How Advertisers Get Results in the Post-Advertising Age
By Kirk Cheyfitz, Story Co-founder
In our ad-rejecting, soon-to-be all-mobile world, traditional approaches have stopped working and some marketers seem lost in the past. In fact, the opportunities massively outweigh the problems if marketers are willing to transform their teams and approaches to leverage the new realities of the digital era.
Here’s a battle-tested, disciplined 3-part system that drives engagement, loyalty and the bottom-line in the emerging audience-controlled landscape of digital media and marketing.
Traditional ads are fading in effectiveness. (Even Super Bowl spots and their online buzz campaigns have virtually no impact on purchase behavior, the Advertising Research Foundation just told us.) Digital ads are troubled by consumer rejection and rampant industry scandals of overcharging, over-counting, kickbacks and so on.
Responding a decade ago to the beginnings of the anti- ad revolt, “storytelling” came into vogue. (Storytelling has been in use for 35 to 50 millennia to persuade people, but we won’t get into that.) The reason was clear then and even clearer now: Digital turned out to be a terrible place for old-fashioned advertising. Audiences — the people formerly known as “consumers” — hate ads on their phones and employ sophisticated digital tools to avoid and block them altogether. Brand messages, it became obvious, would have to take a form people would actually welcome
The answer appeared to be simple: just tell a good story. But “just telling a good story” doesn’t work, either, because the undisciplined approach usually fails to yield an ownable brand story, fails to engage the desired audiences and fails to find its way into people’s lives. As a result, marketers fail to connect and drive sales.
The effective way to exploit the universally accepted power of stories is to practice three interdependent activities. This post introduces a trilogy of articles that define and describe the three-step approach to story-based marketing that Story Worldwide has been perfecting for more than a decade:
- We begin with storyfinding, our battle-tested collaborative process for locating a brand’s unique core narrative. Read: Why Brands Should Be Making Stories, Not Just Telling Them
- Next comes storymaking — the heart of the system. Storymaking is the thing you do to make sure you actually reach, involve and move people after you’ve figured out what your brand’s story is. Read: Begin at the Beginning: Find Your Brand's Most Powerful Core Story
- Last comes storyliving — the virally expanding part of the system. Storyliving describes how people incorporate your brand in their real, everyday lives and how brands can leverage their experiences to make more stories. Read: The Real Life of Brand Stories