在如何讲故事这方面，我很欣赏IDEO亚太地区首席营销官、人性化设计公司PEBBO创始人陈博雅的理论：有效的故事需要同时顾及技巧（Craft）和角度（points of view）。前者需要营销者有效地调用其团队或机构成员的技术、经验、和创意天赋，后者要求营销者从听众的角度思考问题。营销者讲故事的最终目的，不是为别的，而是为了帮助观众更好地了解他们自己。
一个中国网民大概有30%的网络时间都花费在网络视频上。因此，对好故事的市场需求是极其庞大的。中国网民对视频的疯狂热爱使得网络视频成为许多网红的跳板：Papi酱、易小星、张全蛋、莫小奇……他们都通过网络视频一举成名，赢得一大票粉丝。在广告界，我们称这些人为“意见领袖”(Key Opinion Leaders)。
“让观众自己把东西拼起来。不要给他们一个4 ，而给他们2+2 。你们提供的元素和其排列顺序，对决定你是否能够成功地与观众互动起着至关重要的作用。…… 正是这潜移默化的运用，牢牢抓住了我们的对故事的注意力。”
一个良好的广告科技公司懂得及时内省，在一个营销活动之后分析效果数据，从而知道在下一次营销活动时应该注意点什么。而一个杰出的广告科技公司则会边做营销边监测数据 。 两者不应该是一先一后的顺序，而该是齐头并进的关系。
From the day we're born, we're brought up with stories.
It's through stories that we imagine, learn, and understand the meaning behind the world. Stories help people experience what we are yet to experience and help them understand their identities, their own values, and their meanings.
So in a world of automated advertising, personalised marketing, and big data-driven advertising, how has this changed how we can tell stories?
When considering storytelling, I've borrowed a concept from Albert Chen, formerly IDEO and now founder of Pebbo a Human Centered Design firm.
For effective storytelling, it requires Craft, from leveraging the skills,experience and creative talent of your teams (or agencies) and points of view, as stories have meaning that help the audience understand who they are, so for effective storytelling we need to consider addressing different points of view.
Stories help take people on a journey leading them to a place that reaffirms themselves and their meaning and aspirations in life.
It's these traits of storytelling that make it such a powerful tool for brands and marketers and help drive resonance with the audiences that hear them.
Storytelling is knowing your punchline, your ending, knowing that everything you’re saying, from the first sentence to the last, is leading to a singular goal, and ideally confirming some truth that deepens our understandings of who we are as human beings. We all love stories. We’re born for them.
~Andrew Stanton, the storyteller behind Toy Story and Wall-E
So in an age of "programmatic marketing" the gap between technology and storytelling must be bridged. With marketing only powered by technology, we lose the heart of storyelling. Programmatic should not just be about algorithms, data, and machine learning.
Rather than trying to replace storytelling, ad tech should embrace storytelling.
1.Storytelling in the Modern Day: Online videos as platforms for storytelling (the right place)
With TV (and ultimately film) being the fathers of storytelling, video has a legacy as a medium that immerses audiences and allows them to experience the story that is being told and truly come along the journey.
This is the power of video.
In China, millions of stories are being watched, listened to, and shared everyday online, with advertising spending following suit.
Whilst the US expects digital advertising to surpass traditional TV spending by 2017, in China we've seen this shift from traditional TV to OTV channels happen faster with digital ad spending out-spending TV since in 2015 solidifying its position as the most popular advertising medium with 51% of media spend (vs 36% in the US).
Chinese Social Storytellers
With online vide commanding 30% of time of the average Chinese Netizen, there truly is a huge consumers demand for stories. Chinese netizens’ craze for online videos has made them springboards for many key opinion leaders (KOLs), such as Papi Jiang, Yi Xiaoxing, Quandan Zhang, and Xiaoqi Mo. All of them won their first group of loyal fans by making hilarious and quirky online videos for the public.
With the growth of live-streaming, rapid rise of the KOL's in China, and new social video platforms for the youth like bilibili, these new mediums have continue to drive this format from being a passive to an interactive form of storytelling.
With this in mind, marketers are catching up, with 64% of marketers expecting video to dominate their strategies in the near future.
2.Crafting the right message
So once advertisers have chosen their medium, the next step is to figure out how to tell a story in the most effective way.
In a TED talk by Andrew Stanton, the storyteller behind Toy-Story and Wall-E, he introduces how to tell effective stories with The Unifying Theory of Two Plus Two.
"Make the audience put things together. Don't give them four, give them two plus two. The elements you provide and the order you place them in is crucial to whether you succeed or fail at engaging the audience... It's the invisible application that holds our attention to story.
The secret to crafting a good story is by feeding the audiences natural desire to problem solve and to deduce and deduct. Don't give the audience the whole story all at once.
As humans we enjoy the satisfaction of the chase - we can't imagine proposing on the first date, yet as marketers we find ourselves too often fighting to deliver our message in just 15 or 30 secs (on pre-roll video).
