Getting to Aha! with Darshan Mehta
Tension & Conflict: The Key to Brand Storytelling with Joe Lazer, Head of Marketing at A.Team
October 27, 2023
In this episode of Getting to Aha!, Darshan Mehta is joined by Joe Lazer, Head of Marketing at A.Team.
In this episode of Getting to Aha!, Darshan Mehta is joined by Joe Lazer, Head of Marketing at A.Team. They get into Joe’s aha! moment; why storytelling is so, so important; why you need to make sure people resonate with what you’re putting out there; and how our shorter attention spans have impacted the way we market.

Joe is the Head of Marketing at A.Team, the first team network of world-class product builders, coming together to build what's next for top companies. He is also a Contributor at the Fast Company, reporting on key issues in the tech industry. In 2018, he wrote Storytelling Edge: How to Transform Your Business, Stop Screaming Into the Void, and Make People Love You. Prior to this, he worked at Contently as the Vice President of Marketing, where he led editorial efforts, including running The Content Strategist, The Freelancer, and the print magazine, Contently Quarterly. 


👉 Storytelling without emotion means it isn’t really a good story. The key to great storytelling is a genuine sense of rising tension and conflict. Joe cites the latest Apple advertisement as an example of this - it’s intense and the viewers are on the edge of their seats. It’s what gets an audience to engage with a brand’s story and gets them to watch anything a brand posts for more than the first two seconds. Humans love stories with conflict and tension, so if you’re creating an advertisement or a marketing campaign, try to keep that in mind.

👉 There is a hell of a lot of content out there, and the entire concept of tension at its core has changed. Viewers have become accustomed to quick cuts within storytelling to keep your mind addicted and engaged. It’s rare to find any mainstream content nowadays that really takes its time and lets the audience sit in a certain feeling; they’re constantly fighting for attention. Joe even talks about how it’s a huge issue in children’s content, how there’s an algorithmically addictive content machine that’s constantly competing for childrens’ brains. It’s slightly worrying, and with TikTok and other social media platforms, it’s only getting worse.

👉 The first three seconds of your content - especially short-form content - is the key to getting your audience engaged. You need to keep them interested, so if you have conflict or tension, if you have people present in the video, along with some sort of action, then you’re on the right track. You just need to ensure the rest of the video is engaging enough for them. Start asking yourself what you could be doing differently, and what storytelling techniques you could use to your advantage. Never be afraid to experiment.

👉 Reach is important when it comes to your marketing content, but does it resonate with your audience? There’s no use trying to reach thousands of people if the content you’re trying to reach them with is, at the end of the day, not very good content. All people want is to feel something, and as a marketer, you owe it to the audience and to yourself to provide that.

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Previous guests include: Kristin Luck, Shep Hyken, Whitney Dunlap-Fowler, Randy Krum, Gerard Ibarra, Jamie Flinchbaugh, Katie Anderson, Rebecca Brooks, Brooke Sellas, Dan Gingiss, Phil Irvine, Dan Fleetwood, Nicholas Zeisler, Katrina Noelle, Laura Beavin-Yates, Kalil Vicioso, Mo McKibbin, Bryant Leech and Louie Gravance.

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