Personalized video belongs in the marketing cloud (and if you’re not doing it, you should)


Personalized video belongs in the marketing cloud (and if you’re not doing it, you should)

Jeff Hirsch April 28, 2016
Personalized video belongs in the marketing cloud (and if you’re not doing it, you should)

Here’s something you’ll never hear from a marketer: “We shouldn’t make that campaign relevant.”

Recent years have seen investments pour into cloud-based programmatic advertising and personalization – VentureBeat put personalization and ad targeting in second place for the most-used marketing cloud features in a recent State of Marketing Technology report, trailing only analytics. Other research finds that more than half of consumers rely on ad-blocking software to weed out unwanted content. People avoid information irrelevant to their lives and interests, and if marketers aren’t already supporting this pursuit, they’re overdue to get started.

One of the most dynamic ways to tap into consumer behaviors and infuse marketing campaigns with one-to-one, emotional connections is to use video. Below are a few reasons personalized video in the cloud offers a win for brands, marketing technology providers and consumers alike – and how to claim your brand’s share of the next wave, if you haven’t already.

Personalized video is jumping every traditional hurdle.

Three barriers historically prevented personalized video from being a viable option for many brands: cost, time and data. Today, platforms and the state of today’s marketing industry are knocking down those hurdles:

  • Cost: Marketing costs money – period. Those who object to costs without examining their source aren’t thinking of overall value. By establishing clear key performance indicators (KPIs) to help measure if a campaign is resonating with tangible returns (such as overall revenue increases, cancellation and churn reductions, or increased revenue per customer), you can spend wisely and create dynamic video campaigns that your customers love. Value is measured by results rather than gross spend.
  • Time: Time is a limited resource at every company. If only one internal team monitors (and reaps) the value from a personalized video campaign, it’s no surprise that other groups in the organization may wonder why an investment in video is worthwhile. Before launching a video campaign, think about how it can influence customers across stages of the buyer’s journey, and break down internal and external silos. You’ll help improve the campaign’s overall results while knocking down barriers that might have drained ROI from past projects.
  • Data: Obtaining and applying data is resource-intensive and an ongoing priority for almost every company. If your team doesn’t have the data structure to support a personalized marketing campaign – with video or without – take a step back and consider making internal updates before moving forward. With personalized messaging, you get what you give; the more data you can apply to a campaign, the more empowered you are to deliver every message on a one-to-one basis.

Marketing technology and video personalization go hand in hand.

When a brand works with a marketing technology provider, it streamlines the personalized video process, conserving each of the above resources. Much of the data needed to make personalization successful already lives in the marketing cloud, meaning that applying it to video should be a no-brainer. If your brand uses one platform to manage every touch point with a customer throughout its lifecycle, you can maintain message continuity throughout the buyer’s journey and avoid communications appearing choppy or out of touch.

Although major providers, such as Adobe and Oracle, currently dominate the marketing cloud market, as personalization evolves, each enterprise will be pressured to keep up with the industry’s latest offerings. As with any new technology, control goes to those that are ahead of the game. Leading companies might lose market share and control, essentially leaving money on the table and opening the door for other vendors, if they don’t embrace what works. After all, smaller technology providers can devote more attention to customers – they can operate with a customer-centric, not company-centric business approach to help their customers use personalization to its most valuable extent.

Video will mirror the adoption path of other marketing mediums.

Any vendor building a marketing cloud needs a medium as effective as personalized video to engage customers. In the time that personalized video will take to fully mature as a go-to digital medium, this level of customer demand will drive its growth, much like it did for successful marketing mediums that came before video:

  • Display advertising had early adopters that championed its rapid growth. Then, its growth became more measured as conservative marketers came on board.
  • Data management platforms (DMPs) existed for years before advertisers recognized how to use them in ways that support their full value. It was a big step for many brands to trust data enough to let it support personalization efforts.

Video is more than a branding medium – it’s a performance medium, too. Marketers are trusting and applying data with more frequency than ever, and brands are figuring out new ways to obtain and analyze data to maximize resources and support goals. As a result, the industry’s adoption curve for personalized video will continue to speed up. By 2020, it won’t surprise me if every B2C Fortune 1000 company uses personalized video to engage with consumers.

Consumers also won’t be fast-forwarding through personalized videos or sending them directly to their spam folders. When marketing messages are relevant, timely and delivered one-to-one, they’re engaging and interesting – unlike the tone-deaf blanket statements we’ve seen in the past. That’s why smart marketers want to make every message as relevant as it can be. When this goal is executed with marketing cloud-based video, brands create lasting connections with consumers that form trust and prove ROI for years to come.