Is technology transforming the art form of storytelling?

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

Is technology transforming storytelling?

The art form of storytelling has been around since the dawn of human history and has survived each wave of technological evolution experienced since. New technologies don’t tend to replace an art form but rather the augment it to empower creative people and artists to innovate and explore.

In the creative advertising world, we are at a point where user data, AI, automation and creative talent are converging to build a perfect storm of new storytelling for marketers where human talent is as crucial as ever before.

At its very core for brand and performance marketers alike, marketing is all about storytelling – successful marketers are those who can build a compelling narrative around their brand or business that builds emotional resonance with their audience.

However, the creative advertising process now involves more complexity than ever, with each platform (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and so on) offering distinct audience choice, differentiated user behaviour and unique environments to engage in compelling storytelling.

The established landscape is also being disrupted: TV, which was traditionally the medium of choice for bringing the romance and emotion of storytelling to life, was overtaken by digital for the first time in Europe in 2016 as brand and video dollars migrated rapidly to mobile as a channel.

In fact, it’s estimated that by 2020 there will be a x13 growth in video where 75% of all mobile data traffic will be video-first. Mobile and video continue to be key drivers of the online ad market in Europe representing 42% of the total display pie and in excess of 50% in more mature markets like the UK.

A shifting landscape

Creative advertising strategy and development is widely cited as a major priority for CMOs in 2017 because consumers continue to be exposed to advertising over 5,000 times a day. Marketers generally agree on the need to invest in creative advertising strategies that evoke ‘stopping power’ with ‘creative density’ to break through the noise and the clutter.

Moreover, the rapid development of mobile and movement towards video presents marketers with a real challenge in how they can ensure video-based storytelling is effective.

There is additional complexity in the advertising landscape where smartphone penetration is slowing in Europe and for the first time in 2016 experienced only 3% YoY growth – lack of supply and increased demand is a forcing marketers to introspect and focus on maximising the value and strength of their media investments.

It is definitely a buyer’s market with major marketers like Gabe Leydon at Machine Zone and Marc Pritchard at P&G insisting on higher standards for the use of first party data, buying models, viewability, measurement and, of course, transparency. This is inherently positive as it means media is finally on course to be quantified and optimised appropriately.

Creative is key factor of leverage in overall media performance, however, in the age of programmatic advertising and remarketing, ‘ad fatigue’ has become a huge pain point for marketers. Manual methods of addressing this are inefficient and ineffective. This is where the employment of Artificial Intelligence comes into its own.

True AI in creative

True AI at the intersection of technology and creative means marketers can be empowered via algorithms that have the ability to proactively learn from data patterns, source invisible relationships between variables between a sea of parameters and predict the outcomes at scale.

Practically speaking in creative advertising this means marketers can automate optimisation of live performance data at campaign level using ad creative as the biggest lever. This creates intelligent and incremental efficiencies upon each ad sequence to improve prediction and reach desired objectives in a fully automated rules-informed solution – directly integrated with ad-serving to boost overall ROI and ROE.

ReFuel4’s AI and proprietary SAAS technologies act allow strategic planners and creative directors to optimize their campaigns against millions of parameters in real-time, leveraging the creative assets of ReFUEL4’s 10,000 human designers on a pay-for-performance basis.

The focus on creative storytelling via personalised, evocative, video-first creative using scalable, sustained, data-driven methodologies to optimise media spend is where ReFUEL4 can help both brands and performance marketers in building a market-beating creative strategy.

The message for marketers is clear: empower your human talent with AI-based insights and automation technology to tell new stories in immersive, engaging ways.

Winner of Facebook’s 2016 Innovator of the Year, ReFUEL4 is the world’s leading data-driven creative platform, delivering access to 10,000 global designers backed by predictive AI and automation technology. Learn more here.

Get the Newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest news and insights.

Subscribe

Ross Sheil

Ross Sheil is general manager, commercial at ReFuel4 EMEA.

All by Ross