Commentary

How To Handle Marketing's New Video Challenge

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.

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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.

3 comments about " How To Handle Marketing's New Video Challenge".
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  1. John Douglas from DG, April 5, 2013 at 10:59 a.m.

    I strongly disagree that advertisers can get away with low quality production value for online video. We need to stop equating today's "online video" with the poor quality and distribution challenges of online video from a decade ago. There's no excuse (unless it's intentional) for online video to be anything less than that of what's going on air. Why? Because advertisers no longer control the screens on which consumers watch video. I can airplay almost anything to my TV. Or I can watch *everything* on my TV if I just plug an HDMI cable into my laptop. And lets not forget that high resolution displays on laptops and increasingly, on tablets and smart phones. If you want more proof, just look to content. They don't accept anything but the best for their programming, and for good reason. Any advertiser who cuts corners on video quality, but pay top dollars for premium inventory is in a for a rude awakening.

  2. Walter Sabo from SABO media, April 5, 2013 at 11:10 a.m.

    All of these problems and dilemmas were solved in May 2007 by HITVIEWS. HITVIEWS places brand products and messages inside webstar videos that receive millions of organic views. Millions. This has been done successfully for FOX, CBS, Pepsi, US Government, Timberland, Microsoft, Screen Gems, Logitech and many more. Let's stop wasting time on this, the problem was solved long ago. PS: The worse the tech quality, the higher the view and comment count and engagement levels.

  3. jon burk from roker creative media, April 5, 2013 at 4:13 p.m.

    We've worked with brands that are at first, reluctant to experiment with finessed production look/feel. They tend to operate in the 'old school' of traditional media and don't realize that engagement is far different on the small screen/mobile. There is plenty of technology to make the production look great but with a more artistic flair (think of the Instagram filters you now use that result in multiple photo sharing and engagement). At the end of the day it comes down to great storytelling and I am grateful that I work with creative visionaries that can do this for brands and clients, regardless of the production ethos. Jon@rokercreative.com

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