Trade | Walt Disney can teach finance and fintech companies
finance, fintech, narrative, storytelling, omnichannel, content marketing, finance lessons
single,single-post,postid-17465,single-format-standard,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,vertical_menu_enabled,side_area_uncovered_from_content,qode-theme-ver-7.8,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.3.5,vc_responsive

What Walt Disney Can Teach Finance Companies

The compounding effect of narrative across channels and why it's important for finance brands.

04 Feb What Walt Disney Can Teach Finance Companies

We loved this article by Melissa Bell, journalist and co-founder of, which is based on a meeting with the Niemen Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. She talks about many facets of what it takes to be a successful publisher in the modern media landscape from culture to diversity to ad experience to Snapchat.  But this excerpt stuck out to us because it embodies an inherent challenge with brand content publishing:

Walt Disney had an interesting idea about how his brands supported each other. The theme parks came from the movies; the movies came from his animations. The merchandise allowed for stores to be built. Some of the rides have become movies. Movies have influenced the rides. They all rely on each other. I think about that when I’m thinking about our newsroom.

She goes on…

Our Snapchat stories are inspired by the articles that we write on Our videos are inspired by the articles we run on Sometimes our videos are turned into graphics; sometimes the graphics are built into longer form pieces.

What Walt Disney understood is that every great story has an arc that can live across many different media channels and if these channels work in concert there’s a compounding effect that adds up to something greater.  In his world this meant more physical and analogue space, when applying this to our current digital landscape it’s even more critical to get it right.

46% of people managing their finances online switch between devices before completing the activity. - Google

This is important for finance companies to understand because of the nature of who they are and what they do.  Few things are as personal as money.  Due to the rise of technology disruption and the frictionless relationship consumers want with their money, the lines between what is a product and what is a channel to communicate value are blurring. That is to say that the touch points for how finance companies need to now offer services to their customers are correlated with, or at least expanding as fast as, the touch points for marketing those same services.

Summarizing the point:  Finance companies have to exist efficiently and meaningfully across more and more touchpoints to not only find customer experience alpha (the equivalent of Walt Disney’s compounding effect) but to stay relevant and not die.


Are we seeing progress?

This recent data point published by IAB got us thinking there’s movement in the marketplace towards understanding that point:

The report, conducted through an online survey of 120 IAB special-interest council members, found that 58% of survey participants believe cross-channel measurement and attribution will command significant time and attention in 2016.

Call it what you want (cross-channel, omni-channel, multi-channel), but it comes down to how brands are activating integrated communications to enhance marketing performance.

ROI will always be critically important but what brands really suffer from is an inability to craft and plan stories for campaigns across channels.  If they did, they would be able to construct the measurement plan of format and channel to draw attribution conclusions.

In focusing on outcomes first, they’re missing an important point that a strong narrative that drives participation will weave channels together to enable the right measurement to happen. It’s that exercise that often proves to be the hardest for brands and their agencies.

But we should look no further than Walt Disney, the ultimate storyteller and master of driving participation, to show us where to start with a solution.


For the finance industry it starts with narrative first.

We wrote a post titled, “The New Relationship with Money,” about how commerce is becoming a series of touchpoints driven by financial services; that transactions are fading to the background and are now more fluid with how consumers want to live, thereby becoming more human.

This is the starting point for the entire finance industry.  This is the new global narrative that will guide how finance brands should craft their own stories across channels for a compounding effect that drives participation and better performance.

Jeff Blackman
No Comments

Post A Comment