Marketers are increasingly relying on a mix of owned, earned and paid media to disseminate content that tells their brand story.
B2B and B2C marketers are taking advantage of their ability to send more compelling messages to consumers, by sequencing exposure to that content, or creative, marketers hope to foster more direct engagement with a brand.
“The lines between content and advertising are blurrier than ever, thanks to the continued growth of native as well as the importance of paid channels for distributing marketing content,” said eMarketer analyst Nicole Perrin, and author of the new report “Storytelling in Sequence: How Brands Are Creating More Engaging Messaging.”
The blurred lines between ads and content, especially due to the importance of paid placements for disseminating marketing content, mean they are frequently both part of the sequencing picture.
Perrin talked about the ways that marketers are becoming better storytellers by sequencing their messages using art and science in her recent podcast. She said that successful marketing can happen when brands are willing to change the messaging based on prior behavior through better sequencing.
Sequencing is a clinical term that implies a marketer used multiple or progressive pieces of content in a sequence that led a user from one place to another.
Personalization and then automation is now foundational for all other marketing activities. "If you are going to do it at scale, it is going to require some automation," Perrin said during her podcast.
"If a user looks at two messages, then the third time might be the charm," Perrin said. "As an example, a mobile advertising company working with a movie studio on a big movie release might first hit me with the trailer on my phone. If I don't respond, the next time they find me on my phone, they won’t hit me with that again. If they see if I am on a desktop, they may assume I will watch it on my desktop. If I do watch it, then the next time they reach out to me I am being sent an offer to buy movie tickets."
This type of messaging allows marketers to take advantage of a range of formats and platforms to tell their story to consumers over time in a relevant—and respectful—way with both personalization and automation are at the heart of these efforts, she added.