Once upon a campaign: The power of story in today’s marketing

Once upon a campaign: The power of story in today’s marketing

By Keith Petri

Getting that 360-degree view of customers across channels has been a major focus for marketers in the past year. While this complete view is valuable, the key lies not just in targeting or in attribution but also in the ability for marketers to craft an engaging, coherent story. The effective use of story can attract the right customer’s attention, increasing receptiveness to engage with your product or brand. By presenting media in an orchestrated way across desktop, smartphones and tablets using the cross-device data you have, the likelihood of conversion becomes less about chance and more about the art of storytelling. Doing so will establish trust, enhance customer retention and improve brand experience and ultimately, ROI.

It used to be that content in advertising was king.  How did we get to this place where it has taken a back seat to targeting and attribution? Context is now king.  The plethora of data and the ability to analyze it in a cross-device manner enables marketers and technologists to tailor the creative according to the context of the consumer. Yes, the age of people-based marketing has arrived, and it’s imperative that brands now become hyper-alert to where their customers are physically at all times and to also hone in on where they currently reside in terms of the purchase funnel.  This deep understanding of consumers on an individual basis is now technologically possible — as mind-boggling as that may sound — and brands must now leverage this ability to harness context to send each prospect the optimal piece of communication in terms of messaging and tonality based on the individual’s current state in the conversion funnel.

For example, by harnessing all of the data in the marketplace, an auto brand has the ability to know when any given consumer is intending to purchase.  They can ascertain that customers, three months in advance of their leases expiring, will do initial short searches on mobile and then switch over to desktop for further research.  Armed with this knowledge, dealers should be able to tie all this of together and then remarket to customers on Thursday and Friday before they go car shopping on the weekend.  Knowing location data via smartphone may inform a brand that a prospect is at a competitor’s dealership and thus the brand can hit the prospect with a timely message to entice him to its dealership right down the road. While we have the ability to put all of this disparate information together to truly effect personal marketing, most brands haven’t committed to it yet. They haven’t fully absorbed the wisdom that finely honed relevance is the key to effective storytelling.

Marketers have the opportunity in 2015 and beyond to leverage the established truth that the average consumer welcomes personalized marketing as opposed to being on the receiving end of the spray-and-pray approach.  If you offer relevance, consumers don’t care about the “creepiness” factor.  What they hate is brands wasting their time by pummeling them with months of eyeglasses ads immediately after already having purchased two pairs.  While retargeting has been proven to be a highly effective tactic, it has not been without some collateral damage to those brands that have not employed it judiciously or skillfully.

The good news is that the ability to do dynamic, cross-screen sequential creative should ultimately minimize, if not eliminate, misguided messaging or bad storytelling.  Seamless sequential creative will become even more powerful when emerging technologies like in-store beacons and all other connected devices and appliances under the aegis of the Internet of Things ( i.e., watches, thermostats, cars, ovens et. al) will facilitate the ability to get even deeper into people’s lives and purchase intentions.


keithpetrihdshtKeith previously grew a Nielsen-backed mobile startup, eDealya, into a successful acquisition target for Human Demand, and in turn, contributed to Human Demand’s recent acquisition by IgnitionOne. As VP of Strategic Partnerships, Keith is responsible for overseeing IgnitionOne’s various data initiatives – AppAudience℠, MobileAssist℠, User Profile Store, as well as outside data & inventory partners – which power more than $30 billion in revenue each year for leading brands, including General Motors, CenturyLink, Bridgestone, La Quinta and Fiat, as well as advertising agencies such as 360i, GroupM and iProspect. Prior, Keith was the owner of CNSLT.us & Founder/CEO of iGottaGuide (acquired by GetYourGuide). Educated in business, economics, and studio art with a strong passion for marketing and technology.

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