Data-driven storytelling should be front and center for brands and agencies. That was clear from Resonate’s Storytelling event last week in New York City, where we spent the day with major brands and agencies learning how to use data to tell the most engaging stories to target audiences and teams of colleagues and leaders.
Here are the top 10 takeaways we learned from our fantastic lineup of speakers and panelists:
#1 We are in the golden age of storytelling. Great stories are the weapon that can make every part of a business better and storytelling helps people remember you, said guest speaker, Joe Lazauskas, author of the book, The Storytelling Edge. “Those who tell the stories rule the world,” he added. The Resonate consumer intelligence platform provides a ton of fodder for compelling stories with our 12,000 insights describing more than 200 million U.S. adult consumers.
#2 The way we tell stories is vital. Most consumers tune out if there’s no action and a good story within the first 3 seconds of a video. Time is of the essence when reaching consumers. Resonate provides a continuously updated view of audiences complemented with curated analyses and impactful visualizations.
#3 Stories need emotion. Many consumers buy a product or advocate for a brand based on their emotional connection to that brand’s message. When you find the way to a consumer’s heartstrings, the chances are high that they’ll want your product. Resonate helps leading brands and ad agencies reveal the Human Element, a holistic understanding of a person that starts with what makes us the most human—our values and motivations.
#4 Every good story starts with an important question. If you’re B2C, ask: How can I help people fulfill their dreams and live their life better? If you’re B2B, ask: How can I relate to their challenges and help them get better at their jobs? Deep consumer insights help brands make stronger connections with consumers by revealing what people value most in life, their hobbies and routines, and the psychological drivers and personal values guiding their daily decisions.
#5 Your story checklist should include four essential ingredients: Relatability (speak directly to your audience, make them the central character of the story); Novelty (show and tell people something that they’ve never seen before); Fluency (make it easy to get hooked to your content); Tension (tell a story about the gap between “what is” and “what could be” for your customers). This is especially important when reaching certain consumer segments, so insights specific to verticals like financial services, CPG, autos and retail, as well as leading brands, are vital.
#6 Address the important stuff. Your story should indirectly answer two essential questions for your audience: what’s in it for me, and why do I need to care, said guest speaker, Cinny Little, a Forrester senior analyst. Deep consumer insights should provide direct access to what consumers care about most so that brands and ad agencies can create products and offers that easily and quickly answer these two questions.
#7 Data need a voice. Many analysts and insights pros assume that the data we provide speaks for itself. It doesn’t. Data can be brought to life if it provides a deeper view of what makes today’s consumer tick, from their product and retailer preferences to their life stages and generational nuances.
#8 Data-driven storytelling also plays an important role with your internal teams. Always have a 30-second to 1-minute “speedthrough” version of a key data-driven story ready. That way, you’ll always be prepared for that chance meeting with an executive about a project’s next steps or the relevancy of your personas. Brands and ad agencies rely on the Resonate platform to create more relevant and timely personas that lead to quicker conversions and loyal consumers.
#9 Data has a bad reputation, but there are ways to inspire internal teams to use it. One way is to create a culture where data is being used cross-functionally at all levels of the organization. (Learn how Resonate is easy enough to use across teams.) Also, find ways to bring your data to life instead of just keeping it in a binder, said executive panelist, Lisa Cody, Vice President of Marketing for Twin-Star International. The brand has life-size cutouts of their Resonate-created personas throughout the office, so they’re always top of mind. They even have names.
#10 It’s important to engender trust in data, whether with your internal teams or clients. A meaningful way to do that is validating a truth with the data, said executive panelist, Jordan Gilbertson, director of communications planning for Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners. Show them a truth about one of their challenges or one of their interests and trust will naturally follow. The Resonate platform engenders trust in data by taking great pains to make sure our insights are truly genuine. This gives our clients higher quality predictions and eliminates waste in audience targeting.
What are your biggest takeaways from Resonate’s Storytelling event? Share them on Twitter using the hashtag #ResonateStorytelling.
Want to learn how to use the Resonate platform for your own data-driven stories? Let us show you.