I had the pleasure of doing a talk for Quadia as part of the Video Bootcamp. My role was to put video in the context of storytelling, strategy and the future.
Usually, when I do a session, I start with a key question. In this case; video? Answer; yes! Or as a better answer; yes but preferably anchored in the fundamental story of the organisation.
Storytelling as a common thread
In the last two years, I have written a number of books about books, covering innovation, future trends, social media, climate change, organisational resilience and strategy and sense-making.
One of the core themes across all those books is the importance of storytelling. Applicable and applied everywhere:
Technology is catching up
As with everything in business, you now have to put that storytelling into the context of technology developing at exponential speed, Moore’s law on steroids in every part of science you can imagine. Your smartphone 15 years ago was a skyscraper full of computers. Science fiction becoming science fact.
If you are a marketer you need to know about neuroscience, IoT, data, AR, VR, AI, 3D printing, ICT, blockchain and how they all interact with each other (like lego blocks) and how they will impact on predicting behaviour, customer service, distribution, media channels, measurement and metrics, personalisation, transparency, but also raw computing power soon able to tell stories at a level never seen before. Where everything you see becomes smart and therefore a medium (and a distribution channel). Where interactive video is only the beginning. Where VR and AR are coming at you at an exponential rate.
Primarily and at its simplest level, it has been proven over and over again that the only way to capture the attention of your audience and to cut through all the media fragmentation is a good story that touches the heartstrings. Sociobiology and the Lindy effect. We have been communicating through stories for thousands of years and will do so for thousands of years in the future.
With a particular emphasis on visual and emotional storytelling. Visual because it is a lot quicker (important when our attention span is getting shorter) and emotional so that we remember. Which means that every company and organisation, at a minimum, will have to start taking video and visualisation a lot more seriously.
The soft stuff
Technology commoditises everything. You can buy AI and cloud computing by the kilo. Technology will not make you different. Therefore, marketing will become crucial. As an integral part of the business. As Drucker said “because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two, and only two, basic functions: marketing and innovation”. And to add my own view, with your organisational culture as the last marketing battleground. The soft stuff.
All the (old) marketing rules apply. Same is lame. You need to be different. You need to know whom you are targeting. It needs to be consistent. Most important, it needs to be authentic and grounded in the mission, vision, values and passion of your organisation (the soft stuff). Everything will become increasingly transparent. If your own staff do not believe and live your story, you are on a hiding to nothing. The human mirror neurons will kill you if you are not seen as authentic.
A lot of organisation have lost touch with their roots and find it difficult to explain why they are different. Let alone tell a story. Give us a day, and we will find you the story and the not-to-copy.
Some tools to use
Here are a few ways to start yourself:
History, where did the company come from. Why did it start?
Culture audit, what are the storied told, the language used, the trophies, artefacts, testimonials, colours, music, animals, onboarding, belief systems, behaviours. principles, etc.
Reverse attribute listing
My favourite is attribute listing as it takes a very holistic approach that impacts not only the story but also the future business model and future opportunities. It is a technique where you split your company or your product into the smallest parts possible and start asking a few questions per individual piece:
- is there a story
- how does it add to the experience of service or product
- is it a differentiator
- is it core
- what can technology can we apply now
- what technology is available in 2-5-10 years that could be applied
- can we outsource it
- what emotions are involved
- what emotions are triggered
- does it have a negative or positive climate impact
- can we use it as a talk trigger
- can we visualise it (video, VR)
- can it be digitised
- can it become a distribution channel
- how quick or slow is it
- does it add to the friction
- can it be removed
- how much does it cost
- how much does it add to the profit
- how does it add to ZMOT, FMOT, SMOT, UMOT
Content Providers and Quadia
I am an associate of the Content Providers. The Content Providers are 20 associates with high-level storytelling experience with companies such as Adidas, eBay, KPN, KLM, NS, RBS, ABN Amro and Ajax. We are primarily focussed on the development of corporate stories, formats and content boot camps.
Quadia offers its customers a complete package to make the best use of video for B2B, B2C and B2E. It is a full-service video-playground. With clients such as Randstad, Nationale Nederlanden, ASCO Direct, ING and Postcode Lottery.
If you want to discuss storytelling and video over a coffee, call Marc from Content Providers (+31-6-21830983) or Frank from Quadia (+31-6-50293173).