Get your story straight

A couple of weeks ago, our Creative Director John Taylor, spoke at Teesside University's first ever Digital Marketing Futures conference.

7th July 2019

7th July 2019


Estimated Reading Time 7 Minutes

John Taylor

John Taylor

John Taylor

Written by John Taylor

The event was the first of its kind to be held in the North East, bringing together marketing professionals and business leaders to share insight from the world of digital marketing and its related sectors.

As well as sessions from the who’s who of digital marketing in the North East, the conference featured keynotes from industry giants Microsoft, Bing and Hyper Island.

Digital Marketing Futures at Teesside University

John’s talk focussed on the role of brand, with an emphasis on the importance of clarifying your brand story to provide a powerful platform which sits right at the heart of your digital strategy and supports business growth.

For us, digital isn’t just about generating noise, fighting for your brand messages to be heard and engagement for engagement’s sake. We believe your digital strategy is all about creating high performing digital tools, targeted persona led content and relevant brand engagement. This requires clear understanding of your audience, and most importantly clarity and consistency from your brand storytelling, as well as a relevant and remarkable brand toolkit.

John said: “Digital is a fast moving, ever evolving channel filled with powerful tools, exciting platforms, intelligent algorithms and in-depth subscription models. But at the end of the day they are all just tools.

"Without the right story to tell, they are all potentially a waste of money.”

"Your brand is the electricity that will power them and the clearer your story the better value you will get from them.”

“It doesn’t matter if you have a pen and paper, a typewriter, a MacBook, a full suite of digital tools or an entire television studio at your disposal; they are all just tools.

Creative Director John Taylor speaking at Teesside University's Digital Marketing Futures conference

John and a familiar face at Digital Marketing Futures.

Humans relate to stories—that’s one thing that hasn’t changed for thousands of years and probably never will. We’ve used them long before the written word and we’ll still be using them long after the digital tools we use today are gone. Good stories are timeless, they transcend tools, channels and media. You just need to find yours.

Think Paddy Power or Greggs. Just two shining examples of brave, people focused and engaging digital strategies.

Paddy Power’s close-to-the-bone mischief making is only made possible by a unwavering dedication to their Jester / Rebel archetype. They know that attention grabbing pranks, deliberately designed to rile up particular personality types, will not only resonate with their audience but guarantee a ton of earned media. They let their detractors do their marketing for them with Twitterstorms and outrage in the newspapers, even going so far as to change the ‘Head of Marketing’ job title to ‘Mischief Champion’.

There’s no doubt your digital team will be guided by a clearly defined brand story and archetype that drives your online character and tone of voice; empowering all important employee buy-in and enabling maximum return on investment from your digital strategy.

Paddy Power's World Cup 2014 campaign.

Paddy Power's World Cup 2014 Amazon campaign

Don’t make the same mistake that many organisations make—dismissing brand as just another visual box to be ticked separate from marketing and digital.

In reality brand isn’t one thing, it’s everything.

It’s intrinsically linked to your digital strategy, and having a clearly defined brand story with its own unique and authentic values, archetype, character and personality fundamentally influences every decision you make and every tool you choose.

If you get your brand story clear from the start, you’ll find making those decision and using those tools not just easier but also a lot more focussed, more consistent and more effective.

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