Ben Malol and Philipp Schoeffmann discuss the three W’s of story marketing. Tips on how to apply it on your ecommerce ads, and more at Affiliate World Europe 2018 in Barcelona.

Interview with Ben Malol | CEO Its Ben Malol Here LLC

By Philipp Schoeffmann

Interview Transcript

I’m here with Ben Malol. I also call him the ‘why’ man and you will figure out why in just a second. So I’ve just actually had the opportunity of listening to his speech for a couple of minutes. And I was amazed. Maybe we start it off with you sharing some key takeaways.
I’d say the biggest takeaway is that when marketers actually go into this world (and advertisers). The first thing that they come in is that they wanna make money. They wanna be successful. I think it’s a plug-and-play type of system where actually it isn’t a plug-and-play system. There’s much more that goes on here and the biggest takeaway is the fact that you’re dealing with people here. Customers with actual emotions and feelings, with a history. Everybody has a different story in their mind, everybody went through different things in life and that these numbers on our ads manager are not numbers. They’re people that see our ad. But when you actually know the ‘what’, the ‘who’, and the ‘why’ of the customers which we’ll probably get to in a second, that’s where you’re actually gonna be successful. Instead of playing a gambling game.

The three Ws of Story Marketing

Very, very strong points so let’s dig into that. It’s the ‘what’, the ‘who’, and the ‘why’ – please share more on that.
“The ‘what’ is what you’re selling. What you’re selling is not actually what you think you’re selling or what people think you’re selling. So if you’re selling a camera, for example, you’re not really selling a camera. Yeah, it’s a physical camera but what you’re actually selling is the technology that’s in the camera. I’m not a camera guy so I can’t go into the super technical details. But you’re selling the tech of it, you’re not just selling a camera. The ‘who’ is who you’re selling it to which can be different from time, to time, to time. It’s simple when you think of it from a broad term but it isn’t, really. Take for example a cucumber slicer, like a random polarising example. People will be like “oh it’s a cucumber slicer, what can it be like what definition or story can be behind this”? A bigger key point that I want people to take from this is that people don’t buy products, they buy stories or more specifically, they buy the stories that run through their mind when owning this product – Ben Malol, The Three Ws of Story Marketing

The “What”

So the ‘what’ is a cucumber slicer, but not really. It’s the people that actually buy it, or the mother that actually buys it is not thinking of like ‘how fast will I cut a cucumber’. What she’s thinking of is ‘how great will it be to finish my salad in a minute so I can spend more time with my children or husband or whatever’. She’s not buying the cucumber slicer for the sake of slicing a cucumber, she’s buying it because of that story that’s running through their mind. And if there is actually a bigger key point that I want people to take from this is that people don’t buy products, they buy stories or more specifically, they buy the stories that run through their mind when owning this product. A mother will see this cucumber slicer and she will imagine her cutting it with her children, having more time with them and not spending half an hour in this cucumber.

The “Who”

The ‘who’ can be a mother, the ‘who’ can be a husband as well, the ‘who’ can be literally a boyfriend that wants to play a gag with his girlfriend for Christmas and buy her a cucumber slicer. Those three products are three completely different angles. The ‘why’ is why are they actually buying it which I actually answered previously. The ‘why’ is, for the mother, to spend more time with her children, to be able to spend more time with the husband. Suddenly you have the ‘what’, you’re selling a cucumber slicer that essentially cuts a cucumber faster. But the ‘who’ can be a mother, a daddy, a boyfriend, it can be a million other things, it can be family.

The “Why”

The ‘why’, which is the most important, is I’m buying this to spend more time with my kids. Now how do you actually take that and put it into tangible terms? This is where you put your marketing and ads in. You’re not gonna have an ad saying ‘do you like this cucumber slicer, get it for 50% off’ with a picture of the cucumber slicer. You’re gonna have a headline. I gave that example there where it’s ‘spend less time working, more time loving’, ‘your kids want you more, your kids deserve more’. And now the image are better even. The video will be her with her kids slicing for a salad and going to have fun in the park.”
That’s a very, very, very strong point. Something that helped me to actually use such concept and break it down, is actually to think of the benefits. So don’t forget it’s the ‘what’, the ‘who’, and the ‘why’. If you wanna speak more about that or want more information, I’m sure Ben is happy to help you out where he can.