

In my next post I’ll show you how to use GMC to make your marketing message sticky.