March 25, 2016

The Art and Science of Brand Storytelling

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Tags: Podcast

Wendy Clark, the CEO of DDB North America, was a recent guest on our TechnologyAdvice podcast, B2B Nation: Smarketing Edition

In anticipation of 4A’s Transformation 2016 conference, we talk about several of the ongoing transformations in the marketplace today, including advertising and marketing, creative media, and customer interactions.

Below are some of the highlights from our conversation.*

The heart of advertising will always be storytelling.

“The definition of advertising has undergone a massive transformation within the 66 years that DDB has been practicing. The emergence of different platforms we can use to promote products, engage consumers, and create experiences — all of this will always change, but at the art and core of great advertising is still great storytelling.

“If you want to take the longest view possible, platforms always change. You can go from hieroglyphics to the printing press to transmission of voice, transmission of picture, and now the internet. But even back in the ages of etching stories on stone walls, it was always about a story.

“At the very heart of advertising is this wonderful combination of art and science that we call storytelling. If we can get that right, I’m not at all worried about all the platform changes that are to come.”

Creative and Media are reintegrating.

“When we split creative and media proudly in the 90s, we thought we were so brilliant and that we were really onto something great. The internet was in its infancy, and we didn’t even realize what we were doing at the time. Fast forward to now: connection and content are interchangeable.

“That means [creative and media] have to work exceptionally well together, if in fact not put these two back together in some fashion. That’s where the marketplace is. We need to acknowledge that change and lead the change to make sure we’re helping our valuable client’s brands succeed.”

Experience, engagement, and interaction are at the heart of every program we run.

“We do not control the conversation anymore. We’ve lost the unilateral ability to plan and execute and re-plan and execute again. That’s not what the industry looks like anymore. For many of the clients and brands we work with, the volume of conversation is not controlled by any agency, but rather from fans and people talking about the brand.”

Brands have to earn the right to join the conversation.

“You can’t add this huge volume of content that isn’t authentic to the conversation about your brand. Brands need to consider themselves as a participant in the community. “Good participants give and take. They’re constantly thinking about growing and enhancing the community. When brands honor their communities, they succeed and thrive. In my experience, I’ve seen many examples of that.”

Transformation 2016 is an opportunity to talk about what’s new, what’s next, what’s different.

“How are we are going to protect and enhance this community and industry that we all love? This conference will be an opportunity to learn, grow and share together. I’m also excited for the first time to be in front of an audience as a member of DDB and to talk about our story a little bit, our observations, what we’re learning and focusing on, and some of the things our clients are doing. That will be a tremendously proud moment for me.”

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To learn more about Transformation 2016 and see the full lineup of speakers and sessions, click here. B2B Nation: Smarketing Edition is a podcast for B2B sales and marketers, featuring expert opinions and advice on the most important topics in the industry.

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*Some written excerpts have been paraphrased to enhance readability.