Trade | Five Keys to Audience Engagement Through Storytelling
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Five Keys to Audience Engagement Through Storytelling


14 Apr Five Keys to Audience Engagement Through Storytelling

As a marketer, we all recognize “the times they are a-changin” – for those that like Bob Dylan. The rate of change is astounding. If you’re not experiencing it, then there’s a number of questions you should be asking yourself. This article isn’t about that though…

What you’re going to read about is what you should be doing with the data that’s available to you to address your prospect and customer needs. This is about building an agile organization that’s able to respond to data-driven insights. If you’re responsible for marketing and you’re not immersed in data and you’re not building paid, earned and owned plans that are highly scalable / flexible, then you’re doing the equivalent of turning a blind eye to the obvious.

For the “modern marketer”, brands have come to be defined by their success in Total Experience Management, (TEM). Defining key customer-brand interactions is impossible to do without data. For reference – “In 2015, 37% of CMOs said that they are increasingly using data and analytics and see that as high priority. This year, sources are predicting that number will possibly double.” [1] While the increase in Big Data as a prioritization is admirable, it doesn’t mean that data is useful. In fact, we’ve written about the fact that Big Data is nothing more than significant amounts of small data combined to create informed, actionable marketing tactics within a broader plan. As a marketer, you have a responsibility to orchestrate the right channels, context, content, tools and alignment of teams to transform your business and customer relationships.

Here’s a few insights worth noting as it relates to the current state of marketing – 2016.

The question is – How do you compare?

Issue 1

You’re not integrating valuable, yet disparate data assets to holistically build prospect / customer profiles. This isn’t surprising considering only 53% of organizations consider a single view of the customer a priority.[2]

Issue 2

You’re ignoring key assets, which means you’re developing strategies based on a few pieces of the puzzle. A recent Forrester study notes that a lack of analytical tools and “repressive” data siloes lead companies to ignore 88% of their customer data.[3]

Issue 3

Marketing is a “science and an art.” If the lens you’re using is solely art, maybe you should be looking over your shoulder more often… Intersecting with your customers / prospects as a participant in the journey they call “life” by leveraging technologies that are readily available with brand stories that resonate = brand relationships. If tools such as Ensighten, Tealium, Adobe’s Marketing Cloud, Bottlenose, Brightedge, NUVI, Sprinklr, etc. aren’t in your arsenal or your teams don’t know how to take advantage of the technologies at their disposal, well, you’re facing a serious up hill battle.

Here are 5 actions you can take right now to make sure that you’re not in the marketing performance cross hairs at the end of ’16:

  1. Begin by conducting an audit to determine where you’re at in the maturity cycle. Assess the following behaviors: Storytelling, Contextual Planning, Multi Platform Publishing, Technologist, Governance, Data Driven using the following assessment metrics.Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 5.10.40 PM copy
  2. Use this assessment as a tool to set realistic business goals for your company and to develop a data framework to guide alignment to key elements such as customer view/profile, organizational infrastructure, operations, technology platforms etc.
  3. Appoint a single data lead to spearhead this effort and mandate the collaboration of disciplines in the discussion of key reports and findings as it relates to the customer. Align the data lead with an advocate, preferably someone at the C-level who has the power to support the data efforts and foster camaraderie on data points-of-view.
  4. Identify data streams and opportunities. Communicate how the data streams work, when key data-related content and findings are available for colleague use, and how streams and information can be used.
  5. Focus on actionable insights. Determine what’s imperative to move your company one step further to better developing a holistic and singular customer view and creating the most relevant narrative for your brand.


If you want to succeed in ’16 and beyond, you must piece the data and learnings together intelligently and cohesively to identify story opportunities in which you can credibly participate in, improve on, and learn from.

If you’re looking for the right partner to assist your company in developing its data framework or want a strategic collaborator to help you transform your data integration culture, contact Trade at 312-909-2800.



Tocoa Geter
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