1. The Power of Video

    The Power of Video

    A meeting in Malaysia, a potential multimillion-dollar new customer and a CEO in the United States that is unable to attend this critical first step towards an account win…. this may not seem like a “make it or break it” situation, but in this particular case, it was.  The value of human contact in building trust, cementing relationships and showing commitment can’t be understated.  The reality of a global business is that sometimes a face-to-face meeting isn’t possible.  How do you convey the human side of your company on a tight deadline and without spending your entire budget on one potential deal?    


    In this example, thanks to some quick thinking by the marketing department, the CEO was able to be in two places at once or at least virtually.  In less than 24 hours, a high-quality personal video message was created, edited and on its way to Malaysia for the meeting.

    May seem like a very small gesture, but it was impactful and a key component for the company advancing in the RFP process, which eventually led to the customer win.


    Is video still relevant in this day in age of the online world where banner ads, twittering and blogging seem to be taking center stage in spreading the word?  When budgets are under heavy pressure and video seems like a luxury, can you still afford to invest in this medium?  Real-time communications, mobility, more with less…can video fit in this list of priorities? In a word: yes.  Video remains one of the most powerful and effectual ways to get a message out to customers, partners, prospects, the media and, of course, employees.  The days of everyone creating big budget, high production corporate videos are gone.  The benefits of video are unchanged by budgetary requirements; showcasing the human side of your company, giving your executives extended reach and being able to connect customers visually with your mission. 

    In this age, where future generations are only becoming more and more visual with their iphones, xboxes, skyping, and everything internet – there has been no more relevant time than now to utilitize/embrace video.


    In the world of hyper-tasking, capturing your audience’s attention is a new challenge.  YouTube and video blogging are all examples of the power of the moving image. Today, we expect to download the latest information on any company and watch it on our PDA, while on the go.  The short snippets aren’t expensive, but they present unique new challenges. To steal a favorite aphorism from TS Eliot, “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” The same is true in today’s online video realm. Short, concise, impactful videos require creativity, a little ingenuity and an understanding of your audience. 


    We are a society built on sensory overload, That is how we like to devour our information. Give us the facts, give them to us quick, flashy and with some emotional impact.  With our Tivos and DVRs the landscape of advertising is quickly changing. Videos convey information quickly, in a variety of mediums and play to our emotions as no other format can do.


    The Ritz Carlton is world renowned for its superior service, posh facilities and, of course, fabulous locations.  They might not be the first organization that comes to mind with innovative uses of video, but a recent visit to the Ritz in Cancun added them to my list.  After enjoying their seaside pool and amenities, I flopped down for a little siesta and some local TV.  Imagine my delight at being sucked into a romance story, only to discover it was exactly a very cleverly done infomercial on their properties.  They go the extra step (as the Ritz does with nearly everything) of creating short films that are set in one of their hotels.  Not the traditional informational video that you flip through to get to CNN (or... MTV is you are a video junky like me).    


    We all know how popular YouTube is for anything video related.  Those funny cat talking scenes or silly human tricks.  Tradeshows?  Yep.  Video is used here too.  For those in the mobile telecom world, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain is the must attend event of the year.  Unfortunately, that also comes with a big price tag and over 30,000 visitors.  Trying to stand out here can tap even the most creative minds.  This year, Cisco took the power of video, MWC and YouTube to extend the value of their presence... globally. Over the course of the 7-day event, Cisco produced 16 short, witty videos (http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=C3F2BEEA86A6BB8C) that were less about Cisco and more focused on the events surrounding this show.  These videos have been viewed over 1,000 times with their WiMAX demonstration receiving more than 700 hits.  It isn't a budget breaker to film a short interview and post it on YouTube.  Think of the ROI on this piece of marketing that lives well beyond the life of the show.  There happens to be a very talent film producer that could do this for less than the money you spend on those banner adverts that get lost in the shuffle


    For marketing departments that need to drive sales, support tight deadlines and keep budgets in check, video provides an essential service. Where once going to large production companies was a requirement for anything related to video; today with the right people, video can be shot and edited at a fraction of the cost while delivering huge returns on investment.


    As we become more technologically advanced, the power of video can only get stronger.  Consider the potential ways that video could enhance your marketing program… executive meetings, tradeshows news reports, virtual user groups, customer documentaries, product placement… the list goes on. 

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