Seth Marlowe Tue Jul 31, 2012

At this point in the game, you are implementing video for your online marketing efforts. (At least you know you should be.) You’re following the industry blogosphere and keep hearing about videos leveraging big data, personalization, high volume and real-time content – the so-called “smart videos.” But how do you know what areas of your business offer the best opportunity for SmartVideo to provide the most incremental value?

In a recent meeting with a top 3 MSO (cable), a very intelligent CMO defined 5 criteria for his team to look for in applying SmartVideo to their objectives. I agreed whole-heartedly with his assessment and thought I’d share them here for your consideration.

SmartVideo can provide value when 1 of these 5 criteria apply, becomes a very good fit with 3 and provides outstanding value when you find all 5:

  1. Individualized data to drive a 1-to-1 approach
    Not just that you have individual data, but that you have a wealth of data about each individual. Examples of individualized data can include customer purchasing and browsing history, geolocation targeting, account information and social, lifestyle and behavioral details. The more you have, the more ‘personal’ SmartVideo can be.
  2. Medium to high variability within data
    If 90% of the data is generally the same, rich personalization doesn’t provide much incremental value. So, the more variability there is within sets of data, the more opportunities you have to address various individual questions, needs or wants with logic-based personalization.
  3. High volume that leverages machine generated automation
    The automated, machine generation approach to SmartVideo is best applied to large amounts of data and/or variability. As you walk up the scale from hundreds to thousands to millions of products, customers, ads, support phone calls, etc…the incremental value of SmartVideo ramps dramatically.
  4. Desire to cause and/or prevent an action
    Generic video can effectively communicate brand, how-to and other ‘non-personal’ information. SmartVideo is about action. More specifically, SmartVideo is highly effective at getting an individual to either take an action (e.g. make a purchase, register for a VIP program, accept a highly relevant offer, etc) or avoid an action (e.g. abandon the shopping cart, call the support center, cancel their contract, etc).
  5. Difficulty in consistently communicating verbally or via text only
    To simply tell someone their total bill amount or tracking number for a shipment doesn’t require a video – but walking an individual through all of their charges, their prorated amounts, their specific fees, why those fees were charged, and any other information, is much better delivered with a combination of voiceover narration, animation, callouts and text… such as a SmartVideo. 

AT&T U-verse is a great example of applying SmartVideo where all 5 criteria exist. A SmartVideo is sent to hundreds of thousands of customers each month (#3) to address bill confusion (#5), a common issue in their market. Each scene in each SmartVideo (#2) specifically attacks a call driver or promotes a Value Added Service (#4) most relevant to each individual customer (#1). The result is outstanding incremental value, high customer satisfaction and a continual expansion of SmartVideo within their business.

AT&T U-verse SmartVideo

As you consider SmartVideo within your business, I encourage you to look for these criteria and investigate how they can be collectively applied to an opportunity for incremental value over existing solutions.

What do you think? Are there any other criteria you look for that I didn’t mention here? I’d love to hear what you think.


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