The Convergence of Storytelling and Personalized Marketing Automation
It’s noisy out there. Consumers are inundated with content. How can you break through? – STORYSOFT CEO Ryan Taft explains how personalized digital stories powered by marketing automation can capture attention, build loyalty, and drive sales in a cluttered marketplace.
There’s never been a better time to be a marketer. Social media and mobile, combined with a staggering amount of data, have made it easier than ever to reach audiences.
Reach has become a commodity. This means we are competing in a global marketplace against brands both big and small. Technology levelled the playing field, allowing the solopreneur the opportunity to out-hustle the enterprise incumbent.
It used to be that large brands could simply throw more money at the problem and win through frequency of engagement. Not anymore!
Consumers are inundated with up to 4,000 to 10,000 brand messages each day. They have become experts at tuning out brand content and ads. In a global cluttered marketplace, attention is a marketer’s greatest asset. The question becomes: How can you breakthrough?
Break through with digital storytelling and personalized marketing automation
In a free market, as a growing number of people struggle with a challenge, others start inventing solutions. The effective solutions stick, while the ineffective solutions fade.
The solutions that stick naturally begin to form trends as more people experience their effectiveness. Over the past few years two huge trends have formed to help marketers break through:
- Digital storytelling
- Personalized marketing automation
Let’s unpack each of these to better understand why they are so effective, and how you can leverage them in your marketing.
The Power of Storytelling
Stories are the most powerful form of content. Why? Because humans are hardwired for stories. Transformative hormones like dopamine and serotonin are released in the brain when we consume stories. That chemical reaction creates an emotional response within us, which helps us to remember a story’s message, and can even compel us to take action.
As marketers, what do we want? We want people to:
- Remember our messages
- Buy our products and services
- Share their experiences with friends
There is a proven storytelling framework that marketers can tap into when telling stories about their brand, products, services, and customers. Follow this framework and create an effect within your audience like nothing else can.
Good stories stick. Great stories sell. Extraordinary stories are shared.
Digital Stories Scale
Storytelling isn’t a new concept for marketers. What’s different today, and what will have lasting implications on your marketing into the future, is that now you can tell stories at scale.
Digital storytelling as a marketing strategy is on the rise. The early adopters have seen incredible results.
As everyone knows, brands have jumped into telling digital stories on social media with Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook.
Video is another tactic marketers can use for telling digital stories.
There are even digital storytelling platforms popping up which pull in all of the benefits of telling stories on social media and through video, while removing the constraints marketers face when using those tools.
Consumers want extraordinary stories that bring to life the “how” and the “why” behind the “what”. How our product makes you feel. Why we started our company. Consumers are tuning out ordinary content that only focuses on the “what”. What features we offer. What it costs.
Want to break through the noise?
Stop creating ordinary content, and start telling extraordinary digital stories at scale.
The Power of Personalization
Let’s face it, in a consumer-driven economy, brands win only by exceeding consumer’ expectations. Consumers want WOW. If you want to break through the noise, WOW your audiences with personalized marketing communications.
Personalized marketing is all about capturing moments, and to do that, simply follow the 5 Rs strategy:
1. Right person
2. Right time
3. Right channel
4. Right message
5. Right format
When I think about the 5 Rs, I like to think about them in terms of conversion rates. You have to convert at each stage.
For example, if you send a cold email, the majority of people ignore it because they are not open to receiving that message from your brand. You don’t convert because you didn’t send the email to the right person.
Instead of cold email, send an email to your CRM list and you’ll get some people to open it because they signed up to hear from you. You convert, because you targeted the right person.
Unfortunately, you didn’t convert all of those people because for most, they weren’t open to receiving your message at the moment you sent it. You failed to convert on the “right time” factor of the 5 Rs.
Add business logic into your email campaign to instantly trigger an email to an individual based on an action they took. You are much more likely to convert because you’re sending it at a time that they are thinking about you and are open to receiving your message.
Maybe email isn’t the right channel, maybe they want text messages.
Next, are you delivering the right message?
In our club and hospitality industry the customers are switching off the “$10 Steak Tuesday” ads and switching on to the stories about where the food is sourced. It’s less about the “half price bottle of red with meal purchase” and more about story of the vineyard that provides the wine.
Finally, is that message delivered in a format that Sally likes? Some people like to read long emails, others want short videos. More and more people WANT STORIES. Whatever their format preference, be sure to accommodate.
Adding personalization, and thinking about it in terms of conversion rates for the 5 Rs, enables your brand to break through the noise, and convert more shoppers into buyers.
Personalization Meets Marketing Automation
Like storytelling, personalization isn’t a new marketing concept. We’ve all heard stories from our grandparents about going to the market as young kids. The clerk greeted their family by name, recommended the oranges because she knew little Mikey loved them, and even inquired about their sick dog back on the farm.
Personalized marketing has been working for a long time, but like storytelling, the time is now to do it at scale.
In order to deliver personalized customer experiences at scale, brands must connect data with marketing automation tools like their CRM system. The only way to convert a customer through each of the 5 Rs is to put the right systems in place, build out customer profiles that let us understand their preferences, capture behavior data in real-time, and use business logic to trigger outbound communications to those folks in the moment.
All the tools to make this happen are available today. Some systems are more robust like Salesforce, and others are a bit lighter requiring you to connect a few smaller systems together. But it’s all possible, and it’s possible to do it in a cost-effective way, AT SCALE.
The Convergence of Digital Storytelling and Personalized Marketing Automation
I like to think of storytelling and personalization as two massive trend waves that marketers can take advantage of now, and well into the future. Each wave is powerful on its own, but when you combine digital storytelling with personalized marketing automation, you can move mountains.
From a physics standpoint, wave convergence is the focusing of wave rays so that they come together, increasing in energy and height.
Why ride one wave, when you can ride two?
Remember, good stories stick, great stories sell, but extraordinary stories are shared. If you want to break through the clutter, infuse personalization into your digital stories and deliver them at scale with marketing automation