Content Marketing World 2014: Creating Consumer Journeys Through Storytelling

Keynote presentation by Andrew Davis on how brilliant brands are creating urgent actions in consumers through content. Live blogged by Kim Higdon.

Andrew Davis, the founder of Monumental Shift, kicked off Content Marketing World’s keynote presentation with a truly inspirational presentation on the power of effective storytelling.

To kick off his session, he started with a brief look at the over-utilized and under performing concept of the sales funnel invented in 1898 by a guy named St. Elmo Lewis. Marketers have relied upon this model for too long to be effective. Instead, he offered an alternative view reminiscent of high school astronomy class.

The Changing World View

Ptolemy’s view of the universe had everything revolving around us, that’s where the Internet started; build a website and people will come. The Galilean model looks more like the world we live in today, with search at the center. It requires looking at your customers’ habits and mapping the experience out from there. Think like Galileo!

Your website is nowhere near the center. But the goal of every company is to get closer and closer.

Google is king… or is it?

The way we think users search isn’t actually what’s happening anymore. From Yelp, to Facebook, to Amazon to Wolphram Alpha; consumers are searching more than ever, but it’s not happening in one, central location. It’s evolving. A consumer journey doesn’t look like a funnel; it’s a series of events that happen over and over again.

Actions happen because of triggers (moment of inspiration) and when a brand enters the picture during this process, they enter the initial consideration set. From there, active evaluation happens until you get closer and closer to the moment of purchase. After that moment, the relationship with a customer begins to trigger new journeys that should ultimately lead to additional moments of purchase.

Most content is created for just before the moment of purchase, but the biggest opportunity lies in the moment of inspiration to send a consumer on a journey. If you own the inspiration triggers, you will win the business.

Storytellers Create Moments of Inspiration

“We don’t sell the drill or the drill bit. We sell the hole.” — Chuck Williams

Create these moments of inspiration. Storytellers are really good at this. Caine’s Arcade was just a story that led to a movement. M.O.I. (Moments of Inspiration) leads to R.O.I. Create content that invites the consumer to take the next step. Make a commitment to telling a story that’s bigger than you.

Our quest for engagement gets in the way of the ultimate goal: cornerstone content that increases the demand for the products and services we sell.

Think Like Entertainment Executives

Storytelling is hard. Think like entertainment executives to understand how to tell a good story. Disney is a great example of this. A movement was created that actually affected clownfish populations after the release of Finding Nemo. Nothing has fueled our consumer culture more than the content brands we love. Think like a movie producer and find new ways to inspire action.

Valuable content increases demand for the products and services you sell.

Four Secrets to Creating Moments of Inspiration

  1. Build suspense. Create anxiety. People want to know how it ends. This doesn’t happen close to the moment of purchase. Create drama like Beville has done with the marketing of its juicers through the film Fat, Sick and Nearly Dying.
  2. Foster aspiration. Tap into the aspirations of your audience. DC Velocity produces incredible video content just for distribution center managers.
  3. Drive empathy. Connect and understand with someone else. IBM did this with the creation of Watson. People actually felt an emotion toward a machine to showcase technology and humanize the brand.
  4. Harness emotion and send your audience on a journey. “The essential different between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to action while reason leads to conclusions,” Dr. Donald Calne.

Drew’s session was high-energy and truly inspiring. Off to go uncover some stories! See more from his presentation here: