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Between the Lines of Data: Why Good Stories Matter

Each clamoring for relevance, 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements cross the average consumer’s path daily.* We’ve all heard the stats citing our short attention spans (now an average of eight seconds), and this has pushed advertisers to create louder and flashier ads to compensate. However, there is one major insight that the industry is missing: people have short attention spans for things they don’t care about or resonate with on a human level. When you tell a compelling story, you will always draw them in.

I am a storyteller by trade, film-maker through training, and a creative director at heart…my unique background and experience calls me to create intentional narratives that invite consumers into shared experiences. I am here to help drive the question: As marketers and creatives, how do we take our calling to create meaningful and impactful stories to drive real results for businesses?

 

The One Question You Need To Ask…

Every seat at the conference room table is filled; clients and the agency team alike are sitting across from one another, making pleasant conversation about end of year business goals and campaign objectives. Just as one of the C-level clients concludes their last comment about ROI, we ask:

“What is the core human truth that connects your brand to its target audience on a deep, personal level?”

We have asked this question of global technology companies, franchised restaurants, healthcare providers and e-commerce giants – each industry distinctly different, but their answers are always intrinsically relevant.

When a story is rooted in a core human truth that your target audience can connect with, it creates brand affinity and favoritism so customers remember who you are, what you do, and most importantly, why they should care. One layer deeper than formulaic personas or market research data, you will discover an emotional and unifying human truth that only comes from studying the intersection of culture, psychology and physical environment. The story becomes what really matters to people – and what drives them to invest their time, attention and loyalty in the long term vitality of your business.

 

Data Creates Lines, But it Can’t Read Between Them

As a Creative Director, I view my team as excavators of the core human truth and heart behind our campaigns. Our teams of account managers, brand strategists, and media strategists each use an anthropological approach to uncover the powerful stories behind the brands we work with. The quantitative data is captured through targeted questions, surveys or through analysis of reports. But the next step (debatably the most important step)… we observe, we listen and we immerse ourselves.

We take the extra time to dig in during the Discovery phase because we believe that the most powerful data of all rests carefully in the human condition; empathy and relevance are the core drivers of consumer behavior at the end of a campaign.  This part of the process is our greatest opportunity to take target audience data and read between the lines. Tell stories that capture attention, captivate the human condition, and drive results. This is the birthplace of real, compelling stories that capture attention in our 8-second world.