Performance Storytelling: Norton Lifelock CMO, Ty Shay, Provides a Roadmap



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Shifting from traditional marketing and communications to the concept and model of Performance Storytelling isn’t easy. Norton Lifelock’s CMO Ty Shay recently keynoted AirPR’s Growth PR Conference and shared a roadmap for success in this new era of media, marketing, communications and measurement.  

Transparency in Marketing Measurement

Shay uses the B2C packaged goods industry as an example of how marketing has evolved: “In B2C marketing, I think there was a phase where consumer packaged goods companies were selling to retailers. Then there was the .com wave where certain services went online and sold to consumers. And now there’s direct to consumer (DTC) where sellers are circumventing the retailer and selling directly. If you work at one of those DTC companies, every day, there’s a transaction report that tells you how many units were sold yesterday. Basically, the whole company sees how you’re doing in marketing every hour of every day.

Marketers in the world of packaged goods retailers are frightened of this. Because what these DTC people have is the customer data and they own their customers. That ownership creates the scorecards, which creates accountability in marketing.”

Creating ownership, scorecards and tracking within the marketing mix not only gives insight, but accountability, and, ultimately, transparency.

Brand Marketing vs. Performance Marketing

Further explaining the need for Performance Marketing, Shay continues: “We typically have a big debate between Brand Marketing and Performance Marketing. On the positive side, Brand Marketing has a long-term focus, is customer-centric and is focused on an emotional connection. Historically however, brand marketing is difficult to measure and struggles to correlate their efforts to the business.

On the other hand, Performance Marketing is focused on metrics, data-driven and accountable. However, performance marketers tend to lose the big picture, not be customer-centric, and lack brand understanding.”

Enter Performance Storytelling

Shay says he has found the solution. “What I’ve thought about a lot is that, I believe in brand and I’m all over performance marketing, but what would Option C be? I call that Performance Storytelling. It’s about driving measurably better results by telling better stories. I am the weird performance marketer who believes that brand is your best tool.”

There are three key elements to successful Performance Storytelling:

1. Craft Your Movie Pitch.
“I encourage all of you to think simpler. My internal test for my pitch is ‘Would my mom understand what this is?’ As you think about filmmakers, they need to raise money to make a movie, and I believe they are marketers themselves.” Shay highlights that Ridley Scott’s pitch for Aliens was “Jaws. In Space.” With a simple pitch, try the mom test.

2. Tell a Measurably Better Story.
“What if you could quantify each ad or story and predict how much money it will make?” Shay has created the Storytelling Arc that outlines the story format that will optimize the call to action: 

3. Continuous Optimization.
Constantly improving upon your plan is key, says Shay. “We are test and learn marketers. We have success metrics identified ahead of time. If you want the freedom to innovate and try new things, you need to establish the risk budget with your CFO. Tools like AirPR can help you to do that.”

Choosing Your Marketing Strategy

Although balancing brand marketing and performance marketing can be a challenge, the ROI is worth the effort. Shay closes, “Your ultimate goal is that you want to make more from your customers than you spend. To do that, you need a strong brand story. That’s performance storytelling. My wish for you is the next time somebody asks you what kind of marketer you are, you choose option C, Performance Storytelling.”