The Biggest Gap in Digital Marketing and the Storytelling Solution

The biggest gap in digital marketing today exists between capturing consumer attention and converting that attention into some sort of meaningful action for the brand. Like customer acquisition, sales, and retention. Filling this gap would instantly boost our conversion rates, ROI, and retention rates. Storytelling can help fill the gap, but in order to understand why storytelling is the solution, we must first dive deeper into the problem.

So, what’s missing in digital marketing?

As marketers, we are spending a ton of time, money and effort to capture people’s attention. Who can blame us right? With tools like social media and mobile, reach has become commoditized. Now brands big and small can reach their audience with their message. 

The result? Consumers are tuning brands out who don’t forge those authentic emotional connection. Ad blocker usage and opt-out rates are increasing at an exponential rate. 

It makes sense that we are trying to break through that noise and capture attention. 

My question to you is: You’ve got their attention, now what?

The biggest missed opportunity in marketing right now is holding that attention once we have it, and providing a compelling reason for audiences to take the actions we desire. 

Right now this process plays out in one of two ways

  1. We are trying to use the same tools that we use for reaching audiences, like social media or email, to convert those audiences. Conversion rates aren’t as high as they could be because those tools weren’t designed for conversion. 
  2. The second way is we are driving audiences from ads or social media to our website or a product page. But that puts all of the work on the audience to figure out where to navigate and what to buy. 

I believe we are missing a step in between capturing attention and conversion. 

That’s where storytelling comes in. Storytelling is the most powerful way to convert attention into action. 

Storytelling, the Most Powerful Form of Marketing

Why is brand storytelling so powerful?

Because humans are hardwired for stories.

uri hasson storytelling

Uri Hasson, professor of neuroscience at Princeton University has been studying how storytelling fosters deep social interactions.

Uri explains that, “Storytelling is something that humans do on a daily basis. it’s a very efficient tool for people to communicate what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling, and what they want other people to think and feel. He’s found that you can use storytelling as a way to transport people into your experiences and make them live your memories. It’s really a way to transfer memories across brains.”

Stories trigger a chemical release of dopamine and oxytocin within the brain, flood humans with a rush of emotions, and help people remember your messages. Facts wrapped in stories are 22x more memorable. 

Stories evoke emotions and create empathy within an audience. That feeling of “this brand is like me – I can see myself as part of their tribe”. 

Stories hold attention through tension, suspense, and uncertainty. 

Ultimately stories compel action and drive behavior as audiences seek to re-experience those feelings. 

So how can your brand stand out in a sea of sameness? How can you increase conversion rates, ROI, and retention? 

Inject storytelling into the gap that exists between attention and action.

Audiences Want Stories. Stories Matter.

People want to buy from brands they LOVE. 

They want to FEEL a sense of connection, a belonging.

People want to LAUGH with your brand.

They want to CRY with your brand.

They want YOUR brand to be THEIR brand, so they can show it off to their friends & tell your story. 

You see because YOUR story becomes THEIR story…

People want to connect with, & relate to, other people. The brands people represent give others an insight into their world, who they are. It helps people connect with others who are like them.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes. I grew up playing ice hockey. This quote is from Wayne Gretzky, the greatest hockey player of all time. He explained the reason for his success when he said, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

A more humanized approach to marketing is where the puck is going to be. Storytelling can get you there. 


If you ever have any questions about storytelling or how you can create, share, and track your stories at scale, please schedule a free storytelling consultation.