Digital Marketing

Show, Don’t Tell: How to Create Stories Through Customer Data

Brands want to be remembered, and storytelling is the way to make it happen.

From the latest television show to an old favorite song, stories have a way of sticking. They also bring people together—a common interest creates a community.

The best stories have engaging plots paired with expert visuals to help communicate to an audience. The good news is, your brand story has potential for both.

The story? Relevant customer data. The medium? Personalized, data-driven images that bring the customer story to life.

If brands want to be remembered, storytelling is the way to do it. You have the material for a bestseller. All you need now is the right storyboard using the four Is:


Website visitors read less than 30% of an average blog, proving that brands need to go beyond long-form copy to tell their story. The same goes for marketing communications; transform email and mobile sends by pairing short, snappy copy with attention-grabbing visuals. If customers don’t get the point after the first sentence, they’ll never stick around to learn the rest.

Take this loyalty points status update, where customers learn everything they need to know at a glance. Here, a one sentence header gives customers a quick summary of their spending habits. At the top of the email, a bar graph clearly displays customers’ spending trends for the month. Short captions give insight for customers that want the detailed breakdown.

Information doesn’t have to mean overload. With the right visuals, you can tell a detailed story in a flash.

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People respond to stories from films and books by joining fan clubs, discussion groups, and more. The same is possible for brand stories. Show customers the best way they can respond to your brand story with crystal-clear CTAs that lead them into the next chapter of the customer journey.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and powerful visuals give customers all the direction they need. Here, a bar chart and checklist have a dual function. They make the next step clear while showing customers how close they are to their next points goal, enticing them to keep engaging with the brand story.


Customers are inspired when they see themselves as the main character. Prioritize customer-centric communications by making them the hero of your story.

Take this year-in-review campaign. By showing customers a visual of their habits, they are reminded of the value they get from the brand. As a result, they’re not only motivated to stick with the brand—they’re inspired to organically share their love with others.

Customer-centric campaigns told through visuals inspire customers to not only listen to the story, but share it. That’s the best marketing any brand could ask for.


Creative stories are the most memorable. No one remembers the spin-off. They remember the original.

Get back to the heart of marketing by prioritizing creativity and innovation. Make the most out of your visual real estate and send messaging that customers have never seen before.

With unique customer data comes a unique marketing experience. Here, a year-in-review is transformed into something more: an unforgettable customer journey.


Customer data is at the heart of good brand storytelling. All you need now is the right visual marketing to transform it into a story.

Enter Show, Don’t Tell: How to Create Stories Through Customer Data, where Movable Ink’s Ron Hay (Associate Director of Strategy - Retail) and Susanne Singer (Associate Director of Strategy - Financial) discuss activating customer data for brand storytelling. Check out the webinar for a deep dive into the four I’s of marketing along, practical tips for execution, and much more.