I am currently attending the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. One of these global mega-events, where thought leaders, opinion makers and industry gurus (and also few humble marketers like me) come to tell their stories.
You can hear these corporate storytellers in the auditoria, watch them talk on one of the big screens in the halls and meet them on the exhibition floor.
Lately I came across a few articles about the need to complement storytelling by storydoing. The idea is simple and straight forward: great companies don’t just tell stories, but they also take action on them.
- Storytellers are companies or individuals, that convey the story of their brand, business or product by telling that story. As I stated in earlier posts, storytelling is a powerful tool to engage audiences and create worth-of-mouth buzz.
- Storydoers consciously work to convey their story through direct action. Storydoing companies put the narrative in action and use stories to drive product development and enhance their customers’ experience.
Storydoing should not be considered as a black-or-white alternative to storytelling. In fact, both practices go hand in hand. Storytelling is mainly driven by marketers, while every company employee can contribute to the doing. Recent research by storydoing.com suggests that storydoing companies are better performers, as they tend to spend less money on advertising and paid media, but rather invest in customer engagement and execution.
As a marketer in a fast-moving technology sector, I would tend to add a 3rd category to the ones above:
- Storymakers are the real market innovators, entrepreneurs and changemakers. They build a whole new story for their product or their company, or even a completely new brand.
Only great personalities are able to combine the three roles above. The Mark Zuckerbergs, Elon Musks and Steve Jobs’s of this world. They not only have great ideas, but they also have the capabilities to execute them and engage their audience – and as such create or change an industry.
So, if you can be a storymaker, a storyteller and a storydoer; And if you can talk your walk, walk your talk, and walk your walk, then you’ll be a man my son… (free interpretation of Rudyard Kipling’s “If”)
Some other articles about storytelling vs. storydoing:
- Storytelling is out, enter Storydoing (by Bart Muskala)
- Good Companies Are Storytellers. Great Companies Are Storydoers (by Ty Montague)
- Is Your Company a Storyteller? Or a Storydoer? (by Ty Montague)
- Profession: storyteller (by me)