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Storytelling: Emotional and Intelligent Branding in Marketing’s New Golden Age

Over the past decade, the emergence of social media, big data and mobile technology platforms have changed the way we view marketing. A company’s marketing efforts can now be smarter, faster, further reaching and more personal than ever before. However, though we may view these valued assets as game changers in the world of marketing, one aspect of the game remains ever more important: the story.

“Even as marketing reaches new heights with technology-enabled measurement, the importance of the story hasn’t diminished. But ways to tell it are morphing continually as the stuff of storytelling encompasses richer digital interactions, and mobile devices become more powerful communications tools. In this world, creativity is in greater demand than ever.”

“It has become a more challenging game, but I would say that some of the basics are still the same. You need an attitude, a story. You have but two buttons to push—emotion and intelligence, heart and mind” said Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management at Daimler AG and previously the Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Mercedes-Benz Cars. (McKinsey)

“New media also dictate that marketers relinquish control of the story as digital interactions with customers become more frequent. Customers want to interact with stories and modify them on social media. Following the kinds of story rules that once made board members and CEOs comfortable is no longer feasible.”

Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder an executive chairman of Reddit, believes that this new means of engagement require companies to relinquish control over the story. Trust your audience and the level playing field of the internet where each link, share, post, like and tweet are equal. In his Ted Talk from 2009, he states “It’s ok to lose control. It’s ok to take yourself a little less seriously, given that though it [may be] a very serious cause, you can ultimately achieve your final goal.”

In a keynote speech given this past Fall at Content Marketing World, Oscar award-winning actor and producer Kevin Spacey said, “Audiences have spoken. They want stories! They’re dying for them. They’re rooting for us to give them the right thing. And they will talk about; binge on it; carry it with them to the bus and to the hair dresser; force it on their friends; tweet; blog; facebook; make fan pages; silly GIFs; and god knows what else about it. Engage in it with a passion and an intimacy that a blockbuster movie could only dream of. And all we have to do is give it to them.”