We've been fortunate to have led a handful of research projects on the working culture of organizations, and what makes them tick. One of the key insights we've uncovered has been the stifling nature of traditional corporate communications. Between internal emails, presentations, newsletters and even social media, there's so much white noise a message must break through in the corporate environment before it even has a chance to land, let alone resonate with its audience.
In our case, that message is often game-changing insight into customers that is desperately needed by marketing, development and customer experience teams. If that message can't break through -- everyone loses. We know we need to tailor our content to our audience, otherwise it's not going to stick.
That means not only having an appreciation for what our audience is up against, but how they're wired to receive our message as well. That was never more the case than with the Irvine, California-based video game developer and publisher, Blizzard Entertainment, who is best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft and the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo series. Blizzard presented a unique challenge in that their internal stakeholder audience was largely made up of gamers who were fatigued by traditional mediums of corporate communications (we're looking at you, PowerPoint).
We also gained insight into channels that resonated during discussions with Blizzard employees. Of particular interest to us was a story involving a presentation sent in by a vendor that arrived in an treasure chest (yes, really!). The recipient had to open the chest and dig through toy coins to reach the message. That set the tone for us around how customer insights would need to be delivered in order for the content to pop.
The format we put together for Blizzard shown below is what we call Storybooks, and is the result of blending the message of a customer story with a visual architecture that was relevant to the needs of the audience. More immersive than a persona and lighter on the attention span than a traditional report.
Why give your audience a white paper report if they'd much rather look through a magazine? Don't get tied down by a legacy mindset. The existing mediums you use to message customer insight may have been developed to serve your needs more than those of your audience. Listen to your audience, be open to disrupting your own toolbox and deliver your message in something that is truly tailored.