What grabs your attention more: a list of ingredients like caffeine citrate and citric acid or a story about how Coca Cola’s mission statement is to use those ingredients to refresh the world in mind, body, and spirit? You have probably heard that marketing is important. But just how important? The vice chair of general electric, Beth Comstock, once said “you can’t sell anything if you can’t tell anything.” You can have the best product or service in your industry but that means nothing if no one knows about it.

Marketing is simply the process by which a product or service is introduced and promoted to potential customers. Many companies make the mistake of thinking marketing is simply advertising but the overall marketing’s umbrella covers advertising, public relations, branding, promotions and sales. Without marketing, sales may crash and companies may have to close. Without marketing, the solid reputation of a company can be tarnished. Without marketing, a business cannot succeed. Period.

But great marketing needs to tell a captivating story to its audience. People buy products but they also buy stories. We are more receptive to stories than we are to data or hard facts. Humans are emotional beings and stories are powerful since they teach, persuade and even help us understand ourselves.

When you buy an Apple product, you’re not only buying a great piece of modern technology, you’re buying a little piece of an ideology to put in your pocket. By carrying it, you adopt the visions that Steve Jobs had: dreams can be fulfilled, take a position in life and stand up for it, don’t squander your life living by someone else’s rules.

Marketing is your story. Make it a good one.