From Probing to Promotion – Four Catalysts to Manifestation of a Story

Consumers buy with Emotion and Justify with logic, apart from the daily need of bread & butter.

In the advertising world, a powerful storyline for a target audience is the spinal cord. With the relevance being not only for ‘present’ but slightly ‘future looking’ as well, with the connect of an emotion while stitching the value a particular brand or the product brings/ adds to the life of the consumer. And at times, the hero emotion may supersede the value it brings. For example – a cold drink is primarily water, sugar and flavour. Here a specific emotion will play the hero. While a Ayurvedic face cream may be more ingredient driven. The Reason to Believe (RTB) needs to be consistent at least for a considerable time for the target audience, else it can leave them confused.

Here are top 4 focus areas that I strongly believe that has the power to make or break a strategic approach in advertising and marketing. And these will always be in context to building connect with the target audience.

     A) Research followed by probing

Must be focused and swift. That starts from –what is the brief, product understanding accordingly what all to study and research about, ensuring credible sources for secondary research and always include some amount of primary research. I recall the time before search engines and a handful were using AltaVista in the 90s. Hence, my message to this generation is leverage the ‘ease of access to information’ and then of course making sense out of that information with relevance to the brief. Hence, this must be the step one, where need to also study the competitors of the brand while identifying the opportunity which will lead to bringing in a differentiated value.

Not only research is important but to be able to make sense from the study, it is important to spend some time probing deeper which entails asking deeper questions and examining the facts , before arriving at the story.

     B) Story & Manifestation

What exactly is a story? Story is a description of imaginary or real people and events, and it usually has a lucid structure. a climax and a trigger that will lead the audience to get inspired to take some action with respect to the story.

Folks from the 80’s through 90’s will definitely recall these-

  • Neighbour’s Envy Owner’s Pride
  • Jab Main Chota ladka tha tha, badi shararat karta tha
  • Bhul na jaana ECE bulb laana
  • Hamara Bajaj
  • Washing Powder Nirma
  • Yehi hain Right Choice Baby. Aha!

While washing powder meant Nirma. Pepsi meant Right Choice. What is that one common thing between all the above? The copy writing driven by how the story is told and of course the production.

Understanding what do the words actually mean – Narrative is the experience or the visualisation of the connect by the narrator whereas descriptive story is analysis of any topic desired.

C)    Micro-Copy

This I call as the secret weapon , a tiny piece of text which much of the UX of a product will pivot from. Micro-copy an extension of your brand’s voice.

Human nature is , when we want to know what we have to do – clear instructions help. That’s what micro-copy does for us; it provides just-in-time clear instructions, as opposed to an instruction manual Micro- copy. If you have a brand style or tone guide then you want to make sure that as much as possible your micro-copy adheres to it. If you use a certain explanation of a field and its data on one part of your website – you need to use the same explanation elsewhere too. Most importantly, the launch of every campaign could be leveraged ion website with the help of microcopy.

D)    Promotion (One of the 5 Ps that has found its new found significance in the Digital ecosystem)

EdgeRank is the Facebook algorithm that decides which stories appear in each user’s newsfeed. The algorithm hides boring stories, so if your story doesn’t score well, no one will see it. The 3 core ingredients to the algorithm being –

  • Affinity Score
  • Edge Weight
  • Time Decay

In 2007, a Facebook engineer said in an interview that only about 0.2% of eligible stories make it into a user’s newsfeed. That means that your status update is competing with 499 other stories for a single slot in a user’s newsfeed.

To encapsulate, relevant and swift research followed by probing, building on the copy to have the story manifest, in tandem focus on micro-copy and paid media efforts help to measure the brand advertising & marketing initiatives.

Afterall innovating, failing fast will be the key keeping a combination of 2 elements at the centre of the ‘Flywheel’ – Consumer and Growth.


The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Ankoor Dasguupta
Ankoor Dasguupta is a Marketing practitioner, and advocate of social impact, driven by kaizen.

Ankoor believes in the power of Energy and Energize while bringing to the table a pedigree of 23 years with a rare combination experience across the spectrum of media - print, digital, mobile, event productions & successful pilot projects. Worked across functions - ad operations, business operations, content, strategy, sales, events, media planning & buying. Ankoor has been part of six Sigma Green Belt project and also worked in cross functional roles with - conglomerates and start-ups. Ankoor has been part of the core pilot team of launching International IPs such as ad:tech, iMedia Summits and TechCrunch events in India. Ankoor has directed and enabled the winning of multiple pitches while actively involved in overall and tactical strategy. Trained from Dale Carnegie in Mentoring, Ankoor is a knowledge manager, avid writer with more than 50 published articles: speaker and jury in multiple forums including reputed B-Schools. Most recently Ankoor has been onboarded on the Advisory Board -Marketing Department at ISBR Business School. Ankoor is POSH Certified and has been selected to be part of core Committee for POSH at 2 organizations during his work tenure till now. Ankoor is also a Tabla player and wishes to sky-dive more often.

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