Storytelling is the new marketing
I’ve spent the last two decades running a leading B2B advertising agency in Auckland, New Zealand. During that time I worked on hundreds of campaigns for large and small companies across Australasia. As digital technology has taken hold over the last 5-10 years, I have become increasingly alarmed at how brand storytelling in business to business marketing circles, has been overshadowed by an obsession with data and technology.
This has resulted in a tsunami of fact-driven, uninspiring technical content (data dumps) that’s putting its intended audience into a “content coma”. Digital technology has allowed us to produce and distribute marketing content to the point that it is now beyond our capacity to consume it all. Mark Schaefer calls this “Content Shock”.
How can a B2B brand differentiate itself and be heard in this noisy, cluttered environment?
The key is to create memorable, worthwhile story-driven marketing content with a depth to it that reaches out and touches people’s hearts and minds. Great stories don’t talk at you, but with you.
Stories engage our brains on both a factual and emotional level while making us feel that we are part of a larger experience. They engage, inspire, motivate and entertain. They are memorable. Today’s business to business marketing agency may have mastered the use of technology but it has lost the art of telling a good story. Combining the two is a powerful force for increasing B2B lead generation in today’s market.
I started studying the effect stories have on people two years ago, researching hundreds of articles and devouring over 120 books on the subject.
In many ways this was a home coming for me because I’ve always loved stories, and had a childhood immersed in story and mythology. As a result, I have been inspired with new passion for our industry to use the power of business storytelling to connect with people on a level deeper than ever before.
By taking the past 30 years of advertising agency and real world experience and adding a team of skilled storytellers, I aim to draw out stories for our customers that shine with a brilliance that touches hearts and minds.
According to legendary story coach Robert McKee, brands need to stop bragging and promising and start telling stories. It’s time to shift our marketing mindset. Compelling stories connect. Storytelling is the new marketing. Make sure you’re telling a good one.
Steve Ballantyne, Founder, Story IQ.