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  • Writer's pictureHaemlet

When Content and Data swipe right

In today’s connected age, advertising and marketing heavily relies on these at every stage. And it makes sense too on one level, as the consumers themselves are always connected.

We are on our phones 185 to 225 minutes every day, with over 52% of us checking it within five minutes of waking. We are spending more and more time at work staring at screens, and we prefer to ‘window shop’ and then shop online rather than put on pants and go to the store. We don’t know a term or word or information, we search online. Information as well as misinformation is at our fingertips. And all our activities leave tire tracks on virtual roads for brands to track.

Going back in time

But you see, I am sometimes a little old school. While I acknowledge and believe in the power of the right data harnessed correctly, I am also a storyteller who believes that stories are capable of magic. Stories like they have always been told by poets, writers, filmmakers and more.

Let’s start with an example. Have you observed the reactions of audiences when they watch a movie, a play, a poetry recital? What are the emotions they feel, and what are the reactions that are elicited? No algorithm can influence emotion the way a heartfelt monologue or a perfectly timed comedic slip of tongue can.

What the algorithm can do however is make sure the right audiences know that their favourite actor is going to have a new movie, it can find out what they did not like about a scene and if it offended anyone so that the next ones are better. In other words, data can tell me if 60% of those who attended a play liked it more than the last, but numbers cannot tell me what appealed to them more this time.

Marrying data with content

And this is where I make my primary point – it is crucial for brands that their strong data is married to good content. Several brands invest heavily in getting the information, but not enough in reading between the lines with that information, and then turning it back into a story.

According to me, the journey of content and data should be as below: Step 1: Gather crucial data that helps you know your target consumer and demographic Step 2: Read between the lines to find out the key factors that influence this consumer – what do they care about, what are their thoughts – what is it that ‘makes them tick’ Step 3: Use the data and analysis to paint a picture for that consumer in a way that emotionally resonates Step 4: Go back to data to make sure that consumer experiences that story

Location is not just a stage prop

The story itself changes depending on the medium you are using.

Televisions are used to tell larger stories, and mobile gives you the opportunity to get personal and intimate. When it comes to location based advertising, your placement also plays a role in the story.

Are you advertising in a salon? Alright. Imagine the setting – calm, positive, a place where women feel good about themselves, feel pampered. They want brands to make them feel happy too. Give them information that makes their lives easier, or benefits them, adds value with a discount or offer, or makes sense in their otherwise busy life. They have the time to look at your message for more than 3 seconds, to listen to you and consider what you are telling them. They want context, more information and detail. For example, ‘We want to make you feel just as relaxed as you are feeling right now’, would be a great start for a product that makes chores easier. And it builds on the location. It tells them the story, and tells them you are listening.

Find your perfect story, and then find the right stage to showcase it to your consumer – give it the spotlight it deserves.


This article was originally written for and published on Rouge Media's blog.

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