The slide below keeps showing up in my LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook feeds from my marketing peers.
STOP IT, PEOPLE. To paraphrase Senator Welch’s question to Senator McCarthy, “Have you no sense of irony, marketers? At long last, have you no sense of irony?”
Explaining any more makes me feel like I’m putting on my Captain Obvious costume (“I wear a cape!”) However, I’ll don the cape for a moment, just to make sure I’m understood.
Yes, stories are a great way of getting things remembered. Yes, statistics are overused in 79.839% of marketers’ presentations.
BUT THE SLIDE ABOVE MAKES ITS POINT WITH STATISTICS, NOT WITH A STORY. Get it?
Let’s re-do that slide as a story, m’kay?
“Joe and Suzy went to a marketing conference. Joe attended a presentation where the speaker illustrated every idea with a statistic. Suzy attended a presentation where the speaker illustrated every idea with a story.
Back at the office, they shared their insights with their CMO. Joe could only remember one in twenty ideas that the speaker had communicated. Suzy, in contrast, remembered 63% of what she had heard.
The CMO said, “I spend training budget to send you both to a conference and, between you, you only remember an average of 34% of what you heard? No more conferences for you.”
See, wasn’t that more memorable? The slide is right after all. I take it all back. 100%.
(And it’s likely that the original publisher of the slide is a smart person using intentional irony to make a point. It’s the retweeters who don’t get the irony that I’m lambasting here).