I love movies and TV series, especially science fiction. I own copies of all the Star Wars movies, along with all the Star Trek movies and episodes from all the different series. I also have Firefly, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica V, etc. — you get the picture.  Stories make me feel good and I become part of the story even if it’s the 10th time I’ve watched Return of the Jedi.

There is an important lesson to be learned here for marketing.

Stories will engage your audience if you can make them part of the story. More importantly, the customer needs to see themselves as the hero, otherwise they will not engage in your story. They need to be Luke Skywalker of Star Wars on his quest to overcome the monster! Far too often companies cast themselves as the hero, making themselves feel good and the customer feel small. This does not work.

The company needs to be the guide, like Yoda is for Luke in Return of the Jedi.  When Luke first meets Yoda, he looks nothing like expected. However, we quickly find out that Yoda is a true master — he not only has authority through his accomplishments and powers, but he also gone through the rigorous steps to become a Jedi Master. He has the necessary empathy to be a true guide to Luke in his own quest.

So, what does the guide do? First, they recognize that the hero has a problem. In Luke’s situation, he needs to defeat Darth Vader but needs to become a Jedi if he ever hopes to be successful. For example, our customers want to become the best trainers they can be, but they need tools to compete with other more established trainers. Like Luke, they feel they should be able to do it but still have lingering doubts that they are not up to the task.  This is where the guide comes in! Yoda sets out to teach Luke what he needs to succeed, giving him the tools to be successful. In the same way, Velsoft provides a customizable training kit, marketing plan and one-on-one consulting to help guide our customers to success.

I hope that applying this idea helps your marketing efforts — and May the Force be With You!

Kevin Henderson is manager of content creation at Velsoft Training Materials.