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Marketers are supposed to be good storytellers, but rarely do they use their acumen to tell a story to the customer. Instead they stand on the hoods of cars and scream, "best value, best price." This version is just one of the stories that marketers can tell, but it is rarely the most effective for the audience you are trying to target.

Think about the 21-to-34-year-old single market. Or for that matter, the 13-to-20-year-old market. Is "best price, best value" the best story you can tell? Why not tell a story of people who bowled at the center? Maybe it's the local football hero, basketball jock, scholarship winner, president of company X or a media personality?

Telling people about "look who is bowling with us" gives your center an aura of "coolness" and is yet another version of the stories you can tell.

Or you can tell the story of the fundraiser you ran and how it saved someone's life or at least was able to help support a specific cause. People like to know that the people they do business with, or are considering doing business with, have a sense of community and a sense of moral fortitude. Now isn't that a good story to tell, especially if one of your customers tells it?

This is the kind of stuff to put on your Facebook page, to send to your fans or to email to people. No, it doesn't directly sell, but it sure as heck establishes credibility of your business as a "good place" to go. And that's something that is much harder to prove in print, radio or TV.

Now start, "Once upon a time...."

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