We are living in times where any service or delivery of services via digital channels is growing at a breakneck pace. Today, an organisation’s growing base of data collection – be it in-house data storage to third-party analytics tools – can be traced back to the need for monitoring performance, gaining insights and measuring ROI.
Even though a substantial effort is being made in collecting, maintaining and analysing large amounts of data, the fact of the matter is that it still remains largely for internal consumption. Very few companies are turning their rich data sources into valuable stories. Companies are just beginning to understand and stitch these data resources into their larger brand narrative. What will come out of these data-driven stories is a unique voice that not only provides brands with an edge over their competitors but also instils faith in the brand promise.
Why Embrace Data-backed Narratives
Lend Credibility To Your Message
Quite often advertisers confuse great copywriting with a punch line. In the age of digital advertisement where a customer just takes a few seconds to decide their action upon viewing an ad, your copywriting needs to deliver not just the value proposition but credibility as well. The limited space of your banner ads needs to communicate all this and a lot more in just a couple of words. This is where brand owners can back their punch lines with data that extends their credibility and product value.
One of the most thought-provoking blogs that I’ve come across, Wait but why does a brilliant job in settling debatable point of view (POV) by using data visualization. Their post on the American election verdict served a great example (and a lesson) of plotting data in a manner that lends credibility to your argument.
“In American politics, the party zig-zag is one of the most reliable patterns you can find. Over the last century, one political party has maintained power for over 12 years straight exactly once—the 20 years Democrats were in power between 1932 and 1952—and that was a time of exceptional circumstances because of World War II. It’s been a full zig-zag.”
Visuals Register Better Than Text
Studies have shown that text supported by visuals is 43% more persuasive. Organisations can leverage this inherent capability to build content that grabs attention and delivers the key message. By examining the data and finding relevant insights which can then be processed into compelling content, brands can look at a better message retention rate and directly impact the brand’s recall value.
How To Integrate Data Into Your Brand Narrative
- Build a story that resonates with your target audience. Now, this could be anyone, from investors to customers, any good story must be built around a sound structure. It needs a beginning, middle and end. It needs a hero, a theme and a reason to exist.
- Spend time on finding relevant data. You might spend weeks collating data from multiple sources or even conduct your own market research. Good, credible data makes a real difference when you come to write your story. Throwing random data would do more harm to your brand. Not only will it fall flat but will give an impression of a brand that is unsure of the message it wants to convey.
- Find the story in the data. The story might present itself in a surprising way, or you may create a story from unrelated data that adds value to your target audience. Along with the data, decide on the design that will best represent the data. Comic with blurbs? Static charts? Infographic? There are plenty of visualisation tools.
- Your channel for promotion determines how you’d want to spread the story. Social media? A video will be better. Blog post? For serious readers, leverage pies and graphs. At the end of the day, certain channels are optimized better for a specific type of design.