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How Storytelling is Changing Marketing and Consumerism

The three steps of storyteller marketing


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“Everyone loves a good story,'' says Chris Deardroff, founder of Magic Flight Studios, to a room full of people with diverse backgrounds, age and race  ̶  all gathered to get a closer look on how storytelling marketing is the new age of advertising.

On Monday, Sept. 16,  this diverse crowd gathered at co-working space Industry RiNo Station during Denver Startup Week, Downtown Denver Industry RiNo Station eager to learn about the importance of storytelling as a new marketing technique from Deardroff.

Marketing and advertising techniques are always evolving, yet now they are changing faster than ever before. In today’s world, people are less attentive, paying attention only for short amounts of time, and it is taking a toll on marketers’ ability to grasp an audience.

Deardroff advised the audience to borrow strategies from successful storytellers such as Pixar and Marvel. As the marketing landscape continues to change, the way that people shop also changes. With variations of almost every product, consumers are overwhelmed with options and meaningless advertisements.

We are in a turning point of marketing. “We need to position ourselves to really embrace this idea of storytelling,” Deardroff says. “This is where the evolution of marketing is going.” 

People now need visuals, connections and a story told to them, in order to, not only visualize themselves having that product or service, but also to envision the impact it could have on their lives. With a story, people can process information quicker and relate closer with the brand, creating a lasting impression and a desire for the product. 

For the most part, market research and marketing strategies provide a sense of reliability through analysis. However, storytelling and messaging seems to deliver a high return on investment (ROI). Through the details of the story itself, the audience is presented with something to connect with, therefore linking them to the purchase of a product. “It humanizes the brand,” Deardroff says.

Three Steps of Storytelling

During the talk, Deardoff presented three easy steps for storytelling marketing.

First, determine what the story is about. Produce a clear objective in order to convey a seamless story.

Second, use transmedia. Transmedia is the idea of using multiple platforms in order to clearly advertise products or services across multimedia in various forms in order to reach vast audiences. With the revolutionizing entertainment ecosystem, it is easier to produce content for all platforms. Keep in mind, this content must be cohesive, “Think of it like a Tetris game,” Deardoff says.

Lastly, it is essential to give consumers an ideal of transformation and make sure it is prominent throughout the advertisements and content produced. This ideal initiates the belief that if bought, the product or service could change the consumers life for the better, and the story drives that belief.  

The power of story has not changed, as consumers (and people) have long been drawn to stories. People will always have a need to connect with something. People are also always evolving and searching for ways to improve their lives.

By connecting with the targeted audience through storytelling and introducing a product or service that would make their life better, companies can create a following of loyal customers.

Take the brand YETI, for example. Its website produces mass amounts of content relating to its brand and consumers. Podcasts, YouTube videos and articles are just some of the types of content YETI produces on its website. Deardroff emphasized the fact that YETI has a fanbase thanks to its tremendous efforts in storytelling marketing.

It is time to start connecting people to a product with purpose and intent. When there are human stories behind brands, only then can people can truly associate it with and make the decision to purchase.

Torey Wyman is a sophomore at Colorado State University. She is currently studying journalism and communication studies. She participated in a partnership between the University and ColoradoBiz magazine that brought students from Fort Collins to Denver Startup Week 2019. 

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