Marketing & Branding

The Prospect Narrative: Gaining Insight With 5 Essential Questions

Creating-A-Prospect-NarrativeWhen you market your company, are you truly focusing on what you customer needs or are you simply pushing the features and benefits of what you have to offer? For most, unfortunately, it’s the latter—and therein lies the problem.

Most marketing fails because it isn’t audience centric. “Often, businesses market themselves without the prospect in mind,” writes Mark Wayshak in the Fast Company article “5 Questions All Marketers Need To Ask Themselves.” “But successful marketers align all their marketing efforts with a prospect narrative. Creating a prospect narrative is an easy and powerful way to put yourself into your prospect’s shoes—and ultimately increase the effectiveness of your marketing.”

So how can you go about creating a prospect narrative for your company? Wayshak recommends asking these five questions:

1. What are customers doing during their days?

People are busier than ever—meetings, emails, phone calls, social media…plus the actual work that needs to get done. In order to reach your intended audience, consider how they spend the day. While email is easy, for example, it may not be the best method to reach salespeople who are in the field all day.

2. What keeps them up at night?

Guess what: People don’t really care about your company. Rather, they care about the challenges they are currently experiencing. Wayshak says that if you want your marketing to elicit a particular behavior, spend time matching your message to the challenges your audience cares about most.

3. What will catch customers’ attention?

In today’s culture of information overload, it takes a lot to get people’s attention. This is where your creativity (as well as branded merchandise!) comes in. To stand out, Wayshak recommends developing a message that “is so appealing or jarring to your audience that they have no choice but to react to it.” And if you combine great creative with complementary promotional products, you have an even greater chance of success. (Learn why promotional products are one of the most influential, enduring and cost-effective ad mediums in this previous post.)

4. What action will customers most likely take?

While increasing awareness is always a desired outcome of any marketing campaign, you’re selling yourself short if you stop there. Your message should entice prospects to take action—sign up for your mailing list, connect with you on social media, inquire about a product quote. You can further entice prospects to take action with the offer of a free gift.

For example, give prospects a t-shirt for attending an open house and it will become a walking billboard as recipients continue to wear the shirt after the event. See how Independence Green Apartments put this strategy into action in this Powerful Promotion.

5. How will you keep customers engaged?

“Rarely do companies develop marketing campaigns that create long-term engagement,” Wayshak says. “However, those that do receive dividends over and over again, all from that initial investment.”

One way is through loyalty programs. You can also give thank-you gifts after a large order. These gourmet chocolate chip cookies, for example, make a sweet treat everyone enjoys.


Creating a prospect narrative is an essential step to building successful marketing programs. By answering these five questions, you’ll begin to have more insight into your customers’ behaviors and thought patterns—which will guide you into formulating a campaign that directly addresses their needs and wants.


Promotional products can plan an integral part of any marketing campaign—from getting prospects’ attention to rewarding them for continued loyalty. Learn how by booking an appointment by clicking here or calling us at 248-538-4700. Mention the blog, and we’ll send you some SMART Swag to get the narrative started!