Highlights: Human Connection is the Ultimate Benefit of Brand Storytelling

Last week’s exclu­sive engage­ments on focused on brand sto­ry­telling and the human con­nec­tion organ­i­sa­tions must make in order for their mar­ket­ing efforts to be effec­tive. Of course, brand sto­ry­telling itself can sug­gest a vari­ety of dif­fer­ent mar­ket­ing approach­es, depend­ing on who you ask, but this week’s engage­ments should give you more insight on the end goal of brand sto­ry­telling, no mat­ter what form it takes, which is human con­nec­tion. Organ­i­sa­tions are more like­ly to reach con­sumers if the brand’s mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy is rel­e­vant and solves a prob­lem they have.

The week began with a quick chat with Ollie Lloyd, CEO of Great British Chefs, a web­site that focus­es on pro­vid­ing peo­ple with great recipes in the con­text of great sto­ry­telling. He dis­cuss­es how Great British Chefs func­tions pri­mar­i­ly as a dig­i­tal pub­lish­er, pro­vid­ing cre­ative con­tent that gives peo­ple ideas of what to cook and how to cook. In fact, many peo­ple end up com­ing to the site in search of a recipe, but the site is designed to keep peo­ple there with inspi­ra­tional con­tent, videos, and cook­ing guides. A dig­i­tal cam­paign that was par­tic­u­lar­ly suc­cess­ful that was intend­ed to make a deep human con­nec­tion was a cam­paign with Tesco that focused on prepar­ing healthy foods for kids in an attempt to fight the obe­si­ty prob­lem in the UK.

Steve Spon­der, the Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of Head­stream, fol­lowed up with four pre­dic­tions for the future of brand sto­ry­telling. He began by high­light­ing that the term “brand sto­ry­telling” can be a bit ambigu­ous. There’s no con­sis­tent def­i­n­i­tion, but Spon­der made the insight­ful obser­va­tion that what­ev­er the def­i­n­i­tion, organ­i­sa­tions use brand sto­ry­telling to make a human con­nec­tion by telling sto­ries that are rel­e­vant to their tar­get audi­ence and that res­onate as con­sumers share these sto­ries. In order for a sto­ry to be effec­tive, the brand’s prod­uct ben­e­fits must be an essen­tial ele­ment of the sto­ry. Spon­der believes that sto­ries are vital to reach mil­len­ni­als and that these sto­ries need to be of reg­u­lar, every­day peo­ple because their sto­ries will be the most rel­e­vant to the tar­get audi­ence. An inter­est­ing take­away con­cern­ing brand sto­ry­telling for mil­len­ni­als is the need to rely less on humor in order to reach them.

David Shing spoke to the team in last week’s exclu­sive video. Shing is AOL’s Dig­i­tal Prophet, and he shared some pro­found insights on the need for human con­nec­tion in an organisation’s mar­ket­ing efforts. In his role as Dig­i­tal Prophet, Shing spends much of his time observ­ing peo­ple in their every­day moments. He gives the exam­ple of observ­ing how peo­ple take in con­tent when they’re on a plane. He notices trends and dis­tills them down into goals and ideas that mar­keters can work with to reach more peo­ple. He also dis­cuss­es the role of some­thing he calls “moment mar­ket­ing,” a strat­e­gy designed to offer con­sumers spe­cial­ly tai­lor moments to engage with mar­ket­ing con­tent. It’s all about mak­ing a human con­nec­tion and tai­lor­ing our mar­ket­ing efforts in a way that is more rel­e­vant to what con­sumers care about.

Much of an organisation’s mar­ket­ing efforts today must focus on the way cus­tomers are always engag­ing with tech­nol­o­gy. Not only that but organ­i­sa­tions are always becom­ing more tech­no­log­i­cal­ly based. Chris Le May, the UK and Nordics Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of DataXu, closed out the week by dis­cussing the need for more organ­i­sa­tions to adopt the role of Chief Mar­ket­ing Tech­nol­o­gist role as part of their over­all mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy. It’s a role that has been ten years in the mak­ing, but many organ­i­sa­tions have avoid­ed hir­ing for the posi­tion because of a per­ceived threat the role makes to the CMO of a com­pa­ny. How­ev­er, Le May presents one school of that that sees the two roles as hav­ing a dis­tinct set of skills. An organ­i­sa­tion may ben­e­fit from hav­ing both roles. Whether a com­pa­ny hires a CMT or tran­si­tions the CMO to adopt more of a tech­no­log­i­cal func­tion, the need for under­stand­ing tech­nol­o­gy and how it can be uti­lized to reach con­sumers is vital.

Take a look at what our exclu­sive dis­cus­sion from last week have to offer and learn from some of the top dig­i­tal mar­keters in the Euro­pean region. Feel free to let us know what you think.