Admittedly, a pretty bizarre title, but it comes (late at night) from me seeing a juxtaposition of Seth Godin’s “A sad truth about most traditional b2b marketing” a few days ago and Adam Singer’s (Online Marketing Blog) “Thinking Critically About Web Video.”
I struggle often with the question about why product simulations/demos are not yet a popular marketing tool, while the marketing world is crowing about the effectiveness of videos (which seems to me one or more steps away from an engaging product experience.
First, the former post, which I read a few days ago. Seth introduces and summarizes his post with the words “People who don’t care, selling products to people who care less.” The message: no matter what we sell, successful B2B marketing has to express the passion we have about what we sell. Good, I believe it.
Then along came the second article, in which Adam Singer bemoans that the creation of videos typically is not strategic, rather, it is because it is something marketers are told they should be doing–and then expect results when they haven’t set realistic targets.
The real question you need to ask yourself is why am I making web video? What marketing problem does it answer, and how does it answer it? How does it feed digital marketing KPI/objective metrics? Am I doing it because I read an article about it in AdAge or because it’s an elegant way to express my brand’s story to the world?
It seems to me that marketers being told they need to create a video are already one step too deep — is video the best way to portray my product? The seemingly alternatives are static pictures, technical information, text, and then videos. Videos show viewers about some aspects of the product, or usually about people who are using the product, but the missing ingredient is the focus on letting the viewer experience the product themselves. The video is supposed to be a means to expose viewers to the product, but in an attempt to have it go viral, most often there are elements added that distract from the product experience. Again, quoting from Adam’s post:
Placing web video on a pedestal, as if it’s so different from any other digital content, is the wrong approach. It has to be just as sharp, creative and relevant as your text-based content.
what can be more relevant than experiencing the product through simulation?
My take-away message blending these posts is that marketers need to be passionate about what they’re selling and they need to present relevant content. And how much more relevant content can there be than a marketing-driven simulation about the product itself?