Business Magazine

Transmedia Storytelling: Neuroscience Meets Ancient Practices

By Drpamelarutledge @pamelarutledge

Every day you wake up to a flow of information. Your alarm clock sounds and you check your smart phone for email and Facebook posts. You scan a newspaper over breakfast; listen to the radio as you head to work. You get a warning about local traffic from your navigation device and have it search for the nearest coffee bar on the detour. Your assistant sends a text message saying that your first meeting has been delayed. Your day has only just started, you haven’t even sat down at a computer and there is already a constant conversation. It’s the same for your customer.

We live in a socially-networked, transmedia world. The wealth of information across so many channels is both an opportunity and a challenge. We need effective organizing systems and filters that connect information in the world with things that have meaning and relevance. This is true of the sender and the receiver. We need to find a way to break through and hear or be heard, whether you are an individual, an organization, or a brand.

Transmedia storytelling is quickly becoming the new standard for 21st century communication because it is the solution to rising above the digital noise. Transmedia storytelling uses the tools of the storyteller-emotion, engagement, universal themes, personal connection, and relevance-to create a communication experience instead of a message. Get over thinking it is only about entertainment franchises. Transmedia storytelling moves a brand from slogan to interaction between the company and the customer. It unites executives and teams with focused goals and a common purpose.

Stories are the brain’s way of organizing information – in other words, how we rise above the noise. Stories package information for rapid comprehension by engaging the brain at all levels: intuitive, emotional, rational, and somatic.

The reason that we keep saying that traditional marketing approaches no longer work is that the social web has created a new consumer psychology. Consumers expect you to earn their attention, not interrupt them for it. They want to see communications that are timely, interactive, personal, and, above all, honest. Whether you’re an organization or an individual, you must communicate in a way that treats the audience with respect and delivers value–before the sale. A story can communicate who you are and inspire people at a higher level with your passion, purpose, and commitment to the customer’s experience. It is not about selling, it’s about engaging. It’s only by engaging people that you can move them from pre-customers to brand advocates.


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