A New Beginning
Marketing must change faster than it is today. I don’t mean in a spend-less-on-TV-advertising, more-on-social-media kind of way. I mean truly evolve in how companies create their own brands, tell stories to support that brand, build relationships with people, and see their purpose in the world.
Three factors drove me to start treatment. One, I’d grown frustrated with brand strategy and communication methods that didn’t fit today’s market. Two, I was paying large sums of money for these outdated methods to agencies filled with otherwise smart people. And three, it fit me.
A couple years ago, a friend of mine repeated to me the adage that “you should take the two things unique about you and make a business out of it.” By my estimation, there are few people in the world who’ve gone as deep into both marketing and screenwriting as I have. And from that process, I’ve learned how much the latter can teach the former, especially in today’s market.
Screenwriting is a pure storytelling form, but it has to perform under commercial pressures and limitations. Unlike artists or authors, the screenwriter must stay within strict limits. Only a legendary career or an historical topic will allow a film to exceed two hours. Even then, specific devices like the inciting incident or story beats or genre must guide the story because the form has conditioned us that way.
Those requirements are much like those found in a corporate environment. Product demos, sell sheets, press releases, brand campaigns. Those tools are not going away. They’re necessary for telling a company story, but they can be done so much better. And they need to be.
The way to improve them is to start at the foundation level, at the very beginning. Start where the screenwriter starts: with an original story.