Storytelling to Create a Mobile Strategy


Published on

Part of a longer talk on the use of storytelling and innovation in enterprise mobile efforts. This deck focuses on using storytelling to create and sell (gain acceptance) on mobile strategy.

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Hello!
  • Dave needs those items when he returns home, and he doesn’t want to drive out to a service center to get them.
  • Storytelling to Create a Mobile Strategy

    1. 1. Insider Mobile Strategy: A Storytelling Approach to Creating and Selling a Mobile Strategy Kate Pientka Senior Manager, UPS Mobile
    2. 2. Foreword The following slide deck is part of a larger presentation given to members and guests of the Technology Association of Georgia in May of 2013. To learn more about TAG, visit their website at
    3. 3. Overview The Case for Stories Details and Structure of a Story Project Story Example
    5. 5. Why do we tell stories? • Increase comprehension and retention of facts (to remember things better) • Engage an audience (so they remember things better) • It’s fun (because you remember fun things) And… • Because humans are conditioned to respond to stories; there are neurochemical reactions around stories and memory* *For more information, start with: “Your Brain on Fiction”
    6. 6. The Behavioral Case for Stories We want to believe we select the choice with the highest utility (value/$/etc) or which best matches a set of rational preferences. In other words, we want to believe that our leaders approve projects based purely on the relative utility (value/potential/etc) of those projects. Source: Wikipedia: “Rational Choice Theory” and “Rational Economics”
    7. 7. Spoiler Alert! Unfortunately, most humans are not conditioned to respond to or be excited by stark facts and figures.
    8. 8. In visual form, given….. A B C $2 $3 $1 u(C) > u(A) > u(B) …people should select can C to have their fizzy brown refreshment for the lowest cost.
    9. 9. BUT, in reality*… A B C $2 $3 $1 u(A) > u(B) > u(C) *not actually reality, only for illustrative purposes
    10. 10. What’s the difference? Some of the difference is due to taste preferences, culture, personal history, etc. But, much of the difference is due to marketing, in other words, the stories a company tells about it’s product.
    11. 11. You’ve probably already seen this in your workplace. Just substitute projects for soda. A B C NPV: $2M $1.5M $6M u(A) > u(B) > u(C) Backend System Restructure
    12. 12. Why? Some projects are naturally more exciting than others to people (just like taste preferences in soda.) But much of the difference is due to the sales and marketing of a project or strategy. In other words, some managers and firms tell stories better than others.
    13. 13. Details and Structure of a Story AKA L E T ’ S S AY I B E L I E V E YO U. H OW D O I P U T TO G E T H E R A STORY TO SELL MY IDEA?
    14. 14. Basic Structure of a Story Context and Introduction of the Characters Climax Conflict Resolution
    15. 15. Fairy Tale Example 1. Introduction of Context and Characters ◦ Once upon a time (time frame) in a land far, far away (location/context), there lived a girl with her father, stepmother and two stepsisters (characters) 2. Describe the Conflict ◦ The girl’s stepsisters and stepmother hated her and rather than make her an equal part of the family, they forced her to be their servant. (Customer context) ◦ The girl dreamed of a time when she would be recognized for who she was (customer need/want) 3. Climax ◦ A fairy godmother visits the girl and grants her a magical night at the ball where she falls in love with the prince (and he in love with her) ◦ But the gift is limited and ends at the stroke of midnight. The girl leaves quickly, losing a shoe on the way out of the ball. 4. Resolution ◦ The prince searches the realm for her, using the glass slipper she left behind, eventually he finds her and they live happily ever after.
    16. 16. Business Example 1. Introduction of Context and Characters ◦ What is the situation? (salient market trends, competitive landscape, customer trends, company position, etc) ◦ Who are the customers you will be addressing? 2. Describe the Conflict ◦ What is the business problem you are trying to solve? ◦ What is the customer problem you are trying to solve? 3. Climax ◦ What happens if you don’t do this project? ◦ What amazing thing happens if you do? ◦ What incredible idea do you have to solve these problems? 4. Resolution ◦ How do you get from the story above into reality? (Ideally in nice, clear steps like a prince with a single shoe visiting the ladies of the realm one by one.)
    17. 17. Structure of a Story Example 1. Introduce the Context and Characters - Mobile options and offerings are exploding in the B2C market; - Our competitors are offering apps, mobile POS solutions and putting QR codes on billboards; - We have 5 main customer groups, 2 of whom utilize smartphones heavily 2. Describe the Conflict - Our customers are frustrated and may leave us/buy less/etc - We keep spending money in mobile and don’t know how much more to spend (or how much is too much) 3. Climax - Here’s what we think will solve the issue (Ideas A, B, and C) - These ideas will position us to do X, Y and Z as well 4. Resolution - We can make A and B happen almost immediately by re-purposing existing technology and creating a mobile presentment layer - Idea C is 50% complete with existing technology too
    18. 18. Create the Mobile Strategy Completing the information in each part of the structure is the creation of the mobile strategy: Keep in mind: - What is the context in which our company must (or wants to) compete? - What should we do based on who we are and what we are good at? - What do our customers want? - A set of goals (stories) is one way to describe a strategy
    19. 19. Sell the Mobile Strategy Use this format to access the audience’s emotions, increase retention, etc. Side benefit: if the strategy is too complicated or disjointed to fit in this format, it likely needs refinement.
    20. 20. Project Story Example RESIDENTIAL DELIVERY CUSTOMER
    21. 21. Residential Receiver Use Case for Story* Market Size: - 100M US households -Receive 1 package per week on average from our company and growing rapidly due to the popularity of shopping online and shipping items home -30% own a smartphone -Worth $10M Needs: -Know when a package is arriving (to be home to meet it, general knowledge, etc) -Change delivery time and date (to be home to meet it, for security/convenience reasons, etc) -Want information integrated into their existing routines *All facts and figures are illustrative only
    22. 22. This is Dave. He is going on vacation this afternoon but keeps finding one more thing at the office that needs to be done before he leaves. He’s barely had time to pack!
    23. 23. While at the gate to his flight, he checks his calendar to make sure he hasn’t forgotten anything. He sees a reminder from UPS on the delivery of a few items he ordered.
    24. 24. Dave doesn’t want his packages delivered when he is on vacation. What if it rains? What if they indicate he isn’t home? What if they are stolen?
    25. 25. So Dave sets a vacation setting in his UPS app to tell his delivery man not to bring him any packages until he gets back from vacation.
    26. 26. Satisfied, Dave boards his flight and heads to vacation.
    27. 27. Conclusion
    28. 28. Use stories because: ◦ People listen to stories ◦ They retain the information longer and better ◦ Leaders do not make decisions based purely on rational choice, and stories influence the emotions of the audience ◦ The act of creating a story can help refine and polish your strategy. If you can’t tell it simply, it may need more work. ◦ Most other project/strategy managers and firms don’t use stories. You will be instantly differentiated.
    29. 29. About the Author Kate Pientka is an experienced business strategist and innovator who has created multiple successful digital strategies and projects for Fortune 500 clients. She uses her passion for people and customers along with her aversion to complicated technology to make enterprise offerings both practical and personal. You can also find her on LinkedIn and Twitter.