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How to conduct storytelling through mobile technologies

JimJim Chastain, founder and managing partner of RealityCheck, spoke during the July 2013 event, Market Research in the Mobile World North America, held in Minneapolis. He explained how storytelling can be made possible through the use of mobile technologies.

There’s Big Data, which accumulates and is collected over time by algorithms. Then there’s Little Data, which spans across and is gathered from moments in a person’s life. And what’s special about human moments, according to Chastain, is that they encompass intuitive inspiration stories.

He described what he termed as the mobile or “narrative mindset,” which covers a broad subject area, tells stories, and is more revealing. It differs from the evaluative mindset, which is critical, opinionated, and focused on its subject. Chastain then posits that if consumers tell a market research firm, for instance, about their lives in the context of a research task, then a better brand fit can be made for them.

Mobile, which is all about storytelling, is part of consumers’ lives. For example, market researchers can ask consumers to take snapshots of their snacks and to have them share what they were doing while eating those snacks. This fulfills the business objective of understanding the emotional triggers surrounding the snacking experience and the lack thereof. Now, consider the possible story behind a day without snacking. Chastain pointed out how the narrative mindset can lead the way to opportunities for determining product packaging styles, product development methods, new need states, and positioning/message.

He went on to explain about a case involving a retail story. The narrative mindset also becomes useful in this context because it shows opportunities for improving store experience, promotional strategies, and positioning/message.

At the end of his presentation, Chastain offered the following four steps to make Little Data be perceived as big: to present it in a “human scale,” to make it tell a story, to add a visual component, and to analyze.

About The Author

Jasper Lim

Jasper Lim is the CEO of Merlien Institute. He frequently reviews the state-of-art of the marketing research industry. Apart from his daily work, Jasper serves as an Editorial Board Member for the International Journal of Work Innovation. He is also an accomplished qualitative researcher with several peer-reviewed academic publications to his name.

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