Storytelling in a Cross-Channel World

digitally-empowered-consumers

Today’s digitally empowered consumers are no longer getting their news, entertainment, marketing communication and product and service information through a single communication channel. Regardless of the type and format of content, they are accessing only the content that is relevant and valuable to them on their terms through channels of their choice- mobile, web, social media, in-store, broadcast or print. This seismic shift in the control and selectivity of content consumption has posed a significant challenge to marketers. The digitally empowered shopper has an arsenal of displays at their disposal. These displays range in size from 80” television monitors, 10” Tablets, 3” smartphones to a 1” wristwatch! Each of these devices are used and optimized by today’s shoppers either at home, in-store, or in life for various functions of their choice. Their expectation is to be uniquely surprised and delighted every time they connect with the brand of their choice – regardless of the channel and the display they choose.

In light of these consumer expectations, the challenge for today’s marketers is to create and deliver relevant, valued, and consistent brand stories with each customer interaction and cross-channel touch point. Since our ancestors drew on cave walls with charcoal, storytelling is a fundamental necessity of the human condition. Great storytelling is an art form that today’s marketer’s need to embrace in order to forge personal connections with us – today’s digitally empowered shoppers and consumers.

Know Your Audience

Identifying your loyal customers is a key first step. These are your brand advocates and zealots. They are your most powerful brand ambassadors and they should be embraced. Capture their stories and enthusiasm as they relate to your brand. Real personal stories communicate integrity and trust. Shoppers, by definition, want to be ‘surprised and delighted’ at every brand touch point. All of those historic corporate images stored in a cardboard box or on someone’s F drive become invaluable in today’s digital brand communication ecosystem.  Keep this in mind when you develop your story portfolio.

Provide Value

Your audience is bombarded with more than 5,000 advertising, merchandising, and promotional messages each day and it is because of this cacophony that today’s consumers (B2B or B2C) are taking control of the dialog. In this landscape your message or story must have perceived value to your shopper or you will be quickly tuned out and left out of the conversation. Your brand storytelling should reward your audience/shoppers at every touch point along their journey with valuable and convenient insights, engaging and enjoyable experiences while staying consistent across all channels.

Emotion Connects

Any great story that resonates and bonds with its audience on a personal and meaningful level does so because of an emotional connection. The challenge in developing a great story is to align your brand promise with the emotional bond. In order to continually surprise and delight your customers use the spectrum of emotional triggers across the various channels. Those triggers can include empathy, compassion, fear, and humor. A great example of a brand using humor just came across my desk.

Be Immersive

If brand is defined as a promise kept, then successful brand storytelling is defined as an immersive experience. Your brand content should be viewed and valued as ‘spreadable media’ or transmedia. Identifying and consistently incorporating all of the fundamental characteristics that define the Brand into the creation of the creative brief and all brand content created and published across all channels will dramatically enhance brand engagement and in turn forge a ‘customer-for-life’.

Deliver It

If your audience can’t successfully view your content on their terms in a cross-channel environment you’ve wasted a tremendous opportunity. All of those different display types and the various channels have unique technical requirements associated with them in order for your audience to properly experience your content as you intended. The immersive experience you designed into that HD ‘how to’ video you produced will be completely lost if it is not properly transcoded and delivered when viewed on an iPad, an Android mobile device, or that 42” 1080p desktop monitor.

The Mainstream Data MediasBrowser platform allows you to not only curate and manage (Digital Asset Management – DAM) your content in a meaningful manner but provides a fully automated transcoding, content optimization engine, and global delivery infrastructure to ensure timely, seamless, and automated cross-channel content publishing within a single SaaS platform. Contact us today to learn how MediasBrowser can help you surprise and delight your customers.