“Only 27% of surveyed customers preferred our product.”
Riveting, to be sure. (We’re suckers for a good tragedy.) But as stories go, even Hemingway might call it a bit thin. Where’s the conflict? The drama? The problem that threatens all you hold dear and the hero who swoops in with a dazzling rescue?
Group Delphi Hearts Data
Don’t get us wrong; we love data around here. It’s the foundation of any growth-focused marketing strategy and it’s vital to offering personalized service. Modern marketers shouldn’t function without it.
And most don’t, if your LinkedIn feed is any indication. Give ‘er a quick scroll at your next working lunch and sip your chardonnay every time you see a statistic or percent sign. You’ll be loaded with ideas in no time!
The Three Pillars of Persuasion
The problem is that data alone does not persuasive marketing make. Just ask Aristotle, that master marketer who conceived three elements of persuasion 2,000 years before the first TED Talk:
- Ethos: Your character and credibility
- Logos: The logic of your argument
- Pathos: Your argument’s emotional weight
Story-Driven Marketing Gives Your Data Heart
You’ve got character and credibility. You’ve got logic built on data. That brings us to emotion. It’s not just the third pillar of an ancient philosophy; it’s a direct line to the human soul. And the greatest tool for tapping into it is story.
“Recently, I’ve talked to prominent neuroscientists whose experiments confirm what we’ve known for centuries: The human brain is wired for story,” wrote Carmine Gallo in a story for Inc.com. “We process our world in narrative, we talk in narrative and — most important for leadership — people recall and retain information more effectively when it’s presented in the form of a story, not bullet points.”
Ironically, the owner of perhaps the largest personal data repository in human history, Jeff Bezos, feels so strongly about stories that he famously banned Powerpoint presentations from Amazon meetings. Instead, he suggested executives present their content in “narrative structures.”
“I’m actually a big fan of anecdotes in business,” Bezos said at a 2018 Forum on Leadership. “I’ve noticed when the anecdotes and the metrics disagree, the anecdotes are usually right.”
Wonder, Awe, and Connection
NYT-bestselling author Donald Miller agreed that story is the most effective way to get the message across.
“Telling a story often creates a ‘clicking experience’ in a person’s brain, allowing them to suddenly understand what someone else is trying to say,” Miller wrote. “As such, those who can tell good stories will create faster, stronger connections with others.”
Of course, at Group Delphi, connection is what we’re all about. That’s why all of our mind-melting brand experiences are built upon the power of a great story.