Podcast 90: telling stories with data

What comes first when writing great B2B content – the data, or the story? To find out, we talk to customer insight expert Dr Christine Bailey.

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts. Grab the RSS feed. Download it. Or follow on Spotify.

In this month’s episode of Good Copy, Bad Copy, we discuss how storytelling, data, and customer insights all come together to create engaging B2B content.

Guest co-host Ramon Vanden Brulle, Copy Director at Yesler (excitingly now part of Accenture Interactive), joins David to dissect why data and a well-structured, strong story are both components you can’t leave out.

Plus, you’ll catch an interview with Dr Christine Bailey, CMO and Managing Director SMB UK and Ireland for the payment tech company Valitor. With a newly-released book on customer insight strategies – not to mention an actual doctorate on the subject – Chris tells us how data and storytelling reinforce each other in your content. (And she shares a structured approach you can totally steal.)

In this month’s Anonymous Five, a Chief Marketing Officer at a large, UK-based telecoms distributor reveals whether their job makes them more judgemental about the marketing content they receive.

And *drum roll * voting is now open for the best content of 2020. We’ve compiled the most exciting and inspiring nominations into a shortlist. Now, it’s time to vote for your favourite – if you can choose, that is.

Blending data and storytelling? Use SCIPAB®

Christine explains how Mandel’s simple(-ish) acronym can help you add urgency and incentive to your B2B content, by prompting you to create a compelling structure infused with the right data points.

What do the letters stand for, you ask? Here you go:

  • Situation: Start by painting a familiar, comforting scene your reader understands.
  • Complication: Bring in the “but” – the issue disrupting the scene – complete with stats to back it up.
  • Implications: Discuss the fallout of this issue – and the opportunity it creates. Illustrate your point with infographics, statistics, or other bits of data.
  • Position: Introduce the good that can come from this opportunity – including success stories.
  • Action: Get into what your reader needs to do, and how you can help. (If it’s appropriate, Christine recommends including some funny stories here – like people who’ve really effed it up.)
  • Benefit: Tell your reader what’s waiting for them if they get it right, with quantifiable results.

In the interview, you’ll hear real-life examples of this in action.

Chris also dives into her new book: Customer Insight Strategies. She shares how you can find out what your customer actually cares about, and why you should use this information to build your value proposition and personas.

(Hint: it involves this TED talk by Simon Sinek.)

After, David and Ramon chat about championing the customer, and avoiding boasts and promises they’ve heard 1,000 times before. Ramon reveals his secret recipe for extracting the right data points from tricky clients… You lucky, lucky thing.

The Anonymous Five: Chief Marketing Officer, UK-based telecoms

Who doesn’t love a brutally honest answer – especially when it comes direct from a B2B persona you might be targeting?

This month, a CMO at a UK-based telecoms distributor tells us how they’ve changed tack to deliver digital sales enablement, why marketing technology is such a boon, and exactly how much of the content they receive is “woeful”.

(Thank you, anonymous CMO. We’ve donated to Downs South London Kids Walk 300 on your behalf.)

And the VOTING IS OPEN for the best B2B content of 2020

Don’t forget we have 15 inspiring examples of 2020’s best B2B content for you to choose from. (Well, they’re mostly inspiring. One of them just made us want to vomit and laugh at the same time.) Which will be your favourite?

Anyway, you have until the morning of Tuesday 8th December to cast your vote.

If you have thoughts on any of the nominees, record a voice memo and email it to us.

In this episode, you’ll find…

00.55 – Meet Ramon Vanden Brulle, straight from Seattle

04.19 – Where data meets story: an interview with Dr Christine Bailey

26.12 – Ramon and David chat about Christine’s pearls of wisdom

40.07 – The Anonymous Five: a telecoms CMO spills (some of) the beans

Send us your thoughts, feedback, or unwanted advent chocolates…

Contact us through @radixcom on Twitter or podcast@radix-communications.com (ideally, send us a voice memo so we can hear from you on the show).

How to listen 


Thank you to Dr Christine Bailey for joining us; it was a joy to chat with you (and congratulations on the book). Also, a big hand to Ramon Vanden Brulle for being one of our best co-hosts yet. Thanks also to our anonymous CMO.

If you like the sound of Chris’s new book, you can grab your copy here.

Podcast editing, music, and natty new jingles by Bang and Smash

Lizzie Cresswell

When you need short-form content that’s snappy, informed, and understands its audience to a tee – you can count on Lizzie to deliver. And as a perfectionist with a keen eye for detail, she’s quickly become one of our most trusted proof-readers. When she’s not writing another winning ABM campaign, you’ll likely find her trekking the Cornish coast.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on - Podcast 90: telling stories with data

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Create B2B tech marketing content that really works

Get regular advice and insights from our team of specialist B2B tech writers and account managers, direct to your inbox.