What an honor it was to have the highly acclaimed, award-winning film producer AND down-to-earth, humble man, Ed Saxon, grace our CMO Club Spring Summit. I cannot think of a person better qualified to talk about the power of story. He’s engaged millions with his stories via film including Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and many others.

Here’s a recap of his wise insights for those of you who could not attend and for those of you who did attend and want to revisit his session (it was amazing!):

Ed’s believes that every individual, every marketing and business leader and all brands need to articulate the answers to these four questions:

  • What’s my narrative?
  • How do I get people to engage emotionally?
  • How do I create that quiet place?
  • How do my stories get at what is true?

Upon uncovering and creating these answers, stories can then be created. But how do you make a story great? Ed shared the three essential elements of a GREAT story:

  • DETAILS. The details ARE the difference
  • TRUTH. Focus on capturing truth
  • GENUINE. Is your story genuine?

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The digital impact on the way that we engage, consume and share stories is astronomical. Understanding some of the key ways this impacts how we construct and deliver stories is crucial to making stories that matter. For example:

“Serial storytelling” is key: Stories become embedded in the way we live our lives.  You want to keep people coming back, so you need to develop “serial storytelling”.

“Life is asynchronous; stories need to mirror this reality.”  How do we tell stories and market within this context?  Consider binge viewing where content is consumed as the consumer wants it, how do you present your serial stories accordingly?

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“Be relevant to the moment. Be a pundit.” As digital content is digested immediately, the moment is an important piece of how to be relevant to your audience and grab attention. Taking a position within that moment is the way to preserve that attention and be recognized for your perspective.