This is an episode from the marketing launch of Storyteller Tactics, written using It's a Kind of Magic and
It's a Kind of Magic
Niamh has been with MiCasa for three months now. A dream job for any developer, starting with an almost blank page and focussing on what the customer really needs. Niamh has a great team around her and - best of all - no Dereks. Nobody talks about what the system won’t let them do, nobody worries about COBOL - in fact, no one here has even heard of it.
Meanwhile, Niamh’s getting a bit of first hand experience of how confusing the housing market can be. Her Nan died a couple of weeks ago, leaving her bungalow to Niamh’s Dad. So Niamh is helping her Dad work out the best way to sell. It’s so confusing, so old fashioned: how many estate agents do they really need to meet?
Back at MiCasa, Niamh’s been asked to brief an investor. Niamh asks Anton - her boss - what level to pitch the technical info. “Oh god, he’s a VC, a money man. He gets business plans but these guys don’t get development. Don’t get me wrong, he’s very smart. Just not you-smart.”
So Niamh keeps it simple. She starts with a bit of context: “All our user surveys suggest that Voice search is the next big thing. Once people try asking Alexa or Google an everyday question, like what time a shop closes, and get a smart answer, they just love it. But property is so confusing to most people - even me - and we think there’s a real chance for MiCasa to give smart guidance, and do it at scale. We just need to build on what Voice pioneers are already using.”
Niamh gets into the technical briefing. The investor asks probing questions, about risks and timelines. But clearly he doesn't know how Niamh’s code works, never mind Voice or AI. At one point, he’s searching for an appropriate technical term and ends up with “you know, the black box magic stuff.”
It’s funny, thinks Niamh, I might as well be selling magic. I’m the Sorcerer, this is my spell. Oh well, if it gets the job done… I’ll go back to my incantations.
This week’s Storyteller Tactics
It’s a Kind of Magic
Some innovation, especially high tech stuff, is so baffling to most people that it might as well be magic. We love magical stories, but magic always comes with a set of rules. It can be learned the hard way - like Niamh learned to code. It can be stolen from - or granted by - a higher power. But there’ll be strings attached, just you wait and see.
(this tactic didn't make the final cut, but watch out for it in a future expansion pack!)
This is a great way to reassure people about a cutting edge project. Tell a story about how the desired new behaviour - using Voice to search for property - is actually similar to an existing behaviour - using Voice for everyday queries.
When it comes to innovation, some people are pioneers, excited by anything shiny and new. Others are late adopters, who need reassurance that this new thing has been tried and tested. The Innovation Curve tactic helps you find the right story for the right audience, depending on their appetite for risk.
Next episode: Niamh's Pride and Fall.