Who doesn’t love a good story?
It’s naïve to believe that data alone is compelling enough to create the impact we desire.
In an information age dominated by computers, smartphones and the sophisticated use of print, the battle for people’s attention is fierce. Audiences are exposed to data everywhere, and the healthcare space is no exception. All of this exposure results in information overload and shortened attention spans
Just because we think something is important doesn’t mean everyone else will think it is. Everyone else has messages and data too, and ours can easily get lost amongst the noise. That is, unless we employ a tactic to make sure we stand out.
Data simply isn’t enough to grab attention. We need storytelling.
In recent times the idea of telling stories as a business tool has become increasingly popular, with ‘storytelling’ now a buzzword. That said, I’m suspicious of trends. I have an in-built resistance to most corporate and marketing speak, which often sounds more sophisticated than it actually is. But the language of storytelling isn’t fluff, nor is it a fad; its use predates the imagination of any latté-sipping marketeer by thousands of years. The art of telling stories is built into human nature and has shown time-honoured effectiveness in reaching listeners. Stories are memorable and immersive – exactly what’s needed in the fight for audience engagement.
This is why we put together Ashfield Digital & Creative’s storytelling animation. We wanted to show not only the need for storytelling, but also its inherent strengths as a communication tool. Strongly crafted stories are well-placed to ensure our messaging stands out and resonates – it’s a no-brainer strategy in a world of information overload. Yet, it’s still underused.
In fact, I find it frustrating that with such a powerful tool available, many still just throw stats and data at healthcare professionals in their communications, with no accompanying story. Making the bold assumption that their data alone will be enough to stimulate the behaviour change they desire. We need to do better – particularly when it comes to healthcare. After all, these messages have potentially life-changing effects. If a patient’s quality of life depends on his doctor knowing about a new effective treatment for his condition, and we are trying to promote that treatment – should we not do all we can to get that messaging through? Are we not responsible for using everything at our disposal to deliver our content in the most impactful manner, so that doctor will listen and remember? I think we are.
Storytelling provides a way to cut through the noise surrounding us, post-digital revolution. It’s an ancient solution to a modern problem, and we’d be crazy not to use it to its full potential. Besides, who doesn’t love a good story?