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Measuring Results

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Bill Sammons
Measuring Results
on Sep 24, 2007 at 7:47:18 pm

I'm working on a direct marketing campaign, and a business coach that is helping me says I need to have measurable statistics regarding the effectiveness of video. (i.e. video on your website can increase sales by _%, or... people who watch video are __ more times likely to recall the information than if they read a brochure).
Does anyone know of any valid research to support what we do?

Having asked that, I'll leave you with one of my favorite Mark Twain quotes: "There are three kinds of commonly recognized untruths: Lies, damn lies and statistics." - Mark Twain

Thanks for the help!

Bill Sammons
Watermark Productions

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Re: Measuring Results
on Sep 25, 2007 at 8:12:37 am

In lots of ways, if you're trying to sell "video" as a concept you may have a long hard struggle - and at the end, the client may then just choose someone else.

Maybe you need to look more at customers who know they want / need video, and give them a reason to choose you over others.

Are you sure your business guru is the right one for you - did s/he give you stats on how much s/he improved other people's business ? !

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Mark Suszko
Re: Measuring Results
on Sep 25, 2007 at 9:16:24 pm

Those stats, if you can find them, are always out of date or inapplicable for some reason. They are IMO typically used by academics and shysters trying to make a point that needs no defense of itself: everyone knows TV is effective and popular.

Like the old joke in advertising, though, "I know I'm wasting half of my advertising budget, I just don't know which half". Meaning, your ad spending is only as good as your knowledge of the target audience and how well you're tailoring your message to them.

Stats too are misleading when used as the justification to apply video to a problem that may not be best handled thru video. I have several times told clients that the video they proposed would not do the job as well as a simple email or PDF or interactive web site that can be self-navigated. Not to mention that web sites can be updated way faster, cheaper and easier than recalling and redistributing updated videos organization-wide. When they ignored my advice they've usually regretted it. I'm not saying don't do video, I'm saying leverage the strengths of video to the strengths of other media in a more effective, synergistic combination. Oh-oh, too much guru talk...:-)

I saw a web site for a local bank recently that really doesn't "get it". They hired a guy to put videos on their web site. Trying to make them hip and modern and youth oriented. So what does he do? He applies video, of all places, to the FAQ page. The questions are one line long. Things like how to log into your account, what the penalties are for overdrafts, etc. The longest answer the bank had back is three sentences long in simple text.

This guy removed the text of the answers and replaced each text answer with an embedded streaming video file of HIM in jeans and t-shirt and yellow wrist band, slouching in a chair across from the camcorder, reading the answer. For each question, one clip per question. The same answer you used to just be able to read off the screen in three seconds.

Whisky.... Tango.... um, Hotel.

So now I get on my slow dial-up browser and get to his bank's web page so I can wait five minutes to listen to him read me on camera the simple answer that should just be up there in text. No, I'm not doing any business with a bank that approved that. Neither should you. Yes, video enhances learning, in that a message that is heard and illustrated visually is more effectively retained than one that is only read or only heard. But obviously, the useage has to be apropriate to the subject!

You should worry more about being able to measure YOUR program's success after it is watched. There's a couple of ways to do this, depending of course on the type of program it is.

If it is a sales piece, why not use a brand new phone number or extension, or custom web site for taking the orders after the piece airs, and boom, there's your metric, number of calls after first, second and multiple month's worth of viewings. Number of site hits on the counter.

If it's educational, you can put together a test audience of ten or more people and give them a simple quiz before and after they watch the show. Compare answers to see if they are mostly correct afterwards or not.

Something I always push for people that run teleconferences, particularly ones involving training, is to create a simple free email listserv group or Yahoo group, moderated thru one person in the organization, and let the audience and hosts discuss the program between each other for a couple weeks or whatever time is appropriate afterwards. This is a great way to gauge audience involvement, reinforce key messages that may have been misinterpreted, and to get great feedback on where you hit and where you missed, so you can improve the next one. It also lets you add more content than the program had room for, and even to create new content for the update or next chapter of the project. Your rules are that the group is limited to the topic of the program only, and that all messages are read and approved by a moderator who acts to filter out extraneous stuff and keep things on task. They might also strip out names of posters to keep things impersonal. When the comment period is up, you archive the best discussions to a website or distribute a PDF booklet back to the audience. This is truly interactive cooperative group learning.

PS if I were you, I'd lose the guru, they sound like they are more about dropping buzzwords than figuring out strategy.

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Bruce Bennett in Madison, WI
Re: Measuring Results
on Sep 26, 2007 at 2:09:58 am


Thanks for the trip down yester-year. I remember those days so long ago when I did sales for the production company I worked for. Cold calls, followed by trying to convince grinder that they should do a video, followed by grinder beating me up on price, followed by grinder saying that we cost too much, followed by the grinder spending "$1 million" on a brochure, followed by no sale, followed by more cold calls.

I agree with you. These types of prospects are rarely worth the time.


Bruce Bennett,
Bennett Marketing & Media Production, LLC -

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