Guest Post: Eve of Disruption - Story in A Dot


Over my career, I followed technology instead of marketing technology and its opened up a world to me that I couldn't have imagined 20 years ago. When I first started at Nine West Group 20 years ago, email marketing and building websites was starting to gain enough steam that regulations were being put into place to deal with spam and unsolicited advertising through email. We spent hours developing beautiful emails that took up a whole page and had lots of content / information and personalization!

Fast forward to today!! "Marketing is coming in smaller and smaller packages. We used to have 1 min TV ads; now we have 10 seconds to capture attention. We used to have full page ads; now we have 2 inches on Facebook. We used to see 500 ads per day; now we see 5,000. Your message has become a single dot in an ocean of marketing."This is an excellent description of today's marketing that started our discussion led by Maya Bourdeau. to help us through the journey of Story in a Dot: How to Pack an Experience into a Single Metaphor hosted by an amazing group - How Women Lead led by Julie Castro Adams.

Do you realize that 90% of the decisions you make are through your subconscious because our brains don't have the ability to consciously process the amount of information going to it at any given second. Add on to that, we comprehend and process visuals faster than words. In the marketing world, this means we need to go beyond words and bring in visuals to evoke emotion, position an idea and then create reaction. There is a process involved in creating the right metaphors to guide our target audience to activate their subconscious.

It's also important to note that sometimes there may be a high arching message you create to get to a wider audience but sometimes you need to also be specific to a smaller audience that will resonate better with your product/service and the message you are trying to put out there.

1. Visualize - What metaphors do you and your team see in the topic you are talking about?

2. Reframe - How do the ideas, visualization or metaphors validate your target's frame of mind and point of view?

3. Propel - Which of the metaphors evoke the key emotions you want your audience to feel?

We received some good examples of companies using metaphors, reframing the POV and evoking emotion.

- Duracell - Longer lasting batteries using freshness as an emotion

- 3D Crest - Whitening toothpaste evoking images of waves (cleaning) and mountains (strength) without being harsh).

- Ariel Detergent #Sharetheload, Changing the story of women's role in households in India (keep a box of tissues at hand! This is a tear jerker)

We also got a chance to briefly work through this process in smaller groups. Our group took the issue of environmental sustainability and how we could create a message that resonates with both the science and the non science believers on why we need to make change. We narrowed down to understanding that a message around love for future generations (children), the economic repercussions of no change, economic repercussions of making change and maybe even nationalism could be the direction this messaging should go.

Another group tackled the topic of getting an old school family run bank to start looking at successful millennial women as a target audience to grow their business. Most of the leadership is older white male and a new female CEO has just come into position. The group collectively looked at making the message be about opportunity lost by showing the gains competition are making in this target market.

The beauty of the How Women Lead events are the camaraderie, connections and knowledge gained through speakers and fellow attendees. As soon as you walk in you get a chance to network and get to know others in the room. You won't need to be wallflower at their events as you will always have someone to talk to :) For this event we even had a chance to explore the W.L.Gore Innovation Center - the inventors of Gore Tex!

When it comes to marketing and the ever shifting paradigms of what works we have come to a point where you need to be concise and yet hit the subconscious. For marketers this means learning new ways of creating and thinking! How does your company tell it's story in a DOT?

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