Why the best brand stories combine data with human insights

With so much content to choose from, it's never been more important to engage emotionally

Why the best brand stories combine data with human insights

We’re living through a golden age where, thanks to digital technology, TV is better than ever and brands are producing high-quality, immersive advertising content. But technology is also enabling people to exert more control over the advertising content they consume and, if they wish, skip ahead if they encounter a bad ad. This means that regardless of what technology or platform is most current, the age-old art of storytelling has never been more important.

Thankfully, technology also means we have more access to data on what does and doesn’t work. This can tell you everything from the optimum length or structure of an ad to the best way to link different episodes of a story. For the first time, it’s relatively easy to test, measure and validate multiple creative variants across a wide range of consumer segments in almost real time.

And while this is a brilliant opportunity to bring the power of data and measurement into the world of creative storytelling, brands must never forget to create deep and meaningful human connections with their audiences. People are motivated by emotions – not tech – so it’s important to avoid getting too consumed by the latest tech trend. Eventually even the most relevant technology fades into the background. What’s more, while data may show us the facts about what’s happened it doesn’t always interpret human nature to show us why people care about something. No doubt there’s an AI-powered bot being developed to understand human nature in the future but for now this one’s still with us.

This means that to connect with people’s emotions, the challenge in marketing isn’t mastering the latest tech. It has always been and always will always be telling stories that create a meaningful role in a person’s life. The ability to do this requires brands to dig deep into both local cultures and people’s motivations. It’s about paying attention to both data and the consumer, deciphering the hidden messages in data sets and allowing the numbers to lead you on to even more accurate human insights that help you tell richer stories.

The consumer in 2017 may demand faster, denser and quicker content but what’s most important is that ads speak to their emotional drivers. And with more choice available than ever when it comes to content, brands need to dig deep if they want their ads to resonate and be remembered.

Jon Carney
Jon Carney

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