First up was Jon King, Managing Director of Story Worldwide, an agency which has made its name through storytelling in what they call the post-advertising age.
King made the point that content marketing is about ‘asserting the role of storytelling and capturing what it means to be human.' In today's world there is an opt-in culture, which means people only see and hear what they want to see and hear - they don't want brands selling them things when they are not in the mood for it. People are embracing new ways of living, communicating, shopping and even politicking.
King went on to say that storytelling is a discipline; it is not new, brands just have to do it more cleverly and smartly and with more focus today than before. The most shared and valued stories reveal unfulfilled needs and desires in people, so brands need to be able to connect with consumers on an emotional level to meet these needs and desires.
Quoting Nielsen research, King noted that people we know and people in our networks are the greatest influencers. He said that 92% of people are influenced by the people they know, 70% by people's opinions published online, 58% by editorial and branded websites and 50% by emails.
King ended his talk saying, the most important thing brands can deliver these days is authenticity... they can no longer say things that aren't true.
This is a shame he joked.