By Alasdair Lloyd-Jones, new CMO, Versus
…and more specifically video content.
Our concern is not so much the landfill of poor performing, poor quality and brand discordant video content, it’s more that brands are not harnessing the full potential of video as a critical connector between a brand’s purpose and all those who engage with it.
Seeing marketing as the sole arbiter of video content or framing video as the new broadcast equivalent to meet the demands of CTV misses the point.
For us it has to start with understanding an untapped business opportunity whether that’s supporting a focus on customer support, educating retailers on product benefits or connecting to the interests of customers and connecting these to a profitable outcome. We call this the cumulative effect of video as a medium when applied smartly.
So yes video is a great asset for CTV but that assumes you’re going after a specified audience based on traditional targeting metrics and typically this results in outward-directed communications – what do we want to say to sell our product? Instead, we draw inwards – understanding all the need states. By looking at the video in the context of a multitude of diodes, we can start to understand the breadth and effectiveness of video in serving multiple needs.
Take audience engagement for example. Traditional forms of targeting using demographics or social graphs focus on a generalized messaging approach, whereas applying AI to audiences and determining their interest graphs enables a completely new context in which to connect in more relevant and more meaningful ways with an audience. Tesla prospects who care about the environment are very different from Tesla prospects who love speed and racing cars. With video and storytelling systems, we can speak to both contexts and drive results.
There’s one reality that keeps us up at night. Video can suck too. Nielsen has clearly demonstrated that creativity outweighs all other metrics in the success of work, with over 50% agreeing with this statement. This is more than double its nearest rival Reach and many believe it’s closer to 70%. This is perhaps why brands still invest heavily on creative talent to deliver an amazing 30-second spot but when you consider how little this 30-second spot is used versus video assets, we struggle to understand why brands throw fewer resources and less talent behind video development. Video as a medium is where creativity can truly connect with needs and results.
One way to ensure greater effectiveness and connected creativity in video content is to buy into the concept of brand as publisher. When we talk to brands, we consider the editorial calendar for the year. What are the imperatives across the organization and how can video content support these imperatives? We develop all our concepts working hand in hand with producers establishing almost a lego-like approach to producing the content, where all elements are treated in a modular way to enable us to meet multiple needs across the organization throughout the year.
Finally, while creativity is the number one factor in engaging audiences successfully, the hidden factor behind creativity and the same factor that enables content to be non-perishable is the craft put into developing the content. Poorly produced content is a reflection of the brand behind it. Levels of trust desired from audiences can be lost with poorly produced content. Craft also demands clear logic and consistency across the work and ultimately the strategy driving the work. Our producers are like engineers – they’re brilliant at what they do and they’re also demanding across all the disciplines in ensuring that the work being produced will be effective and will result in future work. They live in the world of ‘you’re only as good as your last job’ and we rely on this level of diligence to ensure the work is beautifully crafted and successful.
Design and customer-obsessed leader with a track record of innovating businesses and building high-performing teams. Alasdair has spent his career leading advertising agencies, transforming digital and brand experience shops into the brand and business-centric partners, and most recently his focus has turned to content strategy and marketing in his role as CMO of Versus, with an emphasis on the power of content to bring the value of a brand back into conversations for audiences and brands. Versus is a premier creator of culture-defining content, that approaches its work with purpose and experience, creating and crafting groundbreaking ideas that drive results and remain memorable.