By  on October 20, 2011

A new marketing trend has emerged — a renaissance in the art of brand storytelling — and there is hardly a better example than Ralph Lauren Corp. For many years, the firm has been known for creating a certain lifestyle through its advertising images and, more recently, that effort has moved into new formats including video, photos on Facebook and stories on its Web site.

Greg Rogers, chief executive officer of Pictela Inc., used Ralph Lauren as an example of a brand that is making the connection between its products and consumers while focused on building content strategies for the future. More and more, this will be happening through the use of apps. “It takes 50 apps to perfectly replicate your Web site,” said Rogers. But they need to be smart and adjust to the consumer’s preferences. Rogers speaks from experience — his company delivers a high-definition content marketing platform that has been used by Hearst, Time Inc., The Wall Street Journal and Glam Media. Pictela is now under the AOL umbrella, after being acquired in December 2010.

Rogers said apps under development will be more intelligent in how they respond to the customer. The apps will adjust content at a moment’s notice depending on what the user likes and wants. For example, if an app uses a video player, it will be able to figure out which videos perform best and adjust the carousel, on the fly, so that the best performing ones are up front.

And apps will start talking to each other. If a polling app is used to determine what type of shoe the consumer is interested in, the answer provided could lead to another app, with a selection of videos that feature the shoe that was voted on and, then, the experience could end with a coupon for the shoe. “This intelligence adds a whole new dimension,” said Rogers. “You are, in many respects, becoming your own publishers with this technology and can rival a small media company.”

Rogers said another way to build the business is through content-based advertising. “It takes a lot of planning — which apps to use, which content, how to refresh it and in what order, and figuring out what you want to say,” said Rogers. “It’s a different type of thinking but it pays off big.”

He had one more piece of advice, this time about Web sites: “People can’t resist a thumbnail. Use them. They go for it every time.”

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