April 2018 - How Do You Get Attention Amidst All The Noise?

If the research is true that consumers see up to 10,000 messages a day, then how can you possibly break through all that clutter to be seen and heard, much less remembered?

According to Tony Chapman, a member of the Canadian Marketing Legends Hall of Fame, the best way to stand out from the tremendous amount of clutter that inundates us daily, is through storytelling. He knows from experience, as the head of two internationally renowned advertising agencies that a well-crafted story is far more persuasive than a features and benefits approach.

But why?  There is good science behind it actually. Paul Zak, the director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies, says you can blame it on a neurochemical called ‘oxytocin’. According to Dr. Zak, “Oxytocin is produced when we are trusted or shown kindness, and it motivates cooperation with others. It does this by enhancing the sense of empathy, our ability to experience others’ emotions. Empathy is important for social creatures because it allows us to understand how others are likely to react to a situation, including those with whom we work.”

Character-driven stories consistently cause oxytocin synthesis.  This means we relate to characters in stories, and if there is a crises or problem in the character’s life, we find ourselves subconsciously rooting for them. We develop empathy for them. If you, your product or your service, can help solve the problem of the character, then you become the ‘enabler’ that makes them look like a hero. That makes them feel great about themselves and about you.  Win. Win.

As part of our professional development mandate, ICTAM brought in Tony Chapman on March 29 from Toronto to speak about how to effectively use storytelling in business and communication. He gave an entertaining, informative keynote talk and then guided the participants through a perception-shifting workshop.