|Issue:||North America 2009|
|Topic:||B2B marketing with video|
|Title:||Vice President of Marketing|
Jeff Whatcott is the Vice President of Marketing at Brightcove. Prior to joining Brightcove Mr Whatcott launched Acquia, a commercial open source start-up, where he continues as an advisor. Prior to Acquia, Mr Whatcott served as Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Adobe’s Enterprise Business Unit. Prior to Adobe, Mr Whatcott held a variety of senior product leadership positions at Macromedia and Allaire. Jeff Whatcott holds a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and Master of Business Administration, both from Brigham Young University.
Video is a critical tool for online business-to-business marketing. According to some analysts, online video is second only to word-of-mouth for its ability to influence the purchasing process. Marketers use video at each stage of the customer lifecycle. They use it to influence branding and awareness; to build consumers’ interest and lead them to consider a product or service; it gives potential buyers the facts needed to evaluate a purchase; and, post-purchase, information and content helps to cement customer loyalty.
The video imperative In the last few years, online video has emerged as a critical element of online communication and marketing strategies for business-to-business marketers. When today’s business customers visit a website, they expect to find video – if it is not there, they notice that something is missing. Worldwide there are 452 million broadband subscribers and almost every business has a high-speed connection to the Internet. Broadband has made the delivery of video across the Web possible, and more than 80 per cent of Internet users now watch online video regularly. According to MarketingSherpa, online video is second only to word-of-mouth for its ability to influence decision-makers at every stage of the purchasing process. No marketing effort is compete without incorporating online video to drive awareness, leads, customer acquisition and loyalty. Strategic use of online video Marketers are applying video at each stage of the customer lifecycle; it has become a key part of the overall marketing mix. While every business organizes the lifecycle in different ways, the process generally includes stages at which marketers need to deploy tactics to address their customers’ needs and move them through to the next stage. Branding and awareness Prospects in the branding and awareness stage are becoming familiar with your industry and learning about the key players. Online video drives branding and awareness by capturing and engaging your audience. With its rich storytelling capabilities, video is one of the most effective brand-building mediums available for advertising, viral marketing and corporate communications campaigns. Unlike static banner ads, video ads embedded in Web pages or in online video content engage viewers with deeper and richer messages that leave a lasting impression. They can introduce your products and company to prospects in ways that are impossible with traditional banner ads. Online video can also reach customers in highly effective and efficient ways that are different from traditional media. DuPont was able to reach key influencers and bloggers using online video to raise awareness of DuPont contributions and build brand value. They created a series of compelling short videos about their products and scientific innovations drawing on content from their video archive combined with commentary from a popular blogger. The videos were hosted on a DuPont site and distributed to select blogs. The award-winning video campaign was a marketing success. During a relatively short period, the campaign drove two million impressions, 60,000 video streams, and achieved an average time spent on site of eight minutes. Ninety three per cent of viewers said they learned something new, and 61 per cent said they would tell someone else about the videos. Interest and consideration Prospects in the Interest and Consideration stage of the customer lifecycle need to be hooked by the benefits of your product and presented a clear value proposition that drives them to evaluate more deeply. Online video gives you a way to draw users into your content and bring your products and services to life. On-demand product tours that give the visitor control of in-depth information are among the most popular types of video content. Beyond communicating the value proposition, video product tours can utilize in-depth video analytics that will give you insights into which parts of your pitch are resonating the most with prospect and customers. In addition to product tours, Marketers are incorporating video customer testimonials and introductions to features directly on their website. These short, high-impact videos help to capture customer attention and spark deeper engagement. Podcasting is one of the most popular approaches to recurring communication with prospects and customers. According to MarketingSherpa, 78 per cent of the business technology executives surveyed said that on more than one occasion, they have listened to a technology-related podcast. Evaluation At the evaluation stage, customers are ready to dive more deeply into their assessment of your product. They are looking for validation and trying to understand if the product can be applied to meet their needs. During the evaluation stage, online video can help tell your story more effectively. Longer-form video presentations that present product functionality, describe benefits, and show products being used are a compelling way to help customers understand and evaluate your products. The latest online video technology offers full-screen HD presentations for a rich and immersive experience. At this stage, customer case studies are excellent ways to persuade prospective buyers of the value of your offering. Traditional written case studies are often dry and fail to connect with buyers at both an intellectual and emotional level. With video, you can bring your case studies to life and let your existing customers sell your products and services for you. Loyalty Because existing customers are worth a great deal, savvy marketers continue to invest in the customer relationship after purchase. Video plays into customer loyalty and on-going engagement in a variety of ways. Whether the application is product information, training, on-going thought leadership, or strategic business content, video offers a compelling way to maintain customer loyalty. One of Adobe’s most powerful tactics for building loyalty among its most influential customers is their annual user conference, Adobe Max. Each year, Max brings together thousands of Adobe users with hundreds of sessions and presentations, but Adobe realized that once a year was not enough. The demand for sessions outpaced the capacity at the live event, so they developed an online video version of the conference that presents content from the conference sessions as well as other sessions produced throughout the year. Companies also use video for recurring podcasts to customers, as content in customer newsletters, and as the foundation for delivering on-demand, online training and information. Sun Microsystems has done this with Channel Sun, with its information about Sun products. Production, publishing and analytics With a strategy in place and a plan for using video you need to address the challenges of creating, publishing and monitoring your video. Production The first challenge is creating content. Video content can be more difficult to create than written content, but can have higher impact. The production process will vary depending on your resources and strategy. Generally, content produced for awareness and interest should have the highest production costs since you are establishing your brand. Often the most expensive content is video advertising, which is also the shortest. Podcasting, though, can be inexpensive and quick to produce. As customers move into the evaluation and then loyalty stages, they are more interested in the depth of the information than the quality of the production, so your focus can shift and you can take advantage of other content such as sessions from conferences and seminars. Publishing As the online video market has matured, a new class of on-demand systems has emerged called online video platforms (OVP). An OVP provides all the capabilities you need for managing, publishing, distributing and tracking online video. The online video platform should have the following capabilities: – Easily upload and manage online video content; – Create and publish video players, customized to the specific needs of your site; – Enable viral sharing and distribution to build a community around your content; – Provide ‘analytics’ to monitor and optimize video initiatives; and – Deliver a high quality, high reliability, user experience. OVPs significantly cut start-up costs, reduce total cost of ownership, and accelerate time to market for your online video initiatives. They can offer advanced functionality that facilitates customizing the player experience to cleanly integrate it with your branded destinations and sites. Analytics Like all modern e-marketing strategies, analytics should be a part of any online video program. Most marketers are already using an online analytics platform like Omniture or Google Analytics, so the best strategy is to hook your video platform into your existing analytics system. Most platforms provide their own analytics, and advanced systems can provide direct integrations with third party analytics systems. Getting started The growth of online video has been explosive and marketers are taking advantage of this medium to leapfrog their competition to break through the clutter and connect with prospects and customers. With the cost of video production at an all-time low and clearly established success stories from leading marketers, more and more companies are bringing online video into their marketing mix at all stages in the customer lifecycle. Getting started • Identify stages in your customer lifecycle where you can apply video; • Choose one of the tactics and focus upon executing it well; • Hire a video production company who can partner with you to create content; • Produce your first video content and publish it with an online video platform; and • Monitor the success of your first initiative and use the insight to plan your next.