It’s funny how no matter how much times change, many things stay the same…or quickly return to established norms. Marketing has gone through a significant revolution over the past ten years as the Web matured and then social media arrived. But just as before our interconnected days, has settled into a groove of ‘safe’ targets and measuring. It becomes a comfortable 9-5 process in a 24-hour world.
The funny thing about measuring is that we can make it easy to ‘win’ by simply tallying the numbers for the things in our control.
We do that in a few ways:
- By reporting our tweets, but not mentioning how many retweets or reach
- Pitching a reportable number of stories but not the influence level of where they were picked up
- Giving download numbers but not stats on usage
- By writing articles and blogs but not the number of comments, favorable or unfavorable
By sticking to the ‘production’ side of the equation, we can declare victory and still be home before the (highway) traffic builds.
Marketing has the opportunity to be the most creative part of the business. That doesn’t mean spin or lie, but to be the part of the business that brings the true stories of customer accomplishments to life in the most interesting ways possible. Storytelling. It brings people back time and time again…it makes the subject of the story proud and happy to help promote their success to others. It quickly becomes a conversation rather than shouting.
And people love visual presentation of ideas through videos, images, data visualizations and infographics. They want to be pulled into the content and told that story in a way that can be enjoyed and not endured. It takes just a little more time but has far more impact.
There really aren’t shortcuts when it comes to branding and marketing. Success comes from engaging an audience in your stories and gaining powerful connections with the right people. Stories move the conversation forward and keep connections going. It gets remembered more easily, is more personal and can be repeated without the original story teller in the room…exactly why stories existed before written language.
This doesn’t mean standing at a virtual podium in a virtual world. There are many technology tools available to help tell the story. Just a few clicks and an infographic can be added to a site (see below), video can be as easy as a handheld and clean background. There are lots of tools that do what only agencies could do in the past.
The important thing is to find ways to tell the story that are compelling, just like that old guy telling a tale by the campfire in the western movie. As I said, the more things change, the more they stay the same.