CMO.com Highlights: Human Connection is the Ultimate Benefit of Brand Storytelling
Last week’s exclusive engagements on CMO.com 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 CMO.com 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.