Content+ 2021 Day 3: Connecting Elements of the Sales Journey

Content+ Day 3, showing the featured event speakers.
By Matt Harrington |

At first glance, the two sessions that made up day 3 of Pace’s Content+ virtual conference may have seemed like completely separate ideas—brand purpose and technology solutions to reach clients. But when it comes down to it, the two topics are 100% connected for companies trying to acquire, retain or grow business with customers throughout what can be a long sales journey.

Infusing Brand Purpose in Everything You Do

First, we had Vinoo Vijay, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at financial services firm Truist, discussing brand purpose and how Truist is infusing that purpose into everything they do as a company. In the second session of the day, a trio of technology executives—Dan Garraway, Co-founder of interactive video firm Wirewax; Ron Sadi, Senior Vice President, Data Cloud, of data insights company Zeta Global; and George Chung, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Jungo TV—talked about creative mediums and how to reach your audience effectively.

Vijay, with Truist, spoke about being in the unique position to help define a brand based around the purpose of trying to inspire and build better lives for customers and their communities. Not only is it the morally right thing to do, but it can significantly benefit your business.

A study of 8,000 global consumers found that consumers were four to six times more likely to buy from, trust, champion and defend companies with a strong purpose. But once a company develops its purpose, it has to be able to communicate it and promote its product or services to the right people who will not only care but also be motivated to buy as a result.

He said that financial services has typically been a “utilitarian” industry—one where the most important factor is just that the service (in this case, keeping a customer’s money safe and available) is met. But as technology innovations have made banking a digital experience and, at the same time, people’s ideas about what companies should provide from a service perspective also change, Vijay said what’s most important is how purposeful and intentional you are as a company toward the experience that your clients and communities have.

That purpose needs to show up in a tangible way, he added—it can’t just be talk. Vijay said another key component to purpose is showing care for the customer. Care can include service, he said, but it isn’t just service—it means being invested in the outcomes of your clients and their communities.

“Tech plus touch equals trust,” Vijay said. “We need the capabilities that technology affords [us] and marry [them] with actual human engagement and human care, and you get client trust.” Storytelling, he added, is one way to reinforce and reflect your brand values, but it’s part of a virtuous cycle. If your behaviors don’t reflect your brand’s purpose, your storytelling can’t be authentic and, therefore, won’t create that emotional connection with the client.

Reaching and Engaging Clients Through Innovative Solutions

Emotional connection was also a centerpiece of what Chung, with Jungo TV, spoke to as he discussed reaching the audience in a meaningful way. Jungo TV provides video content in a platform that’s similar to Netflix, but it takes deep dives into content topics that may be underserved by platforms that try to appeal to broader audiences. K-pop music and esports are two examples. The benefit of targeting marketing to what may be more of a niche audience, Chung said, is that if you have a service that appeals to that audience, you can reach them at a time when they’ve already been emotionally engaged by other content that is meaningful to them, putting them in a frame of mind where they are more likely to want to engage with your marketing.

“These markets may be—to most people—[they] might look very, very niche, but if you really lifted the hood, you’ll find that some of these markets are incredibly large,” he added. Echoing Vijay’s comments about authenticity, Chung noted that when you’re targeting a specific audience, “they understand the niche better than you, so your content needs to serve them” in a way that they will feel is relevant.

Relevancy and engagement were also key themes for Garraway, of Wirewax. The interactive video service gives marketers the opportunity to engage the user and give them the power to choose their own path through video content that can include the ability to purchase products or learn more without needing to go to a separate portal, allowing the user to stay engaged while still moving down the sales funnel.

Garraway cautioned that one challenge he sees with many brands is that they don’t consider the purpose of video content until late in the process when it should be one of the first considerations. Do you want users to just click, move to a different page or purchase a product, for example? “It’s an accepted norm that you make a video … [but] what is that video doing for the business? That’s a question that’s often left right up until the end, if asked at all.”

Of course, communicating your purpose in the right medium doesn’t work unless you have a true sense of who your audience is and how and where to best approach them—and that’s where Zeta Global comes in. Sadi discussed how Zeta’s proprietary data set can help brands acquire new customers by better understanding them.

“The elevator pitch is essentially understanding, at an individual level, your consumer and what they’re interested in today … and what channel [they are] most active and engaged in and most willing to experience your storytelling in. [That’s what] is going to drive the best business outcomes,” he said.

Strategy + Creative = Engaging and Effective Storytelling

As day 3 of Pace’s Content+ came to a close, it was clear from some of the audience questions that the audience was inspired in how to best utilize a combination of the cutting-edge technology solutions to help deliver their message.

After all, when it comes to marketing, day 3 had them covered—from understanding the importance of purpose-driven marketing to learning about what would emotionally resonate with their potential customers and how to best reach them in a way that will create moments the audience will remember. Because the strategy behind the approach is sometimes just as important as the words or visuals when it comes to being an engaging and effective storyteller.

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