Huh? First, if you don’t know what a Jedi is, you can read this. If you do know what one is, but have no idea how it relates to marketing, bear with me.
Jedi Masters don’t exist in a vacuum. They exist as characters in a larger narrative structure. Brian Clark, founder of Copyblogger, discussed this narrative structure in the context of content marketing a few years ago in this excellent blog post. He described how George Lucas borrowed heavily from Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, which identified a “monomyth,” also known as the hero’s journey.
This monomyth is displayed graphically below, taking our hero out of The Ordinary World via a Call to Adventure, all the way through the ordeal and back home.
So if that’s our Jedi Master narrative structure, what do we do with it? Better put, how do we apply it to marketing?
First of all, identify your characters. Your target is Luke (the hero) and you are the mentor (Obi-Wan). A common mistake is to think you are the hero, dashing in to save the day. You’re not. You’re just there to help. In other words, this is your target’s journey, not yours. Brian Clark summarized this well:
“By making the prospect the hero, your brand also becomes a hero in the prospect’s story. By accepting the role of mentorwith your content, your business accomplishes its goals while helping the prospect do the same…”
Second, you create a narrative for your target. To do this, let’s revisit “Sally the sophisticated sales exec” from last week’s post. Here is her possible customer persona:
To take Sally on her hero’s journey, we need to answer questions specific to her for each of the primary steps:
- What does her ordinary world look like? Environment, schedule, hobbies, etc.?
- Given her ordinary world, what problem is she likely to have – that our product/service can fulfill – that will call her to an adventure?
- Given her ordinary world and this particular problem she is facing, what obstacles would she likely encounter?
- How can you best insert your product/service as the mentor to guide her to the solution?
By taking the monomyth and applying it to your customer personas, you now have a narrative structure to build your content around. In other words, you’re now a marketing Jedi Master. Congratulations!
(Sorry – we’re fresh out of light sabers.)
Again from the genius who started Copyblogger:
“Your prospects will tell themselves a story about your company no matter what, to the extent they are aware of you at all. Delivering content over time that intentionally places the prospect as the hero of their own journey works wonders…”