Why data-driven storytelling helps drive results for brands
Using insight to create valuable, relevant content can form the basis of agenda-setting campaigns for B2B brands, as Festival of Marketing attendees found out.
Organisations that tell insight-led stories relevant to their target audience can increase demand for their products, boost sign-ups, amplify their brand campaigns and create qualified leads for the sales team.
This was the message from Katie Rowland, Northern Europe marketing lead at project management software provider Asana, speaking at the Festival of Marketing in a session entitled ‘Break through the noise: How to use data-driven storytelling to drive revenue’.
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Rowland cited Asana’s ‘Anatomy of Work’ study, which surveyed more than 13,000 people across seven countries, as an example of a piece of research which delivered beyond just revealing actionable insights.
Indeed, the findings are relevant to all companies and revealed that knowledge workers are spending 60% of their time on non-meaningful work. This includes communicating about work, searching for information, switching between apps and managing different priorities. Most of all, people are spending too much time following up on the status of their work, according to the report.
In 2020, the average knowledge worker spent 157 hours in unnecessary meetings and 236 hours duplicating efforts. This could mean more people are suffering burnout, teams are not aligned and deadlines are being missed.
“Our job is to find the stories that connect with audiences and engage customers.”
Emily Latham, Channel 4
The main global report was hosted on the Asana website but the survey provided an array of assets for the marketing team to use in a far-reaching campaign. The findings were packaged into landing pages, reports, blogs and a webinar that focused on the topic of imposter syndrome in the UK. These assets were used by the sales teams to engage with existing and potential customers.
“This was great content but we had to translate it into a real global campaign that could drive measurable results,” said Rowland.
Asana did this in three phases. The first phase was to publish and amplify the findings of the research, including encouraging employees to share across social media. Secondly, it used sponsored articles and email campaigns to encourage people to download the research so it could capture leads. Thirdly, it helped the sales team to activate sales with training and virtual customer events.
The company also repackaged its assets for regional markets. This included using local languages and relevant local trends. Even the customer quotes in the content were updated for each region.
The data-driven storytelling campaign created more than 50 assets and 40 pieces of global media coverage. Rowland said 37% of leads and 12% of its pipeline can be attributed to the ‘Anatomy of Work’ research.
“The survey did not only drive awareness, but also had a positive impact on our pipeline. It shows the benefit of building campaigns around data-driven insight.” Rowland’s advice to other organisations is to spend time mapping out the scope of any survey and to be clear about the goals being set and which themes to look at.
She added that if one function sets up a survey it needs partners from across the business to maximise its impact. The ‘Anatomy of Work’ survey was a collaboration between Asana’s corporate marketing, design, product marketing, corporate comms, demand generation, SEO and sales teams.
Rowland advised outsourcing the survey to a third-party researcher to give it more credibility and ensure things are done efficiently.■
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Asana's Katie Rowland on creating 'high-value, interesting content' through research