Stirring Storytellers: Steal the Show

Tip #1 – Focus on what’s unique about the way you used storytelling to win hearts and minds

Stand out from the crowd by telling us how exactly you stand out from the crowd

Every day, business executives are exposed to countless pitches boasting confident narratives and snazzy visuals. Your senior managers are no exception. What are you doing with your data and insights presentation that makes them stop, pay attention, and take action? The judges in the Genius Awards are looking for “messaging and branding that makes people’s hearts beat faster,” says longtime judge Gayle Fuguitt, formerly the Chief of Customer Insight and Innovation at Foursquare, as well as CEO of ARF.

Tip #2 – Quantify the contribution of storytelling to your analytics success

A good story makes the numbers stand out, sure, but by how much?

“Without good communication, you have no chance to foster adoption, no matter how good the underlying data might be,” says Marc Vermut, VP of the Knowledge Lab at Neustar. Effective storytelling can breathe life into your business needs and amplify the insights you uncover. But can you actually quantify how storytelling contributed to your project’s success? Tell the judges what baseline you’re comparing it to. Perhaps you’ve tested multiple dashboards for end users, or multiple data visualizations for decision makers to find the one that strikes a chord and builds up trust in the data. You can’t just tell the judges ‘Our tool increased sales by 10%, so our storytelling must have been pretty good.’

Tip #3 – Show how your storytelling ties into your company’s communications

Do you market the quality of your marketing analytics?

Good decisions based on robust marketing analytics are excellent PR material. Damian Fernandez-Lamela, the VP of Global Analytics at Fossil Group, says that one of the great benefits of applying to the Genius Awards was the opportunity to “retell our story in a way that was beneficial to us, internally and externally.” The process has helped him solidify Fossil’s reputation and attract new analytics talent to the company. Show the judges that your storytelling efforts are amplified by a concerted communication campaign.

Tip #4 – Show your work

Provide examples of particularly impactful visuals and narratives

This should go without saying, but we see too many entries in the storytelling category each year without any evidence attached to the application. So make sure you attach visuals to your entry. By the way, entries are not shared with anyone outside the judging committee, so you needn’t worry about key details within your entry being seen by anyone beyond that group.

Also, in your marketing analytics project, you’ve used great storytelling to create an emotional connection with your end-users, and make them more effective at their job. You might not believe it, but our judges are emotional beings too: if you create an emotional connection with them by sharing your work, they’re bound to tip the scale in your favor.

(Interested in tips for the other award categories? Click on the associated links here: GrowthAdoption, and Innovation)