Stories and Marketing

Marketing Roundtable

May 25, 2011: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Stories are one of the most important tools that marketers need because they help solve the three biggest challenges we face.


Gleacher Center
Room 100
450 Cityfront Plaza
Chicago, Illinois

Event Details

1. Getting attention
2. Influencing others to act
3. Framing a roadmap for people to get results

GETTING ATTENTION is a function of our pace, our technology, and our focus, and we are competing daily with a barrage of information and people who rival us for attention. By crafting our information into a story, we cut through the noise and give people a more tangible reason to listen. And because stories are not “transactional” like facts, our stories engage our audience in a discussion of the subject, allowing us to be heard.

INFLUENCING OTHERS takes many forms, including engaging others’ imaginations, role-modeling, inspiring, and just creating a “buzz” that other people want to be around. Stories are a marketer’s main tool for influence, since it is the tool that calls upon people to imagine the action in the story while simultaneously engaging their emotions. As we impact imagination and emotion, we build stronger and richer connections to people and we are thus better able to influence them to act.

STORIES FRAME A ROADMAP for results by giving a clear picture of how, for example, a client project succeeded and the key steps taken along the way. When we share these experiences in the form of a story people are better able to remember the key points because the context relates to something meaningful in their own experience. A story, unlike a bulleted list, shows the factors big and small that contributed to a goal, while also showing the context for how these decisions were made and acknowledging the difficulties faced along the way. In short, stories acknowledge the challenges we face in driving results while simultaneously showing us the way.

These three items are the main challenges of any learning organization, marketing organization, sales team, consulting project team, and business unit leader...we all struggle with attention, influence and results. This talk will help professionals of all kinds capture and tell their most important stories to their most important constituencies.


No Charge


Register Online

Deadline: 5/24/2011


6:00 PM-6:30 PM: Registration and Networking

6:30 PM-8:00 PM: Program

8:00 PM-9:00 PM: Networking and Cash Bar

Speaker Profiles

Craig Wortmann (Speaker)
Clinical Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth School of Business

Craig Wortmann is Clinical Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Chicago Booth School of Business and is the Founder and CEO of Sales Engine, a firm that helps companies build and tune their sales engine.

Craig has been a sales person and entrepreneur for over 20 years. He spent his early career with IBM Corporation and Dean Witter, completed business school at Kellogg, and then joined a midsize consulting firm called the Forum Corporation, where he quickly became the firm’s new product launch and client recovery specialist. In 2000, Craig was recruited to join a start-up company called WisdomTools as its CEO. Craig ran and grew WisdomTools and then successfully sold the company to a larger firm in 2008. After founding Sales Engine, Craig was recruited by venture backers as interim CEO of an interactive marketing and web strategy firm called ClearGauge, where he executed a turnaround of the company by immediately building a sales engine and developing a new web presence as well as cutting significant costs. Craig then sold the company at a high valuation to a much larger agency. From $250,000 computer systems to $1,500,000 consulting projects and from $20 books to entire companies, Craig has been a consistent high-performer selling products and services across the B2B and B2C spectrum.

Another of Craig’s personalities (one is not enough) is that of professor. He designed and developed a course that he teaches called Entrepreneurial Selling for the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. This course was recognized my Inc. Magazine as one of the Top Ten courses in the country. He also teaches one of the core entrepreneurship courses for Chicago Booth called Building the New Venture.

Craig’s final personality is that of author. His recent book, “What’s Your Story?” looks at how leaders and sales professionals use stories to connect, inspire, and overachieve. He is co-authoring his next book with Dr. Waverly Deutsch PhD., a former venture capitalist and professor of entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth. The book provides entrepreneurs and sales people the knowledge, skills and discipline it takes to succeed in the toughest, best job there is.


Les Stern, '84