Why Video Is Part of Digital Strategy
As a digital strategy firm, we often focus on the big picture for clients that need to shape their digital presence, priorities, and marketing. So why am I talking about video?
Video is digital- and only getting more important in communication and marketing. In the B2B space, video can be a crucial tool.
Current data shows that B2B prospects research more than ever, and millennials like to self-educate before reaching out to potential vendors. This is no different from how consumers now walk into a car dealership- often knowing more than the salespeople.
Prospects often first come across your services from a web search. Your website establishes your credibility- but how do you explain your product or service?
Sure- web pages with product info are great- and necessary, but prospects often want more. They want explanation and demonstration. According to research from IBM, millennials like video for research in B2B- and prefer it to traditional formats including whitepapers and written case studies- and websites. They also say that demonstration and training is the most important value add a vendor can provide.
A client of mine had a new to world type service that uses machine learning to bring magnitudes of efficiency improvement to an existing process in a regulated space. The buyers of this service are smart, savvy, and conservative- but they are not data scientists. A black box doesn’t cut it for these folks. My client needed to establish authority in the space, explain what the machine learning does, and how it can provide more accurate results- even while cutting expenses. By combining thoughtful narration with illustrative animation and on-screen text, we brought this abstract concept of machine learning out of the black box, explained it in terms the prospects could relate to and demonstrated visually it could help solve their issue.
Another client sells component products. A large part of their added value is to be there at the beginning of the product development cycle for their customers as they begin concepting new consumer products. For them, video helps explain how their components can shape a client’s new product early in the development cycle- but even more important, they provide a different type of content to support production engineers as they move from a lab / prototype setting to production. Here the video is used as a value-added relationship tool as aiding the production end of the development cycle makes it easier for the product development people to choose my client’s products.
In B2B, the consultative sales process is still critical for many companies, but also using the tools of today to explain and demonstrate what you offer just makes sense. Customers like researching on their own, understanding your products and services before they reach out, and especially before they pitch them up the chain in their organizations. This new wave of video is not flashy brochure-ware, but in-depth explanation and demonstration of the solutions you can provide- and it is surely digital.
Digital Luxury: Automation vs Control?
I was talking with a prominent digital strategist and the conversation turned to cars- one of my long time passions. This brought up the concept of luxury as it relates to cars and, more specifically digital experience in cars- but I think it extends to other experiences too.
The industry is buzzing with cars coming equipped with more automation features that will take responsibilities of driving away from you- like parking, slowing down in traffic, etc. And of course, we all know that Google and Uber and others are strongly pursuing fully autonomous vehicles.
But luxury in cars seems to be about 2 divergent things-
1) Automated numbing comfort- shiatsu massaging vented seats, radar based cruise control, burl-walnut, dual pane windows
2) Control Performance- Speed, Handling, Control, Power.
These things contradict each other don't they? In extending this to other industries, product and services, does this come down to automating the things that we don’t care about and giving us control over the things we don’t? Doesn’t seem that simple does it?
It seems that digital luxury is about simplifying control.
This is a blend of automation and connecting devices and services to allow a user to create that bespoke (excuse the word please) experience they want with a minimum of fuss, and to change that experience as they want quickly by thinking it, set the mood at home via a single button push, having shades close 2 hours after sunset that day, whatever.
So back to cars- luxury then is the ability to be cruising down the highway being massaged as your car ensures you are always a safe 4 car lengths from the vehicle in front of you- then when that kid in the old Mustang cuts you off, you can shift your backside and the car know you are in “Corsa” mode now and ready to take him on.
So how does this coincide with fully automated cars in luxury….or does it?
What do you think?
There has been a lot of buzz about the 18K gold Apple Watch. Although some has been focused on its (brilliant) use of a ceramic composite gold, which essentially allows 18K gold to have less gold in it, some attention has been merely on the fact that Apple is making this $10K watch at all.
There is no denying that watches have forever been status- or at least fashion items – an extension of wardrobe or jewelry. Certainly it is possible that Apple could have the power to democratize the watch in away similar to their phones, but it could also be a jumping off point where they could turn their phones into (even more of) a fashion item.
As an appreciator of antique wristwatches and a mobile guy, I decided to look back at other watches that introduced new technology- and you know what, Apple seems to be following the playbook. Look at these other history-making watches introduced with high-priced models in gold.
1) The Hamilton Electric was the first production battery powered watch. Introduced in 1957, with an iconic asymmetrical design by Richard Arbib, the Hamilton Ventura debuted in- 14K gold. This watch essentially used the concept of an electromagnetic energy to replace a mainspring of a watch, but kept the rest of the movement intact ($200 in 1957 dollars).
2) Next up was the Bulova Accutron Alpha. This model used a battery to vibrate a tuning fork, and move its hands. This first-ever electronic watch introduced in 1960 had an interesting case shape, no crown, a see through dial and yes it was made from 14K gold.
3) The first Quartz watch, the Seiko Astron, debuted in gold- at over $2K in 1970’s dollars.
The 18K Pulsar 901 Calculator Watch cost $4000 in 1975- or $18,000 in 2015 dollars4) Same goes for the first LED watch,the P1 by Pulsar, at $2,100 in 1972. And yes, even Pulsar’s first calculator watch, the 901 of 1975 had a debut in 18K gold selling for $4,000 ($18,000 in 2015)
It may be easy to dismiss the new technology introduced in these decades later, but for each of these-expensive at the time, the appeal was to early adopters, many of whom also wanted to have the best and were willing to spend for it. Frankly, it may actually reduce the dissonance in replacing that high-end swiss watch with one from Apple- at least on the weekends to start.
No doubt, there is a little similarity in Apple's approach.
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