MARKETING AFRICA MAL 18/17 mal 18:17 online - Page 66

MARKETING EVOLUTION TELLING YOUR STORY By Marion Wakahe W e live in a new attention economy that’s characterized by the following major elements: Short Attention Spans: Researchers have shown that our average attention spans have dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds as of 2015 (goldfish apparently have a larger attention span at 9 seconds…). Keyed Timing: If you miss it, you miss it. We all saw the power of Oreo’s tweet, “You can still dunk in the dark” and KCB’s tweet, “When your customers don’t come to you, you go to them. #TembeaKenya.” Information Saturation: It’s been referred to as ‘infobesity’ or ‘infoxication’. We’re barraged with so much information especially online; every piece of information just feels like another piece of information. People are easier to reach but harder to engage: Through e-mail and social media companies can target individuals and individual organizations that they feel would be interested in their products. However (connected to the point above) there’s little guarantee that targeted audiences will pay attention if at all. With all these odds the question is, ‘‘ Telling stories is something that seems to be part of our genetic code. Even my 4 year old nephew can narrate stories of his time in school, at play, at swimming, etc. Simple stories of course, but stories all the same. Research has shown that personal stories and gossip make up to 65% of our conversations.” 64 MAL 18/17 ISSUE “What to do?” We ll, a resolution has been found and it’s something we’ve been doing for millennia actually for over 40,000 years and it’s a story. But it can’t just be any story, it has to be a well told story and that’s a skill; a very enviable skill. I dare say; the most powerful people have been those who could tell good stories. I’ll start with my favorite, Christ Jesus. He told the story of the prodigal son, the sower, the wise and foolish virgins, just to name a few. Then we have famous names like Martin Luther King with ‘I have a dream’ and Barack Obama with ‘Yes we can.’ Then we have the infamous like Adolf Hitler with his story of a pure Germany; no matter your sentiments towards him that man was a good storyteller. The Cambridge International Dictionary of English defines a story as, “a description, either true or imagined, of a connected series of events and, often the characters involved in them.” Telling stories is something that seems to be part of our genetic code. Even my 4 year old nephew can narrate