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Experience Is All That Matters: Percolate Conference

During his time at DreamWorks, James Buckhouse worked on the narrative structures for “Shrek,” “Madagascar,” and “The Matrix” trilogy. As Twitter’s senior experience architect, he was responsible for the crafting of stories around the Oscars, World Cup, and the Olympics. So clearly Buckhouse, now head of content and design at Sequoia Capital, knows plenty about what makes for a good story.  

Buckhouse took the stage today at Percolate’s Transition 2016 conference, in New York City, to talk about the core architecture behind product stories that entice, persuade, and endear. His advice to brands: Unify your team.

“All that matters today is experience,” Buckhouse said. “Once someone has a bad experience, they are much less likely to come back and try again once you’ve fixed the problem. And they are much more likely to dissuade others from trying your app or service.”

To perfect the customer experience, design needs to be core to a company’s value proposition, Buckhouse said. And that design-led value proposition has to be communicated and embraced throughout the organization; it can’t just be a marketing strategy. Only then, he said, can companies design better stories.

Historically, marketers’ stories have focused on products and features. But now, “No one cares about your new product’s features, except you,” Buckhouse said.

As a result, companies need to dig deep to find the stories that matter and truly resonate with their target markets. “Identify all the different people in your market, map out their pain and their needs, see how they overlap,” and design stories around the overlaps, Buckhouse said. “You can design all kinds of things this way, and you’re essentially flipping a switch inside the people you are trying to help, where they simply must engage with you.”

Read related article: “Despite Changes, Marketing Fundamentals Remain The Same: Percolate Conference

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