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Jac Phillips, Head of Brand and Marketing, Bank of Melbourne reveals her approach to attract and retain the consumer in an article via Marketing Mag. She starts from the point, Banking is seen as “not very entertaining.” Jac provides, in her story, some fresh ideas on marketing, content marketing in particular. Jac, “As marketers, our primary objective is to drive awareness and consideration of our brands. And in a communication cluttered marketplace where everyone is striving to capture consumer attention, we need to behave differently if we have any chance of cutting through.” Jac’s vision is her role is not to be seen as a retailer of products and services, but think like a media company foremost. She doesn’t think that many people are passionate about opening a bank account.
As a starting point, it’s a good idea to think and promote as a media company might do. Best to do away with the formalities and carefully structured statements that large organisations tend to employ as they connect with their audience. Place your efforts towards creating a story about your business, products and services and invite your consumers to respond. Invite them to share and add to the dialogue. Jac, “We need to engage people, not sell them things. More than ever brands need to become entertainers. We are connecting to things thanks to mobile technology. The future belongs to the curious.” This being the case, we should strive to create ideas that people want to share and then encourage dialogue not monologue.
Today, in our interaction with consumers, we see consumers invited to interact with us. Preaching and biased opinion has disappeared from the way businesses communicate. We see how businesses have become more vulnerable to opinion, more emphasis on listening to our customer’s opinions. This has become the preferred way to interact because it leads to the end result of people becoming satisfied and contented with our offerings.
Contented! What exactly does this mean? Samantha Murphy founder of Happy Contented shared with Jac her definition. “Essentially it’s anything you read, see or hear – articles, images, videos, and podcasts. And what makes great content? Truth. Humanity. It never seems to fail when we experience content that moves us. “Traditional agencies have added to the difficulty of transforming to content for brands because they have not adapted to the digital age or have done so in a piecemeal fashion.” A true content strategist not only creates the ideas for the content itself, but also understands the user experience surrounding it.” We are urged to consider how the content will be consumed, what will be the desired end result and the journey to bring it to fruition. There are many layers and it it’s different to many other media offerings such as television commercials and outdoor campaigns.
Samantha believes there are still unlimited opportunities in the content for brands story. “I think the opportunities for real story telling are unlimited. More than ever people are hungry for something real and meaningful in their lives. Brands who are willing to transparently share in creating real stories for real people have a lot to gain.” To make sure that you are on the mark when creating quality content it is important to separate the technical role from the storytelling role. Both are very different and you need both laid down properly to succeed in your objective. Samantha, “Creating an effective content strategy is more of a holistic, technical role which serves as a bridge between marketing and product or service. Storytelling, while there will always be an element of strategy, the focus is more on finding the most effective way and means to convey the experience of what happened.” The story and the listener are the most important priorities, not the call to action surrounding the product. To be successful with your advertising with brands, storytelling is the most important element leading to success.
And very importantly, Sam, “While I was at ad agency J Walter Thomson, it was challenging trying to convince people of the importance of not cutting corners and integrating content strategy at the very beginning of the branding phase, rather than being pulled in post site build. It isn’t effective with content being created to fit technology. It should always be technology supporting the content, so the content needs to lead the story.”
Some very good detail here from a leader in content marketing. We are continually drawn back to the rule to engage with our customers in an open way and present our brand in the form of a story telling experience. And, while technical structure is important it becomes the book that holds the pages of our story. At all times we must invite our consumers to engage with us in the advertisement, allow them to tell their story and share their experiences. Over time, this strengthens our product, the product becomes real and also allows us to build on other aspects of the branding that at the beginning wasn’t apparent. Drive to the core of everything that is real and don’t be afraid to tell our story in the ongoing processes which will eventuate. The idea of spending lots of money on creating a brand that might appear to catch the attention of our consumers, but without authenticity and without the sharing story telling functions, definitely belongs in the past.