Article

John Horsley
John Horsley 28 March 2014

Why marketers must become the directors of their brand's online story

The problem that many brands encounter is that they have a tendency to impart their digital story onto customers rather than incorporate them into it. Brands should focus on moving the narrative from the company to the customer, identifying where they fit into the story depending on a range of factors such as their individual preferences or their interaction with the brand.


Dietmar Dahmen
 

 

An interview with Dietmar Dahmen

 

Where does your customer fit into your brand’s digital story?
 

The problem that many brands encounter is that they have a tendency to impart their digital story onto customers rather than incorporate them into it. Brands should focus on moving the narrative from the company to the customer, identifying where they fit into the story depending on a range of factors such as their individual preferences or their interaction with the brand.

Does the customer historically shop in-store or on the website, do they make frequent purchases online or just spend a lot of time browsing and which areas of the website do they visit most? Considerations such as these will help to guarantee that each customer finds themselves in the correct part of the story rather than an unfamiliar chapter.

 

It’s no longer about real-time, but before-time
 

Furthermore, by tailoring their digital strategy based on this insight, brands will be able to ensure they can present their story to the customer in the most relevant context and, even begin to anticipate a customer’s need. We have reached a stage now where, in order to tell the most compelling stories, brands need to act ‘before-time’ rather than real-time.

Take for example a keen golfer who likes to purchase equipment online; a sports retailer can now send a notification to his tablet or mobile device telling him that there is an offer on golf balls, based on a calculation of when his golf ball supply is running out, therefore, knowing he is more likely to be looking to purchase.

‘Before-time’ demonstrates the importance in companies being able to predict what might be relevant and timely to their customer.

 

In today’s digital age, brands can’t rely on one overarching message
 

Brands can no longer rely on one message to interact with all of their customers, such as Nike does with ‘Just Do It’. Instead they require thousands of messages and sub-messages which can be tailored to each individual customer’s needs and interests.

Relevance is a more important factor than ever, as brands are forced to embrace the shift from analogue to digital. As highlighted above, advertising is becoming less about the story or message and more about exposing people to relevant information in the simplest and most convenient way – also known as ‘tech-vertising’: the redefinition of advertising.

By having the flexibility to position your brand in the right place and in the correct way at the individual customer level, you have a far greater chance of driving sales. There is also a clear difference between driving content or advertising (preparing a deal) and closing a deal. As a customer, the desire to have something builds from compelling advertising, messaging or branding – each helping to communicate the brand story.

But the actual purchasing decision is based on the positioning of this story. Brands must consider not only whether they have mastered the art of storytelling, but also if they have positioned it in a way which can directly influence sales.

 

Dietmar Dahmen is hosting Sitecore’s Digital Trendspot 2014 event on 10th April at the Business Design Centre, Islington

=====================================

You’re invited to attend Sitecore Digital Trendspot, a day to discover the art of digital brand storytelling. Visit the event site to discover more about this year’s Sitecore Digital Trendspot, Thursday 10th April, Business Design Centre, Islington. Readers of Digital Doughnut can get a 50% discount on the ticket price by using the code: DNUTDTS50 at the checkout.

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