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April 05, 2007

Backstories Help Sell the Intangible

This post from Influential Interactive Marketing got me thinking about how backstories could help associations sell the intangible benefits that make up so much of what we do. If members knew what it takes for us to pass or kill legislation, undertake a grassroots political campaign, pull off a great conference, influence the regulatory process, and so on, I think we could add a layer of satisfaction for existing members. On the face of it, I don't see backstory as a particularly useful technique for acquiring new members, but I reserve the right to change my mind.

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1 comment:

Lisa Junker said...

I agree, Ben--in my experience, backstory is of much less interest to potential (and current) members than actual results. If the product itself isn't valuable to members, the backstory of how it was put together can come across as an excuse.

At my last association, we once published a feature story on all the behind the scenes activity taking place at our conference--a peek behind the curtain. It fell flat with readers, except for the ones who already were involved in putting the conference together.

Satisfaction seemed to come more from taking part in the creation of the story than in hearing the story ...