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Why Marketers Need to Be Part Storyteller, Part Data Scientist

March 16, 2023

If you’re like many marketers, you’ve always considered yourself a wizard with words…but not so much a data analyst. And while that might have worked back in the stone ages of marketing or advertising, marketing success now relies on combining storytelling with data to target your customers more precisely and really make your brand shine.

Marketing Storytelling

Today’s consumers aren’t usually moved by a hard sell. They want to hear your story and see how they fit into it. When you tell your story well, it reinforces your brand by getting potential customers and even internal staff more invested in what you do. Over time, this increases loyalty and improves the value of your product or service.

How Can You Tell That You Have a Great Brand Story?

When marketing storytelling is done well, it checks the following boxes:

  • Reinforces or clarifies your brand
  • Offers an experience rather than a commodity
  • Inspires your audience to come back for more (this could look like newsletter sign-ups, subscriptions, event attendance, or repeat purchases)
  • Uses data to understand customers and create stories that resonate

Using Your Website Data

Okay, here’s where it gets harder—but not impossible. If you’re serious about making your marketing effective, you need to combine storytelling with data science. (By the way, if you’re new to this, hop over to our primer on reading your analytics first.)

Good storytelling needs to do more than simply illicit an emotional response—it also needs answer questions and solve problems that are specific to your audience.

By analyzing data such as search terms, top landing pages, and the engagement metrics on your website, the picture of what your audience is looking for starts to come into focus. Don’t forget to keep an eye on industry trends as well—sometimes you can answer questions or solve problems before your customers think to ask.

Laptop on a desk with a stack of books, calculator, magnifying glass, and a graph on it

Data in Real Life

Think about it like this: Let’s say your business sells eco-friendly clothing.

You have a strong story about how your company is reducing water and plastic use, but your website analytics show that visitors are spending more time on a page about the manufacturers you work with. You also see searches for phrases like “fair trade” or “living wage” on your analytics platform.

Now you’re in a place to learn something: Not only do your customers care about the environment—their conscientious mindset extends to how the workers that make their clothing are being treated. With this data in hand, you can reimagine the way you tell your company’s story and strengthen the connection with your audience.

Learn More About Your Customers

Website data from Google Analytics or another platform can be extremely helpful, but you can learn even more if you start surveying your audience directly. Here are a few options to consider:

Put a feedback button on your website. If you want to know how your audience feels about your current content or an aspect of your story, install a short pop-up survey on your website. Just be sure not to make as short and sweet as possible.

Send an automated customer feedback survey. Customer satisfaction surveys are one of the best ways for companies to keep track of how their customers feel. Does your customer experience align with your brand? Why did your customers choose you? Answers to these questions can help you shape your storytelling efforts.

Put a feedback survey in your newsletter. Sometimes the response is low, but the answers you get from newsletter subscribers can provide vital insights into how your audience views your brand and what they want you to do better.

Putting It All Together

Once you start harnessing the right data and incorporating those insights into your storytelling, you’re ready to take your content strategy to the next level.

Developing a data-driven story about your brand is no easy task. So if you need a Nashville marketing agency with tons of experience to help with your messaging, we’ve got you covered. Let’s talk!