Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

#AdobeSummit 2017 Blog: Data without context and from a party with a stake in outcome can be worthless 

Disclaimer: Adobe invited me to the Adobe Summit North America 2017. This post was not approved by them. They didn’t even get a preview. It’s my opinion and if you agree it’s yours too. 😂🤔

I was still flying to Las Vegas on Day 1 of the conference but was reading the tweets surrounding data and its importance. 

And I agree data is important and can quantify our successes and failures. But it can also be a big waste of time when we are  collecting stuff that doesn’t get used or analyzed for anything useful.

So much data is collected that it can be hard to keep track of it all or – more importantly – make sense of it.

And of course  data – big or small – can be bend into submission to tell just about any story. Unfortunately.


1) Just read some of the political commentary nowadays. Same data. Different interpretations and playbacks. <That’s enough politics.>

2) I’ve gained some weight but it’s all muscle.  Muscle weighs more than fat. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Ha ha.

But really:  Sometimes it’s the angles we look at something. Here’s an example:

I almost think I weighed more in the picture on the right – but that’s the lighter one.

How about  this one?

That’s not that far away from the pictures above. But the left is clearly skinnier than the right.

It all depends on perspective, angle and even even intent. The picture in the yellow shirt was specifically taken to show that I had gained some weight and that it’s visible. It’s time to lose it again. I use it as my motivator. That roll has to go.

Data is very similar. It depends how we look at it, what our angles are and which pieces of the full puzzle we decide to actually share.

So data is great in weight loss, marketing and also digital communication

Measure everything. And then have somebody who has no stake in the outcomes analyze what the data means

Hire a data analysis journalist. Yep I making up new jobs  again. Journalists are supposed to be unbiased and simply look for the true story and then put that story into context. So we a) know it happened and b) know what it means. 

The same concept really needs to be accomplished with our data analysis in marketing and communications. First we want to know what happened and then we want to know what it means. Of course, the next step is to predict what’s going to happen or to look at metrics and see what kind of pacing we are on towards a certain goal.

When I don’t want to look fatter I’ll take a picture in the morning, twist a bit, wear a looser shirt. Whatever. You get the point. 

But asking my wife or daughter to take it, they are worried about taking a photo and getting that done. As opposed to being my PR firm.

They are that unbiased person, though they might not add any context. 

So in the content marketing and creation and growth hacking worlds, you might consider this model – split the work up between:

  • The implementers 
  • The analysts 

That doesn’t mean the people implementing cannot look at the data. They should. Daily.  And if they’re not pacing to reach their goals they should adjust tactics. 

But it should be the analysts who are actually digging into the data and are telling us the stories that they found. They have no stake in the project and its outcome other than to uncover the most meaningful stories that the numbers and other data can show us.

Then we can use that data to improve our businesses, content and be the best that we can be-for lack of a better cliché. 

Don't miss the next blog post:

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Christoph blogs on The Authentic Storytelling Project and is a globally recognized content marketing expert. The IMA named him Internet Marketer of the Year in 2015. He works with healthcare organizations and other brands around the globe.

Related Posts

What’s the easiest way to check which blog posts perform best in search and social referrals?

I wouldn’t call myself a data analyst by any means of the imagination. But here’s the thing: Writers, content creators, content marketing strategists or whatever else you might call them should indeed look at the metrics of how their content is performing. Not everyone needs to be able to dig deep into the numbers, but […]

Read More

How to overcome writer’s block

You might wonder: What would a guy (me! 😱🙄🤔) who blogs 15,000 words per month have to say about writer’s block? It’s true that I hardly ever sit in front of my computer and don’t know what to blog about. Ever really. I usually have to prioritize what I want to blog about. Too. Many. […]

Read More

June 26 – Free upcoming webinar

Click on the image for more and to register:

Let’s talk!

Updates in your inbox! No spam!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Hire your next content marketing strategist here

Is it okay to swear in blog posts?

My Authentic Storytelling Book

book cover crop

"Get Real: Telling Authentic Stories for Long-term Success" discusses why you, your organization and anyone really should consider sharing authentic stories with each other ... READ MORE

My customer service book

Confirmed talks


Berlin, Germany
June 29, 2017

Raleigh, NC
Aug. 22, 2017


Annual conference
Reno, NV
Oct. 8-9. 2017

Austin, Texas
Oct. 23-25, 2017

book now

Speaking feedback

Top twitter accounts to follow for marketing

Top 10 Content Marketer

on Klout 2016


Official PayPal Seal


social media book

Stories from the Social Side Book

%d bloggers like this: