In an internet enabled world it is easy to find and copy other people’s information, therefore ideas. This will be exacerbated with the rise of AI and sophisticated search and other software that can not only find the information but can also analyse it for you.
In our market, category and customer all suppliers potentially have the same set of information, the same ‘content’. So as a category marketing or customer management professional, how do we make sure that what we are presenting is unique and resonates with our customers? The answer lies in the second part of this quote:
“They can steal your content they can’t steal your story.”
Your story will always be unique to your market, customer, category and brand. It cannot be replicated because it is a unique mix of facts at a point in time.
What we seek to do is translate facts for our customer – in other words, not simply transfer facts to our customer, which is what many customer category presentations are. Persuasive storytelling is an important way to sell your ideas to your customer and is a key skill to master.
We can’t always be presenting an innovative new category, sub-category or brand to our customer – where consumer demand makes the proposition an exciting new growth opportunity. Most of the time we are managing existing categories and brands in existing customer shopper points of purchase.
So, the next time you start a presentation and find it difficult to find your mojo, resist the temptation to prepare 100 appendix slides – no matter how beautiful your charts may be. Resist the temptation to agree to an annual support plan that replicates the year before. Resist the temptation to sell in without a robust plan to sell out.
Take a step back and focus on the customer category brand story. If we gave the same set of data to 100 category or customer managers, no doubt we would arrive at as many different stories. The opportunities for customer exist in the customer performance gaps and what motivates the shopper in the category. Even tiny percentages can make a big cash difference and help you stand out to your customer, so check out even the tiniest incremental growth opportunities. Then tell the story.
Our mission is to become a master storyteller because we translate facts for our customer, not transfer facts to our customer. They cannot steal your story. It is unique. So, what stories have you told today?