27. Desire, Purpose and Guidance
Our Web Reliability system is predicated on the importance of flow. Reliable web revenue is sustained through capturing and enabling the flow of a customer's desire/purpose/motivation to resolve their problem. The flow of a customer's desire and purpose fits with an already known paradigm within human behavior and evolution - story.
One of the best ways to frame marketing fundamentals is to think in terms of storytelling. At a primordial level, humans engage with the story and frame their reality through it. [Note: This idea is not original to, but has been developed extensively by the folks at Story Brand.]
Numerous examples of the classical storytelling framework can be found across the history of human literature, art, music, and other modes of expression. The classical framework calls for a hero or main character who has a conflict or primary issue to resolve. This hero faces an array of obstacles preventing her from overcoming and resolving her conflict. A guide emerges early in the story who knows the path through the obstacles to the point of resolution. This guide takes the hero through the story up to a point. Then the hero strikes out on her own, leaves the guide behind, and completes the journey herself.
This model plays out perfectly in Dante's Divine Comedy. In it, the poet finds himself lost in a dark wood at the beginning of the epic. Dante himself serves as the hero. He desires to emerge from the wood into the light, but in his way are brambles, briars, barriers, pitfalls, distractions, and dangers. Shortly his guide, in the form of the epic poet Virgil, emerges and encounters Dante. He informs Dante that Dante is in fact near the gates of hell and that he must carefully follow Virgil through hell and out the other side to purgatory and then on to paradise. Virgil knows how to reach the light. He knows how to help Dante overcome his obstacles and resolve his conflict. Virgil then guides Dante along the way. But before reaching the completed resolution of the epic Virgil instructs Dante to continue the remainder of the journey alone. Virgil tells Dante that he is now prepared and ready to continue on without further guidance.
We see this same model play out through so many of our greatest narratives. Whether it be as recent as Harry Potter or Luke Skywalker or as distantly as Homer and Virgil. A hero has a purpose. That purpose is impeded. A guide emerges to educate and facilitate the journey. And the hero completes the journey ultimately ending it alone, as a new and better person.
My own understanding of marketing, it's models, structure, and language, match up best with this paradigm of story. I use it here as a tool to emphasize how the act of strategically motivating a customer can best be planned.