Trade promotion is but one tool in the arsenal of marketing departments aiming to boost brand awareness and market share. Advertising has traditionally been an equally, if not more significant component, but the power of many traditional advertising channels – print and television, in particular is declining as a result of the massive shift in the way people consume content, switching from free-to-air TV to video-on-demand services and from newspapers and magazines to smartphones.
This has given rise to a whole new industry, what a study into the phenomenon calls ‘sustained storytelling’. The Study in Brand Transformation, from US-based content marketing company Skyword, asks: “Are enterprise marketers transforming their organisations for sustained storytelling?”
To answer that question it commissioned a survey of 190 marketers at large enterprises (more than 500 employees) in the US. It concludes: “Many brands are turning to sustained storytelling as the primary way to engage with and convert customers across a wide array of digital channels and mobile devices,” and it says this shift requires marketing teams to adopt new organizational structures. “They need to gain greater insight into what motivates their audience members, adopt technology and processes to support scalable publishing and distribution models, and recruit talent more aligned to publishing than traditional marketing roles.”
However, it found that few organisations had made this shift. “Despite profound shifts in the way people consume information and relate to brands, companies surveyed within the research were only in the early stages of transforming their marketing teams to adapt to this shift.”
The study found new marketing roles emerging. “Companies are beginning to invest in brand publishing roles. From the top 10 roles, 28 percent of the companies had content marketers on their staff and 33 percent of companies indicated they had an editor on their staff. In addition, new ‘storyteller’ and ‘evangelist’ roles are beginning to emerge, accounting for six percent and four percent respectively.
As to the type content being produced to tell brand stories, video topped the list: 49 percent of respondents were producing videos. Blog posts were the second most popular, 45 percent, followed by smartphone applications, 41 percent.