Once upon a time… around the same time that Don Draper ruled the advertising world, all you needed to outsell your competitor was a catchy tagline and a huge advertising budget. The internet changed everything, and the mass marketing channels that were the best friend of the 20th century ad men are now nothing more than white noise. Customers have become better and better at tuning out marketing messages. How can marketers cut through the noise to engage with their customers?
In an increasingly virtual world, there is a trend back towards authenticity and real connection. Brands can leverage this trend by using storytelling to create real connections with their customers.
‘Storytelling’, in the marketing world, encourages brands to engage with their customers in meaningful ways. The best way to approach this is for brands to decide what their story is and then deliver that message – or story – across all platforms. Traditional storytelling techniques, such as those seen in fairytales, have been used by many brands to engage their customers. The tales and tropes are universally known, and marketers can draw from them creatively, to bring their brand to life in a storytelling sense. By engaging with customers in this way, the customer becomes the marketer. A core group of fans or influencers will come and be absorbed by the story of the brand, or the immersive performance/service, and share what they experience via social media channels and word of mouth.
It is no surprise that experiential marketing is the latest buzz word in marketing. Immersive experiences are powerful. Creating engaging activations that encourage participation with a brand has become one of the most powerful ways to generate word of mouth. These experiences are tangible, they are short lived and they are scarce… they can’t be downloaded or replicated. This creates value in a society that is demonstrating a backlash against the virtual world through which we now experience so much of life.
By telling a story through an experiential marketing campaign, brands can generate word of mouth… which is the most powerful tool to cut through all the white noise. By absorbing customers in the story, and therefore becoming a part of their own personal story, customers are more likely to act as brand advocates, and share the story of the brand across their personal social media channels.
And… everyone will live happily ever after.