<![CDATA[ Arix Solutions - Blog & Articles]]>Sun, 06 Nov 2016 23:22:27 +0800Weebly<![CDATA[3 Rules For Storytelling In Marketing]]>Tue, 16 Aug 2016 08:50:40 GMThttp://arixsolutions.com.sg/blog--articles/3-rules-for-storytelling-in-marketingPicture
"Storytelling in marketing” has been a buzzword for the longest time.  Compelling stories never fail to attract. I tell stories of homecooks, their passion and their recipes as a part of social media strategy for my other side project SecretIndianRecipe. The “story” content gains 3 times more reach than other types of posts.

Advertising agencies thrive on their ability to tell compelling stories.
There is no doubt that a video is one of the best channels to tell your brands story and statistics show that posts with videos attract 3X more links than text-only postsAn article on hubspot stated that 65% of senior marketing executives believe that visual assets (photos, video, illustrations and infographics) are core to how their brand story is communicated.
Today, brands big or small realise the value of storytelling in digital marketing. This has led to creation of some amazing short films that trigger strong emotions among their consumers. This  short film by Cartier is one of my favorite. It was released in 2015 and since then garnered over 6.8million views on YouTube alone.



The question is, when it comes to digital marketing is storytelling alone enough? What about “Storyselling”? With invent of new technologies have “storytelling” strategies changed?
I had an opportunity meet Alex Hoehl, Managing Director of Arix Solutions– His company helps IT firms “sell better”. An industry veteran & expert, Alex has held leading positions in Europe and APAC for SAP in Sales & Management.

When asked for his thoughts on “storytelling in marketing” and how does he think has it changed in the last few years, Alex explained,
Storytelling is an ancient old way of sharing knowledge, explaining new facts and convincing people. Especially the evolution of technology has massively changed the way marketing stories are told these days. We have so many more different media such as video, animations, comics, With today’s technology it is very easy to combine different media to create  an appealing presentation of a story. That means in return that not only for the story itself needs to be strong – also the media production should be professional enough to support the story and to keep the attention of the audience. 

With the new technologies marketing can react also much faster to market trends and feedback. With website analytics you can monitor very detailed how your story telling content is viewed and you can get very quickly an idea e.g. if a video is too long or if viewers are losing interest in the video at a specific moment. This allows marketing to react even faster to the market and develop adjusted and new content.
Alex went on to explain his three important rules of story telling in marketing
a) Be Relevant:  No matter how great your story is, if the audience cannot relate to the story or the story is not relevant for the message you want to bring along, its a waste of time. Therefore be careful when choosing which story you are going to tell so that the audience can connect with it and understand your message.

b) Be authentic: The most powerful stories are the ones that you are passionate about and that are “you”. The audience will immediately realize if you just re-tell a story that you read before or if your story really touches your own passion and even better, if you lived through it yourself. Being authentic will captivate your audience, keep them attentive and your message will be much better received.

c) Have a structure: A good story lives from your emphasis and also little details that make it authentic. Still you need to be careful that your story is not loosing its focus and where you want to go with it. Especially when telling (vs writing) a story people can get getting carried away with details, jumping through topics  and side stories that are not relevant for the audience. It’s therefore important to follow a structure that the audience can follow easily and that there is not too much information that distracts or even confuses your audience.

About the Author

Neha Lad

A social space addict!Neha Lad is the co founder of Pinch Of Social. As an independent social media consultant and a certified marketer by Asia Marketing Federation (AMF) she works with small business owners, bloggers and start-ups to help them leverage on the power of social media for their business growth.Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
The article was originally posted under: http://pinchofsocial.com/storytelling-in-marketing

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<![CDATA[Selling Tech in Asia? Are you falling into “Ang Mo” Demo Traps?]]>Tue, 24 May 2016 05:54:53 GMThttp://arixsolutions.com.sg/blog--articles/selling-tech-in-asia-are-you-falling-into-ang-mo-demo-trapsI'm a European living and working in Asia for the last 16 years selling software and services to customers all across the APAC region.

While 80 - 90% of a software demo follows international standards, in Asia there are still a number of local cultural differences a presales expert should be aware of - especially when coming from ‎America or Europe. This last 10-20% is the critical part that can still make the difference between success and failure.

After being in presales for several years in Europe I had the chance to support my colleagues in the APAC region. On the way I had the chance to learn a few things. Here's a the first of a series of tips on how to master presales in Asia.



