Transmedia Storytelling in a Small Business World
Modern attempts have been made to create immersive transmedia experiences that directly promote brands and products; however the majority of these attempts focus on brand awareness and social engagement rather than return on investment. For some small businesses marketing to consumers within a convergence culture can be challenging. In order to effectively engage potential consumers, businesses must focus on creating a two-way conversation between business and consumer. Transmedia storytelling is a diverse and powerful marketing tool that lays the foundation for this project and its guiding question: How can immersive transmedia experiences promote return on investment for small businesses? In partnership with a local small Italian Restaurant, this project explores how immersive transmedia experiences can promote return of investment. This contribution takes the form of two parts. First, the project provides a comprehensive look at how marketing tactics and convergence culture theory affect purchase behavior. Phase one includes empathy research and design thinking, ethnographic research, and focus groups that explore how business owners view their market segments and how consumers want to feel when interacting with businesses. Second, this project shows how transmedia storytelling can be used as a marketing tool for small businesses outside the entertainment and technology industries. Today’s advertisers face significant competition for audience engagement. By understanding how transmedia storytelling can be most effectively used, small businesses can implement this marketing tactic to increase sales. This second phase involves the development of an engaging and immersive transmedia experience that promotes return on investment for a businesses and establishes a framework for future use by other businesses.