My father was British Rail’s assistant project manager when Euston station in London was rebuilt and opened in 1968.
A year later, Neil Armstrong took his famous first steps in the Moon.
How are these two pieces of information related? Let me explain.
My brother was 8 in 1969 and like the whole world was quite taken with the Moon landings. It’s difficult to convey the sense of wonder we all felt in this slightly desensitised and cynical world, but it was quite something.
He was also confused because all the talk at home was of Euston – a big deal chez nous – but mission control for the space programme was in this place called Houston. The same place, surely?
In 1969 and for some time afterwards, my brother thought Mission Control for the Moon landings was the same place that sent the 10:30 train to Manchester Piccadilly.
This was clearly an error.
This may be a slightly amusing story about an 8-year old boy at the end of the 1960s but there is a deeper truth.
We tell ourselves all kinds of stories.
They underpin our existence.
Storytelling is part of being human – one of the things that set us apart from the rest of the animal world.
Human societies originally grew from collections of hunter-gatherers to cities built on a set of shared beliefs and stories.
On a personal level, we build narratives around our experiences that shape the way we view the world. We convince ourselves that we can’t do such and such a thing – like sales or creativity, that such and such a job is not for “people like us” or our lives are like they are because “that’s the way things are”.
Personality type profiling tools like Myers Briggs have enabled us to see that not everyone thinks in the same way as us.
There are many different ways of seeing the world and what we see as a problem may not be seen as such by others. Conversely, what we see as simple may be a massive problem for others.
And that is the point at which your business can help. The role of your marketing is to look into the brain of your ideal customers. It is to understand the stories they tell themselves. It is to uncover what irks them and to scratch that itch.
That’s difficult, I hear you say?
Of course, it is. That’s the fun of it.
That’s why I’ve created a workbook for you to work through it by yourself or with your team. It’s broken down into stages that will help you define easily what you offer and why your prospects should buy from you. It will help you uncover who you’d be best suited to your products or services and the beginnings of a content plan to help you market.