1) Tip 1: "Did you look at my card...?"
My first trip to Asia was to run a demo booth at a major technology fair in Singapore. No big deal - done it dozens of times before.
The first prospects showed up and handed me their business cards. I gave the cards a quick glance and put them in my pocket – just like back home. Off we go to the demo.... or so I thought...
It was only after seeing the wide open eyes of my prospect and their question "Did you look at my business card?" that it dawned on me that something had gone seriously wrong.‎
A local colleague finally enlightened me about the basics of local business customs and that the exchange of business cards is a far more formal process than in the West. While introductions vary from country to country, it is best and safest to properly hand and receive cards with 2 hands and show appreciation for your counterpart and his business card in Asia.

Learning 101:
Learn the very basics of local cultural and business habits before your client meeting in a foreign country. As a foreigner you can get away with a limited number of insensitive behaviours but showing an understanding of local habits is highly appreciated and will speed up the building of trust. Always carry some of your own cards, ideally in a presentable card-holder which you can also use to store the cards you receive.




2) Tip 2: The brutal hero
Another country, another demo. The demo had gone fairly well, besides some of the common glitches. The demo system stalled but my sales executive stayed calm and almost unaffected in his seat. All I got from him was an empathetic smile but no help.
Later we got to the question and answer part and one question was a rather uncommon process requirement that I could not answer straight away. I said “That's a question I have not thought about. Let ...".
My answer was a brisk wake up call for my sales collegue. Before I could say anything else, he went from being lethargic to hyper-active. He rose to his feet and immediately and loudly assured the prospect that we supported the feature, followed by unrelated marketing statements and answers to questions that were never asked.
After several minutes of babbling he had succesfully confused the prospect and made him forget his initial question too! In reality, the requested process was never needed.

Learning 101:
In many Asian societies the concept of “saving face” guides daily life. Not being able to respond a customer's requirement can therefore be seen as an embarrassement and harm the company's and somebody's own reputation and ultimately risk the deal. As a Westerner one is a bit in a dilemma, as the West tends to appreciate more the “brutally honest” guy.
As often in life, a balanced aproach proved to be the right way forward. While you do not want to offend or disappoint your client (as well as the host) through “brutal honesty”, you do not want to damage your professional integrity or commit to costly / impossible features on behalf of your company. Understanding the importance of the request and asking for further clarification, buying some time to think of an answer, is often a way to arrive to a satisfying and feasible response. If you really cannot answer the question in the meeting, you MUST get back to them ASAP.




3) Tip 3: So many Things, so much Time

My first trip to North-Asia. An over-night flight, arrival early morning, customer meeting just before lunch - lots of time to recover and prepare before the meeting starts.
At least that was the plan until:
  • my body told me it doesn't like sleeping on aeroplanes
  • the flight got delayed
  • immigration took forever
  • the taxi driver didn't understand me, nor did he know the way and
  • after losing our way we were stuck forever in the morning rush hour!
The lavish time to rest and prepare had shrunk to a mere 30 minutes leaving just enough time shower and prepare the basics. When I finally got to see the customer I felt horrible - back aching, eyes burning and dead-tired. The demo went OK but things could have been much smoother with just a bit more careful preparation & time management.

Learning 101:
Don't leave your demo preparation for the last minute - especially when working in an unfamiliar environment. Things don't always work out as smoothly as expected. It's safest to follow the old rule: “Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst”.

Ang Mo” - Singaporean for a foreigner typically from outside Asia; hokkien dialect that means literally: “red-haired”
Do you have similar experiences? I'd love to know. Please comment in the box below.


About the Author

Alex is the Founder of Arix Solutions and and the APAC representative for 2Win!Global; best know for the Demo2Win! skills and techniques used by leading companies like Oracle, Salesforce, Workday and Google. Alex is a European who is living and working in APAC over the last 16 years. Alex is an expert in Technical Sales and building New Business bridging the West and the Far East.

About the Author

Alex is the Founder of Arix Solutions and and the APAC representative for 2Win!Global; best know for the Demo2Win! skills and techniques used by leading companies like Oracle, Salesforce, Workday and Google. Alex is a European who is living and working in APAC over the last 16 years. Alex is an expert in Technical Sales and building New Business bridging the West and the Far East.

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