The 4 Points of a Great Business Story

 

Communicating marketing impact is more important than ever.  Digital channels give us access to an incredible amount of data, which also means we're held to a high degree of accountability, especially when it comes to justifying a budget.

The goal of reporting is to clearly and quickly communicate results in a way that will gain executive buy-in, motivate your team, and unlock the resources necessary to make a significant impact on your company's objectives.

Optimization Storytelling Office Hour (1)

to achieve that goal, the framework outlined above provides a simple narrative progression for sharing your achievements with others.

The Challenge

The first point to make in a story is the challenge.  Every story has a meaningful conflict which needs to be overcome.  In this case, you should couch the conflict in terms of your company's bigger, high priority challenges.  For example, if your immediate challenge is to increase engagement on a webinar campaign, then frame it within the larger challenge your company has of closing deals with a specific type of account.

The Solution

As marketers armed with sophisticated technology, detailed strategies, and complex content, our solutions can get complex pretty fast.  As a rule of thumb, name the solution, but don't go down the road of explaining the details.  If your audience has questions, then give them a brief, non-technical overview.  What your audience really cares about is...

The Results

What is the quantifiable impact you made with this solution?  Make sure your impact is measurable.  Put a number on it and back it up with solid data you can easily reference.  Communicate and visualize only the result executives care most about, which are usually changes in lower pipeline stages and revenue generation.  Get as close to revenue as you can.

The Extension

Once you've won executives over with a great achievement, use this opportunity to explain your next steps and get their buy-in to make an even bigger impact.  Be specific in terms of timing and resources as well as the expected return on investment.

Fit your story into one slide, like the example above, and you're ready to make your move.

If you’re interested in learning more about storytelling and reporting, check out our 5 minute video on Storytelling Tips & Tricks.

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