Vendor Videos With a Spark of Personality
I take briefings from all sorts of vendors every day, from established companies with a new release to emerging companies with what they hope will be The Next Great Idea that the market will seize on. I am always happy to give my opinion and advice, and sometimes it's even taken. But I am usually reticent to write about most of them simply because it's not my job to provide free advertising, I don't want to be a cheerleader, and often the idea the company represents may not be in my wheelhouse.
That said, I think I could do more without jeopardizing my amateur standing.
In that spirit, I took a briefing from a company in Israel last week that I believe has legs and, of equal import, it's in my wheelhouse. Idomoo (I do movies) has figured out a way to mass customize customer-focused videos, making high-quality video cheap and easy for most companies to use.
Making Video Personal
We're a species that relies on our eyes, much like dogs rely on their noses, but our primary methods of communicating include print and audio. For most of our time on this planet, the visual was relegated to the present, and there was no instant replay.
In the last handful of decades, video has become increasingly popular though still a bear to produce in terms of both effort and cost. Consequently, the use of video in business has been reserved for special events -- the shareholder meeting or the user group. And though quality and frequency have both exploded with modern computing (thanks to Steve Jobs and products like iMovie), personalization and customization, you might call it "the last mile," have remained elusive.
Idomoo has the potential to change all that. But before you get all wiggly like a puppy, you should know that we're not talking about freeform, anything goes, auteur video ART. This is business-oriented video and for what it is, it's pretty good.
Instances of Interaction
Idomoo has a four-step process in which they create a video master template or templates that you will use to communicate with your customers. The heart of the process is integrating Idomoo with your customer database. When the data and the template are brought together you can generate customized videos that your customers will want to watch (we always want to watch what's about us, don't we?). It's more powerful than direct mail because there's no effort required to read. You just watch.
The trick is to conceive of the instances of customer interaction that you want to make video for. Finance, personalized offers, loyalty/fan pages are all fair game, so in reality, a vendor might have multiple video templates, and why not? If you are a large company you can make the financial case easily enough with postage cost avoidance. If you are a small company, there's labor to be saved.
So, for example, if a bank wanted to communicate with its savings customers regarding interest rates and balances, it might generate a template that, say, shows squirrels playing with nuts (what a great metaphor, your subconscious might say) and some of the nuts might have your balance or current interest rate on them or perhaps a future rate. You get the idea. You can check all this out on the website idomoo.com with one of their videos about themselves. The company has done a good job of making its products available on all platforms, and that includes hand-held mobile devices. These devices seem to be made for video because they are certainly not adequate for writing, say, War and Peace, but as consumption devices they make sense. When you consider when people watch their devices -- such as when commuting or waiting for something relevant to happen in their lives (Next!) -- Idomoo gives a vendor a way to be there filling time with their customers.
Idomoo might be new but it also has some good street cred because it already works with some of the biggest names in B2C business -- banks, telecommunications providers and the like. I suggest you check with them for a listing and some examples of their customers' videos that you may have already seen in your other life as a consumer.
As you may know from reading this space, I am of the belief that video will take on a larger role in the vendor-customer interface as we look for additional ways to cut costs. For reasons already stated, the "how" of video has been the part of the equation most difficult to get a handle on. Idomoo may have provided us with an answer.