With this in mind, how we can we leverage the power of programmatic to help us become better storytellers (and marketers)?
There are two key ways programmatic can help:
2.Effective Reach - better ad spend via frequency control
Sequential storytelling enables a user to see a series of 'stories' in a given order, enabling the user to see 'episodes' that help them take them through a journey.
As a creative, this provides new opportunities to put your imagination to work to rethink brand stories you wish to tell that work together, not just alone as singular creatives.
For a brands story, this might be helping your user understand the different brand benefits and help educate the audience. It can help lead the user to appreciate the different scenarios and use cases that reinforce the need.
Like Hansel and Gretel, we leave a trail bread crumbs of both the brand and product benefits that lead the way home – and allow the audience to revel in the satisfaction of the aha moment when they find the relevance of your product in their everyday life.
By reinforcing the brand benefits and remarketing to these audiences across other media channels, brands can drive stories that perform.
Sequential telling is effective because it reinforces the brand messages to customers in a good experience for the audience. Telling a story piece by piece is more effective than overwhelming the audience all at once and helps unlock that natural curiosity.
Sometimes, 2+2 > 4
Delivering Reach with Cross-device
Users now live simultaneously and seamlessly across platforms and devices – so as a marketer we need to navigate this new environment.
In this fragmented world, we’ve brought together the brightest technical minds and work with leading partners to break down those silos to leverage cross-device technologies that help identify one user across multiple devices.
By understanding multiple devices belong to the one user, it means you can understand and limiting the frequency by which they see your advertising.
Why is this important? As it provides a better user experience than being shown the same ads in addition to delivering better effective reach by ensuring your advertising spend is spread across a larger audience base.
3.Understanding Point of view & 'Perspective Storytelling'
There are a thousand ways to interpret the same story - and the same goes for brands. Brands have a core message but the audience can have different interpretations.
Powerful stories confirm a truth that deepens our understandings of who we are as human beings. Different people, discover different truths.
By understanding the audience from his or her point of view, you can tailor their own stories and use cases. In this way, each audience hears the right message that delivers the best brand resonance by communicating what matters most to them.
Leveraging dynamic creatives
The beauty in the opportunity today, is we can understand those different perspectives through data, and we have the opportunity to craft and deliver the messages that will resonate most.
By working with data partners we can identify the different audience demographics with distinct segments and then through technology we can tailor our stories in ways we never could before.
Via the audience segments, user A could be defined as “30-50yrs” and "family' based on cookies of the users’ browsing history, and Dynamic Creatives technology can select a video creative themed with the key USP for the family segment, such as larger boot space for an automotive manufacturer. Additionally, if user B is identified as a youth segment person aged “20-30yrs,” the dynamic creative technology can select a creative highlighting the "sports mode" for user B.
By leveraging the point-of view and perspective story-telling, the result was revealing: actual CTR (click-through rate) hit 5 times of the expected figure. This is the power of finding the right audience and delivering customized messages.
Understanding the journey - leveraging full-stack technologies
So now, advertisers have delivered the right ad to the right audience at the right place - does the story end here?
To deliver a story that performs – means looking past the advertising story to understand the users next step, and ultimately the user journey. By measuring across both the advertising journey and site journey, we can understand the insights that enable us to identify the stories and journeys that resonate most.
Understandingly this is ultimately what delivers the best performance and is what is unique about our own story.
Whilst a good ad tech platform tracks performance statistics after the marketing campaign so that it knows what could have been done better. But a great ad tech platform tracks data during the campaign.
Unlike post-campaign analysis, by measuring in relatime enables you to be action-oriented. Post-campaign analysis provides wisdom after the event; but nothing could be done on this given campaign as the campaign is over.
However with real-time insights, advertisers to take actions immediately and modify their campaign strategies, ad creatives and even landing pages.
By tracking impressions and clicks, and bounce rate, it constantly refreshes our understanding of the audience; monitoring ad traffic and channel performance and optimisation from the stories you tell.
The Power of Story-telling
Whilst we were brought up with stories since the day we were born - the types of stories and tools available to us have given us more opportunities for both creativity and performance than ever before.
By levearging sequential story-telling, you can help leverage the power of stories to their full potential. The technologies now available can enhance and preserve the impact of your ads and by delivering fresh content and creatives to a tailored audience, which in turn improves the audiences experience with your brand.
Whilst this might sound like a fairytale, research shows sequential story-telling ultimately leads to better brand recall and conversion uplift and is a powerful tool for brands to leverage.
The next chapter
All in all, as the pages turn on the old mode of advertising continue to turn, advertisers should leverage storytelling that not only delivers a powerful message, but can stand out to the audience and cross the user journey from exposure to purchase. Smart advertisers marry ad tech with storytelling: ad tech assists advertisers to tell a story to the right audience in the right way at the right platform.
Rather than trying to replace storytelling with technology, the best marketers will embrace technologies and enable a new chapter of stories to be told.