Facts Tell, Stories Sell: Telling Stories Helps Decisions Get Made

This is a fact: “We found that 25% of our base are non-repeat customers.”

This is a story: “We found that 25% of our base are non-repeat customers because the onboarding process for some of them lasts 3 months, and is perceived to be cumbersome. We have disillusioned them, and they will not contemplate a new contract.”

Professor Jennifer Aaker of the Stanford School of Business is one of the foremost authorities in understanding the power of stories. She argues that for stories to be meaningful, they have to engage both the intellectual and emotional parts of our brain.

For stories to be meaningful, they have to engage both the intellectual and emotional parts of our brain.”

Many of us know and believe that we try to make good business decisions based upon data and that having the best, most accurate data is an imperative. However, when it comes to persuading people, there is a plethora of compelling evidence (from Professor Aaker and others) that stories are far more effective. Specifically, data plus an anecdote are far more memorable. As a data driven industry, it is important for market researchers to learn the power of stories over data alone.

The most effective stories are built for their audiences. Many research studies can and do speak to many parts of the client organization — sales, marketing, operations, to name just a few.

Additionally, we at Radius have found that the most effective stories are built for their audiences. Many research studies can and do speak to many parts of the client organization — sales, marketing, operations, to name just a few. Understanding the audience helps us frame the story in the most believable way so as to resonate most strongly. This is not as easy as it sounds, as effective research stories have to be “written’”long before reports are produced and disseminated. Radius believe that you do have to think of the end of the story from the moment any research is commissioned.

Want to learn how integrated storytelling has positively impacted the decisions of many of our clients?

Contact Us