20th Jul, 2022

How Personal Narratives Improve Customer Engagement


How Personal Narratives Improve Customer Engagement

Personal Narratives are the stories that motivate and engage customers. They are a key insight informing Persado’s AI language knowledgebase and provide a necessary input for Persado’s Language Profiles – one of our methods for personalizing communications to high-priority customer groups. 

From Nike’s Just Do It, to Apple’s Think Different and Volkswagen’s There’s Room for Everyone, simple brand stories create powerful connections with customers. For many, they’re the reason why customers stay loyal to the brands they love.

Whether told through cave paintings, folktales, or songs, storytelling has long been a key way that humans share information, culture, and history. Though our methods and media have changed, stories continue to allow us to create a connection with others. In marketing, the power of a great story sets winning campaigns apart.

The known power of stories motivated Persado to develop a way to identify and leverage narratives in the content our Motivation AI generates. First launched in 2018, Persado’s Personal Narratives add storytelling on top of emotion-driven motivators, descriptions, and syntax, as part of how Persado’s technology understands, analyzes, and generates content.

As a result, the Persado Motivation AI platform can identify the key stories – or as we’ll call them, Narratives – our customers leverage, generate alternative options, and test their relative success. The result has been an exponential improvement in the ability to generate content that drives brand engagement. Our customers’ response to Narrative-informed messages is often, “It’s as if we said it ourselves.”

Since it launched, Narratives have evolved as a core function of how Persado’s Motivation AI generates content and continuously learns from language experiments. Narratives allow Persado’s AI and machine learning to “speak” in the unique voice of the brand, and adapt and improve messages as the AI learns which stories motivate customers to engage and act.

The Four Persado Narrative Dimensions

Persado’s Motivation AI recognizes four narrative types which interact and build on each other:

  • Brand Narratives are the stories through which a brand defines itself to its customers
  • Calendar Narratives are the annual events, holidays, traditions, and belief systems around which people and communities organize
  • Campaign Narratives are the specific stories used for a given campaign
  • Personal Narratives are the undertones that engage specific customers, and could apply to campaigns or calendar moments. Personal Narratives often differ across customer audiences for the same product. For example, an athleisure brand may speak about “everyday comfort” to customers who like the wearable attributes of the clothes, while the customer drawn to the technical aspects of workout gear may engage more with a message like “Stick with the grind”.

Persado runs language experiments on behalf of its customers to identify the Narratives that personally resonate with different groups, with brand voice being maintained as the foundation.

“For every brand we work with, we start by defining their Brand Narratives,” says Lisa Spira, Head of Content Intelligence at Persado. “For example, a fashion retailer that we work with shares its style and brand voice guidelines, including why it avoids some words and leans into others, essentially defining for us what it wants to communicate. Capturing what the brand is about and expressing that through key stories ensures the messages are unique to its identity and not interchangeable with those from another brand in the industry.”

From there, Persado considers and experiments with Calendar Narratives and Campaign Narratives, depending on what the brand wishes to communicate. Levers like the type of event and the storytelling approach help make language resonate with customers.

Personal Narratives, in turn, relate to the specific version of a message across Brand, Calendar, and Campaign efforts that motivates an individual customer to respond. Personal Narrative insights feed Persado’s Language Profiles, which is how we deliver personalized content to specific customer segments.

How can I use Persado’s Personal Narratives?

All Persado customers have been benefiting from Narratives since we launched them. At the beginning of every client engagement, Persado captures between six and 12 months of content from the brand’s past marketing campaigns and organizes and tags it across the four narrative dimensions. The result is a brand language database and a custom language model that Persado’s Motivation AI uses to create messages in the brand’s voice.

And starting now, all Persado users will be able to access insights about the Personal Narratives that best motivate their customers to engage. Additionally, Personal Narrative insights are available for customers’ provided audience segments, and when combined with the emotions that resonate best with those segments, we develop unique language profiles and a new form of first-party data for our clients. 

Personal Narratives are a cornerstone of personalizing messaging. It not only enables Persado’s AI to generate higher-quality content; it also provides a new level of insight – distinct from emotions and formatting – that can help Persado users speak to the customers they most want to engage. And engaged customers generate more business.

Reach out to us today for a personalized language assessment.


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