How to use data to tell a compelling brand story
Storytelling has been a bit of a buzzword in the marketing world for a while now. Our brains are wired to remember stories over simple facts. Stories help us retain information and create close, personal bonds. The benefits of integrating this into your marketing are obvious. By using storytelling to bring your data to life, you’re creating a compelling story that will attract and engage your audience, and retain them too. Personal and emotive stories are more interesting to read, and are far more memorable than simple data. By using storytelling techniques in your marketing, your copy will be more engaging. This creates a deeper bond from the get-go, and will also forge long-lasting loyalty. So, how do you flex your creative muscles and create a compelling story that attracts and engages your audience?
Understanding customers’ needs
Long before talk of customer-centricity started ringing out across the marketing world, the customer has been essential to success. After all, businesses would be nothing without customers to connect with. Despite this, there are still some brands out there that don’t put the customer at the center of everything they do. Instead, they focus on their own ideas and assumptions about their target market without ever really getting to know them. Warning: these businesses won’t last long. For brands looking to grow, disregarding the customers’ needs can be irrevocably damaging. Especially in today’s market, customers are more than happy to jump ship and realign their loyalties to a brand that is willing to meet their needs and fulfil their expectations. That’s why you need to ensure you’re always learning about your customers. Understanding their goals and needs will help you engage them with your brand.
Discovering what your customers need
Creating a compelling brand story doesn’t need to be complicated, but it does need to appeal to your audience. That’s why it’s essential to collect customer data and use it in the right way. So, how do we discover what customers want?
1. Polls, surveys and interviews
Direct conversations with customers will provide you with the richest data. You can explore the decision-making process: – What drove them to convert? – Why did they choose your brand over competitors? – Was there a specific element of the experience or your website that stood out? – How did they discover you? – What are their interests? What are they passionate about? By collecting this information, you will get to know your audience like never before. You can discover what is important to them and build this into your brand story. For example, if they’re passionate about supporting international development, you can introduce a new initiative supporting business programs in the developing world. Ultimately, displaying this commitment and aligning your brand values to match your audiences’ will lead to stronger, loyal relationships and rapid growth.
2. Monitor interactions
Interactions and customer interactivity with your brand will only grow in importance. Following Apple’s iOS 15 software, it will be interactions, not opens that help you understand customer intent. By tracking customer interactions, you can learn a great deal about the average customer’s journey towards conversion. The emails they interact with, the links they click, and the pages they visit all tell you something about what they’re trying to achieve with your brand. You can identify where customers’ interests lie, focusing your product or service development on what will drive engagement and growth. You can also identify moments that generate engagement or where customers drop out of the funnel. This will give you greater insight into what your audience is trying to achieve and how they want to do it.
3. Feedback and reviews
Customers should feel at the center of your brand story. This includes feeling like their opinion and feedback are valued. You should not only be encouraging feedback and reviews, but also monitoring them to identify trends. Are customers raving about your fantastic customer service? Are they disappointed about the lack of shipping options? By using feedback and reviews to identify these trends, you can improve your customer offering and demonstrate your commitment to a customer-centric approach. Including customers in the day-to-day running of your business gives them to chance to get fully invested in your brand. Customers love a brand that listens to them and values their input. By reinforcing and demonstrating this in your brand messaging, you’re helping to create more trust and strong bonds with your brand. Section on reviews also being great marketing material when positive. Use these at various touchpoints across the customer journey. From social media, to checkout. Social proof is invaluable.
Customer loyalty is the name of the game
The end goal for all marketers is customer retention and loyalty. Customers that have already engaged with your brand are more likely to return. By creating a brand story based on customer data, it demonstrates your understanding of their needs. A brand that can meet a customer’s needs and exceed their expectations is going to win big.
Jenna Paton, Content Marketing Manager
Jenna expertly writes thought-leadership content about cross-channel marketing and customer engagement and manages the creation and execution of Dotdigital's content marketing strategy.