Managing The Plethora Of Video Platforms

Another day, another digital video platform. Sometimes it seems like that and with reports that Microsoft is planning a business-focused social video network called Huddle, some are wondering how much is too much in the video platform arena.

That was one of the issues explored by a panel of agency executives at the OMMA Video conference in New York today that was moderated by Ryan Hurley, director of performance marketing at the Archer Group.

The panel seemed to agree that we probably haven’t reached the saturation point yet. Just as the cable industry keeps adding networks, there is no particular reason why there shouldn’t be more digital video platform as long as they fill an unmet need.

“People can’t seem to get enough,” said Craig Elimeliah, Director of Creative Technology (North America) at VML, which is part of WPP. “If people are going to go there, why not?”

Rachel Pasqua,  Practice Lead, Connected Life, MEC Global, said additional platforms could be useful especially if they produce accessible data that can help develop insights for clients. As to saturation, it’s hard to know, she said. Often she added, “you don’t know you need something until you see it.”

Trevor O’Brien, Partner & CTO, Deutsch said that Microsoft might be breaking new ground if reports are accurate about its propose new platform. “A video platform for business could be a potentially new space,” he said.

But the bigger issue for clients and agencies, said O’Brien is how to utilize all the network options in a strategic manner, addressing the role that each network plays in a specific plan and proportioning budgets accordingly.

That process can be a bit messy, said Pasqua. Often new platforms are “retrofitted” into existing plans because no one has devised a new blueprint for their usage, she said, likening the situation to the early days of websites which often “looked like press brochures.”

Managing all the platforms can be difficult, Pasqua said. To be successful those who do it have to “break out of muscle memory” mode and embrace a “we can do anything” outlook to forge a new process.

And such processes don’t always fit into numbers-focused ROI plans, said Elimeliah. What he tries to do is “unlock the cultural value” that platforms have for clients. “And then figure out if it’s working and if there are insights that might help drive big ideas.”

Measuring value isn’t easy and Deutsch’s O’Brien. What he tries to do is assess how a platform helps brands connect to consumers, which usually comes down to how entertaining and/or useful consumers find a platform.

Sharing is a key metric, said O’Brien given that a sharer is “putting their personal brand on something.”  Pasqua agreed, noting that sharing is akin to a “free ad for your brand.”

O’Brien shared a statistic that raises a number of questions for marketers: roughly 85% of video views are seen without audio. Creatives need to focus on that, he said, because “telling a compelling story” with just video and not audio “changes the creative experience and design.”

And creative skills will continue to get tested in new and different ways with the advent of 360 video and technologies such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence, among others. “There’s a lot of stress in creative departments” to keep up  and be proficient with advancing technology, said Elimeliah. 

Hear more on what the panelists had to say here.

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