Using Video As A Market Research Lure

Click here for video!

As streaming video became ubiquitous online and emerged on mobile, the format almost became an end it self rather than a medium. I am always a bit surprised when a clip is offered to consumers as a special treat. "Click here and get a free video," some messages will say. This is especially true on mobile now. Marketers will prompt users to opt into an SMS exchange to "get a video link." Really? In an age where buildings literally come alive with live TV feeds and HD screen are at check-out counters, video in and of itself is a value-add?

Well, for some marketers video is less a lure than it is a way of understanding users better. For the brand marketing agency Blue Chip, it's learning to use video as a way of exploring how people interact with a brand. Blue Chip works with some of the largest retailers and brands in the U.S. to determine how products can be positioned best with the right sales outlets and how to merchandise products to the store's particular clientele. In earlier coverage elsewhere at MediaPost, I spoke with the chief executives at Blue Chip about their unique takes on using shopper behaviors to map brand strategies.

But some other interesting insights about data gathering came up when I spoke with members of the Blue Chip digital team. The company combines retail-level data with MRI attitudinal profiles as well as extensive online studies. One of the projects involves deliberately pushing people to view a video brand message not just for the brand exposure but to conduct richer research.

"We either use a banner ad or an email to entice someone to go to a space," says Chris D'Antonio, Associate Creative Director, Digital. "They have a video along with a coupon offer. We drive them with the coupon offer and then have them watch the video and we can chart behavioral tendencies."

Ultimately, Blue Chip is trying to find how people relate to the brand by how they interact with a richer message from the brand. "We can test the levels of engagement," he says. "Are they there for the price or the opportunity to develop a deeper relationship to the brand? Did they watch the video or go for the coupon? We can generate excitement but also see what the shopper wants."

On the back end, marketers can even make determinations about consumers' level of engagement with the brand and use that data to segment the audience for subsequent messaging.

While the coupon is still the most powerful lure, it appears that video too still is enough to entice a click-through that otherwise wouldn't have happened. "We are finding that the open rate is much higher when we have a video aligned with the message -- a 30% increase over standard email marketing versus one with video," says D'Antonio.

Somehow, even as we are awash in multimedia and streaming media from every available space, video is still a special kind of candy.

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