Last week I attended the IEG Sponsorship Conference for the second time in as many years. Keynote speakers included executives from leading brands including Coke, AT&T, Timberland, Gatorade, HP, Fed Ex, and many more. There were 3 very consistent themes that are worth highlighting.
Storytelling: Brands that tell their “story” find success in connecting with consumers on a much deeper level. In fact, this theme of becoming a storyteller was weaved throughout last year’s brand presentations as well. As Wendy Clark from Coke expressed, the best leaders of our generation have all been great storytellers. Take for example, the great civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. When Dr. King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August of 1963, he didn’t start his famous speech with “I have a message…” He had a dream and a vision that when conveyed through a story filled with passion and emotion captivated a nation. His message of racial equality and the call for an end to discrimination will be remembered as one he greatest stories of modern time. As marketers we must keep in mind that getting consumers involved in our brand conversations starts with a good story
Content: A byproduct of becoming a good storyteller as a brand, often yields original content, as was the case in the Coke promotion highlighted here on YouTube. This was a really fun and effective promotion which has gotten over 850,000 views . It’s worth checking out:
Authenticity: Today’s younger generation values being “real” and accepts nothing less. Millennials, discussed in more detail in my last blog, have been marketed to from a very young age. As a result, they have become desensitized to most commercial messages. To cut through the clutter, authentic messaging with a humorous tone, can be the difference as witnessed in the above video.
Once brands have adopted the art of storytelling, creating original content, and doing so in an authentic way, the questions becomes how do you measure this. Another consistent theme from leading executives at some of the most recognizable brands, is the movement away from the traditional model of measuring ROI. The consensus is a focus on ROE (Return on Engagement) and moving from “impressions to expressions.” It is far more important to engage with consumers on a deeper level. Measuring impressions is an old and out dated model. Identifying the expressions of individual consumers and how likely these individuals are to become brand ambassadors, this will help tell the real story!
Mark Giovino V.P. Business Development at Campus Entertainment