Monday, November 4, 2013

Transmedia Storytelling – the secrect sauce of marketing

Storytelling is in the heart of every culture, community, family and human being. And no matter the what changes occur in the evolution of media, stories or content, which ever name you prefer, is in the heart of human interaction. In todays higly digitalized world every touchpoint between the consumer and the brand is media and media needs content.

Transmedia storytelling can be defined as a story that unfolds across multiple media outlets, touchpoints and platforms, and although it doesn’t always happen, with a degree of audience participation, interaction or collaboration. The purpose is to create a unified and engaging experience for the audience, where each medium really makes its own contribution to the development of the story. It is the best and most effective way to connect especially with the new generations of consumers and build a sustainable audience around a brand, as Red Bull has demonstrated.

It is also profitable because it redefines and increases ROI, increases impact over media, and can create new sources of income. Marketing executions no longer communicate about a medium that contains the story (tv ads directing you to see the product) but can actually be a part of the whole story. This can be seen in our upcoming brand content platform "Buy This!", that mixes fictional story with actual brands and their marketing content.

Why it is the future marketing

The noise in media is getting even louder while media keeps saturating. In order to get their voice heard brands and entertainment IP´s need to have multiple touchpoints to the audience and this means bigger budgets in the traditional marketing models. Transmedia storytelling lowers production costs by sharing assets across media and increases effectiveness, since no part is just a vessel for a message, but a part of a bigger story.

The challenge for entertainment IP´s to do transmedia storytelling is that different channels are owned or controlled by different partners that might not share the same vision or the long-term commitment. Usually this is because the main focus is given to the film or tv-series, making other channels and platforms just a way to capitalize the hype.

Product and service brands on the other hand usually have a clear vision and long-term commitment, but often face the problem of not having a consistent plan on how to do transmedia storytelling across multiple mediums and platforms while driving better business at the same time. This usually is because brand content is not considered to be something that the audience is willing to pay for, making the brand content and it´s distribution a marketing investment instead of source of income.

What will happen next 

We already have greater connectivity and consumer empowerment than ever before. Never before have people had so many devices and screens from which to follow a story, and now the consumers seek new experiences and a deeper engagement. That has created an on-demand culture, where consumers can turn on and tune-in 24 hours a day, creating an unseen need for content and storytelling. Brands find new revenue streams from content and become media themselves, offering besides great products and services, great content and stories.

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