It’s a dilemma. Marketers today are faced with a true challenge in dealing with the ever-increasing demand for video for social channels, while they are still being held to the highest levels of production standards for any work that represents their brand.
These two conflicts, the battle for high standards offset by the need for more and more video, are creating real friction internally for many of the largest and more innovative brands.
Brand marketers need to ask themselves four important questions at this critical juncture:
1. How far are you willing to let go of your brand?
First off, it’s not your brand anymore. In today’s social environment, it’s your customer’s brand. It’s no longer about pushing out a message to your target, it’s about engaging in a conversation with these critical consumers. If you continue to claim “ownership” of your brand, there can be no real conversation with your customers. They need to be a part of the dialogue, and you need to share your brand and play nice.
2. How important are production values in today’s day and age?
High quality productions are still important to marketers, but it’s nowhere near as critical as we may have felt in the past. First and foremost, you have to consider the screen size that your production will be rendered on. If your message is going out on tablets, mobile devices or online in general, you can cut corners on production quality and focus more on delivering a variety of unique messages to your consumers. Additionally, younger audiences today, who were literally born into an age of TV advertising, are increasingly distrustful of overly polished video messaging; big productions can appear less authentic to them than more modest executions. For TV-only executions, with today’s large-screen technology, it continues to be necessary to deliver the highest quality representations for your brand.
3. Can I portray my brand in a less than ”pristine” manner?
Yes, of course. Your customers are using your product or your service in a less than “pristine” world, and will relate better to authentic representations of product usage than highly stylized and overly dramatic representations. Authenticity is critical in today’s messaging strategy, and sometimes that means real-world visuals and executions.
4. What does your customer really want from you?
More than ever before, your consumers want you to be real. They want an honest representation of your product or service without all the hype and marketing babble. They want to be informed. Your customers would love a little entertainment or amusement in their otherwise hectic and demanding days. They want to learn what’s new about your product, or what makes it special, or better, or worth their time.
Just as important, your customers don’t want to be hit over the head with your customer messages time and time again. They want new news, delivered in new ways, with variable messaging, and not “tonnage.”
Letting go of your brand is not an easy exercise for marketers. These highly skilled advertisers have grown up in a demanding culture that insists on perfection in every form of marketing communications. It’s time to lighten up a bit, and trust that your consumers will understand if you are a little less than perfect, but are giving them more in return -- with unique messaging, varied communications, and real, authentic product commercials.