Q&A with Commvault CCO: Combating Fake News with Data-Driven Storytelling

09/06/2017
A data-driven approach to business is crucial, according to Commvault's Chief Communications Officer, Bill Wohl. Here he explains why as well as shares about how traditional media can provide a balance to content that is tailored for audiences.

1. What is an example of a company that uses data-driven storytelling effectively? What’s an example at Commvault?

At Commvault, data is ingrained in the stories that we tell. The ultimate success for any business lies in understanding the value of data and activating it to realise valuable insights, as data is, after all, the heartbeat of businesses today. It is important to look at the customer journey in its entirety – applying the insights derived at initial consumer touchpoints before they make purchase decisions.

Commvault takes a data-driven approach to enhance a customer’s journey, through data-driven storytelling on the Commvault website. It is not just a company’s front door – it is the source of information for audiences and the centrepiece of pipeline and audience development. There is an increasing amount of emphasis on the role that data plays in shaping how the website is structured, leveraged and used in campaigns.  An example will be the Wannacry attacks; our team worked quickly to put together relevant products and services that appeared on the front page of the Commvault website.

As communicators and content creators, instead of approaching customers by producing a lot of content and hoping that it sticks, we customise information from data gathered to shape content and services that the customer is looking for.

2. How can data help companies stay ahead of the curve? Can you share how non-data savvy companies can get started?

While all companies recognise the value of data, some adopt a more aggressive stance to activating their data, while others take a more cautious approach.

From a communications standpoint, companies that have yet to start the process of using their data usually begin with engaging a third party services provider to analyse their current data and where it lives, before proposing how to best use it. This mirrors the process at Commvault, where we serve as a trusted advisor to companies looking to reshape their data management strategies.

3. How can brands use data-driven storytelling to help shape their narrative? What’s an effective example of this?

Data is the centre of everything for companies as it is their most important strategic asset. Most companies have multiple stakeholder audiences, and consistent and smart messaging is key to meet that unique stakeholder-audience requirement. Tailored messages are crucial to address different audiences, and businesses need to create a consistent and appropriate image, leverage insights and data from various audience segments to maintain brand consistency.

Companies with exceptionally strong brands, such as Coca-Cola, or General Motors or Ford, use data to measure market perception, message penetration and how messages should be tailored to move the business forward. A key hallmark of brand leaders is their ability to use sophisticated data to align with their stakeholder-audience interests in this hypercompetitive business environment.

4. Is the future filled with more fake news?

This is an interesting question. The term “fake news” is both an interesting and subjective label. Ultimately it is up to each of us, whether in business or personal lives, to determine the information sources and content we trust. The internet is just a powerful platform for organisations and individuals to publish information and present themselves in ways that were previously more difficult to reach.

Modern web and social technology such as Facebook allows audiences to be presented with content they seek. Once people indicate an interest in any topic, Facebook will then present them with information around that topic. Content will then be tailored directly in line with the audiences’ point of view. Unless audiences are able to discern within this information bubble, it will find it hard to balance their point of view with alternative perspectives. This is where I hope traditional media comes into play to provide a balancing effect so that consumers will be able to embrace broader perspectives.

5. How is Commvault adapting to new ways of communicating and maintaining a brand?

At Commvault, we are increasingly leveraging data and market insights to shape marketing campaigns to drive our business pipeline and accelerate growth. Our ability to help serve up information and take buyers on a digital journey from their early indications of interest, to deepen their demand and move them along the digital pipeline is key in maintaining success of a brand.

6. How can data help companies stay ahead of the curve nowadays?

Data is the heartbeat of every businesses today, regardless of the industry segment or geographic location. It is more than a tool but a company’s most important asset. It can be leveraged and turned into powerful insights that can impact strategic decision making for the business operations and communications. Companies that can translate info-driven insights into real business actions and campaigns will be the winners in this, while companies that do not take full advantage of the powerful insights in the data that surrounds them will lag behind. Companies need to make necessary investments into people, systems and expertise to allow them to take full advantage of the powerful insights in the data that surrounds them. In this period of accelerating sophistication of marketing, this will be the defining differentiator between brands.

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