User stories: why marketers should return to them

In the digital age, for whatever rhyme or reason, Marketers have moved away from entirely customer focused approaches. The obsession with SEO and online traffic levels, coupled with hyperlinked emails fired out in a cyclical fashion, has meant that a focus on customer psychology and mindset has been pushed to one side. There is a tendency for online brands to forget about the customer entirely, they are seen at the end of the day as faceless entities, in a world of Paypal and one click purchases. Segmentation means that customers are reduced to an often generic list of human attributes, preventing marketers from really understanding who they are selling to. Who are these people? What motivates them and what inspires them?  User stories can help us understand. By user stories, we mean the reasons why customers need the services you are offering. User stories must be woven into the design of your services to ensure that they meet your user’s needs.


Here’s how to construct user stories:


User stories are comprised of three fundamental pillars, without which they do not make coherent sense and are not effective ways of getting the customer to engage with your product or service. Firstly, the stories need to include a user ( or consumer). Secondly, they have to clearly communicate to the user what they need your brand’s service for and thirdly make it clear what using the service will achieve.


The user story follows a pretty standard formula; A user needs something and they, therefore, want to do something to satisfy this need, to achieve a particular outcome. The outcome is so important here. As a marketer, you must convince the consumer that you are aware of what their needs are and can identify their problems and supply a solution so that they achieve their desired outcome or end goal.


A user story comprised of a user, who needs something to achieve an end goal could, for example, read as follows:

“As an eCommerce Manager, I need a better understanding of SEO, this is so I can increase the levels of traffic to my site”

This would be an ideal user story for you to devise if your service was online SEO guides or YouTube tutorials.

It is good to keep your user stories at a very prominent place in your work environment, to remind yourself of just what it is you are trying to achieve and through what approach.


And here’s how to make use of user stories:


Marketers should create user stories and use them to shape their campaigns, creating discussions and dialogue with consumers.


User stories are such a great way to lay the foundations of any marketing campaign. They make for great starting points. What better way of making consumers aware of your fantastic services and offerings than by telling them of their uses and how they help users achieve an end goal.


User stories are deceptively easy to construct and implement. What it really all boils down to is keeping the consumer at the forefront of your mind. It allows you the marketer to get back to basics and reacquaint yourself with what you are offering customers, in terms of service. You then can remind yourself what’s special about your service. What goals does it allow your users to complete? Through user stories, you can clearly define what you offer the market and it is then that you can start communicating this offering, in order to persuade users to adopt your services, thus increasing your profits.