Nurturing Brand Trust with Storytelling: YouGov’s Top 3 Tips



Marzilli, de la Foret, and Reynolds joined together to describe the success of Nationwide’s Jingle Sessions campaign and how it resulted in lasting awareness and sustainable audience relationships.


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In today’s hyper-segmented world, individuals are constantly bombarded with promises from brands who “get” them. Attention is scarce, so how can brands stand out and reach critical audiences?

Addressing the crowd at #SMWNYC 2019, CEO of YouGov Data Products, Ted Marzilli, joined Karen Reynolds, Social Media Consultant at Nationwide, and Dace de la Foret, Director of Enterprise Brand Social Media at Nationwide, to discuss how Nationwide and YouGov have partnered to create carefully tailored content that encourages action and lasting awareness from their intended audience.

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Here are their top three takeaways on how brands can develop trustworthy and impactful stories.

Combine storytelling efforts with data

Both “Young Sarah” and “Family Sarah” share on social, enjoy ads with celebrities, and prefer when ads entertain them. Using insights from data as their guide, Nationwide hired Peyton Manning and Brad Paisley — two personalities who were well-liked by both consumer profiles — to roll out an entertaining and informative ad on channels that are relevant to them.

Consumer data can be used to craft purposeful and strong messaging that is perceived as authentic. “We have more data on our audience than ever before. This allows us to plan the messaging in a storytelling type of way, measure it on the backend, and know really quickly if it’s resonating with our audiences,” shares de la Foret. “We measure it at least monthly to see ‘Is our brand awareness going up?’ This helps us evaluate campaign success.”

Identify and understand your audience

By showing that they truly understand their audience, brands can build trust. “A brand can only know so much about their consumers from their own data. YouGov brings value with connected datasets to create embellished personas for a brand.” To flesh out well-rounded personas for your target audience, Marzilli recommended partnering with an external agency.

“When Nationwide says ‘Here’s what our segments are’, we can help flesh those out. In this case, we found that “Young Sarah” and “Family Sarah” both rent in the city or the suburbs, are employed full-time, and over-index on living in the South East. They’re heavily insured, but are looking for more. They’ll also compare prices when renewing policies.”

Set benchmarks to measure success

Marzilli highlighted the importance of setting clear campaign goals upfront and using them as a metric to measure success. “When YouGov looks at data, we evaluate how well we are doing pre-campaign period vs. during the campaign period. Nationwide started to run these campaigns in 2017, so we’re able to look at how well the brand did in 2018 compared to 2017.”

By measuring brand and ad awareness over time, Nationwide was able to use data to critically evaluate the success of their campaign, as well as compare it to prior campaigns and competitor campaigns. “There was a direct correlation between the efforts put forth and the reflected results,” adds de la Foret.

Storytelling builds trust between brands and consumers, which directly impacts brand health. By using data to develop a deep understanding of their consumers, brands can better adjust their messaging to increase engagement and refine their strategy for future campaigns.

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