When the Centers for Disease Control goes before Congress for budget approval, they have a very simple pitch: “The Centers for Disease Control works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats.” No ambiguity. No fluff. And no question that if there is an outbreak, the CDC will be there. Contained in this pitch are all the elements of a compelling story: a hero, in a context, facing conflict, and finally, resolution. Politicians need clarity of purpose to know funding is spent wisely. Startups need a story to get the attention of overwhelmed venture capitalists.
Entrepreneurs and digital marketers alike often fail to realize their new product or service “pitch” is actually a (very) short story, containing all the components of a Hollywood screenplay, according to Martin Kihn, research director for Gartner for Marketing Leaders. In today’s world of hyper competitive and crowded markets, digital marketers launching a new product or service must craft a compelling “story” to capture the imagination of customers, investors and media
Here are five best practices gleaned from an analysis of both “winners,” those raising over $50 million of investment, and “losers,” those raising only $1-$5 million, to help you write the perfect story-based pitch.
Deliver context in 140-characters or less
In a world getting accustomed to 140 character missives, startups need to quickly set a context for the audience. Use 7 words to force brevity and tap into the mental magic of seven: psychologically speaking, seven is a sticky number for the brain. The following example shows to-the-point context vs. rambling: