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Why is Nobody Doing This?!

Posted by The Marketing Intern on June 4, 2009

Tell 'em, Al!

Tell 'em, Al!

I want to know something. I’ve been doing the math a lot recently, and it has occurred to me that there is a gigantic market out there for a web video platform for direct email marketing. I want to know why nobody (rather, very few people that I’m aware of) is creating this software.

The theory is simple: when it comes to driving web traffic (read: sales), content is king. When it comes to content, video is king. The most effective web sites are the ones that implement video — that’s obvious. And it has been rote since the dawn of web video that the implementation of video content on a web site takes some doing: first you have to produce the video, then host it, then design a page around it, then promote it, then track its performance, then analyze that data, and so on. It’s a  bit of a daunting task, especially when you consider the technical capabilities of the average small business.

So why not create a Flash video marketing platform that makes it really easy to create, distribute and track web video? The technology is already out there, and in theory it would be relatively easy to produce. It might look something like this:

  • A drag-and-drop interface that allows even the least computer-literate hack to create a landing page with video;
  • A basic CRM application that imports contact info from whatever CRM program a business already uses; and
  • An analytics tool that tracks traffic to the landing page by email address.

Simple, right? Benefits include the ease of use, compatibility with existing CRM software, and meaningful traffic analytics. As for disadvantages, I really can’t think of any.

There’s only one company I know of that does this kind of thing. (And if you know of someone else who is doing something similar, please, please let me know about it.) Why isn’t anyone else thinking this way? This should be particularly appealing to the little guys, the energetic startups and creative small businesses trying to boost market share. An easy-to-use, -distribute, and -track video marketing tool? Why wouldn’t you want that?

Here’s how I’m inclined to think about it. I worked for a while as the beer and wine editor for a magazine in central Massachusetts, and I was on the press list for every brewery in the country (literally thousands of them). I was always baffled by the way the beer industry released news. For all the great news blips coming out of the American microbrewery scene, the news releases I most looked forward to reading were the ones from the relatively pedestrian Boston Beer Company (of Samuel Adams fame). Why? The emails always had links to video. The videos were short, persuasive, easy to follow, and endlessly entertaining for a beer geek such as myself. And I kept thinking to myself, “Why is no one else doing this?” I would have killed (would still kill, if we’re being  honest) to see the same content come out of Stone Brewing (CA, see post script, ed.), or Rogue Brewing (OR), or Magic Hat Brewing (VT, though as for that, they do  have a pretty kickass website). Or Alesmith! Alesmith (CA) is exactly the kind of brewing company that needs direct video marketing: a dark, mysterious, serious brewery with no apparent limit to its creativity, the kind of brewery that has the potential to create video content with other-worldly pass-along value. This kind of marketing is exactly what most craft brewers need. So why is Sam Adams the only one pushing video? Because small breweries don’t employ a staff of Flash animators, that’s why.

The time has come to make video available to the little guy. Because if it’s easy to create, easy to distribute, and easy to track, (and, of course, if the price is right,) then there is no earthly reason why a business of any size wouldn’t take advantage of web video marketing.

Post Script: Stone Brewing has posted an excellent example of the kind of video I’m talking about on their website. It is hosted by Vimeo, and is featured front-and-center on their homepage (after the overlay, of course). Great, guys; now distribute the sucker!

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2 Responses to “Why is Nobody Doing This?!”

  1. Greg Koch said

    Thanks for the interesting post! So, I have a question back for you…are you strictly referring to video that ‘pushes’ a product (aka uses it to ‘market’)? Or did you miss the “Greg’s vBlogs” that I’ve been posting since January 2005 (the month before YouTube went live): http://www.stonebrew.com/vblog/date-oldest.php In recent months, we’ve been using video to help tell our stories by incorporating them into blog posts. We’ve actually been linking video to blog posts, press releases, email newsletters and the like for years. It might be our Opt-In philosophy that prevented you from seeing them (we don’t even add journalists without a request…or at least asking them).

    Glad you liked the “I Am A Craft Brewer” video on our site. By “now distribute the sucker” what do you mean? We’ve blogged, Tweeted, imbedded and generally shouted about it. How else should we distribute it? So far, it’s approaching 40,000 views…all without the use of a single cute kitten on a single Roomba. It lives on http://www.iamacraftbrewer.com

    Hmmmm…next up, “I Am A Craft Brewer On A Roomba” maybe? ;-]-=

    Email me your address and I’ll mail you a copy of our full-length DVD with a variety of TV shows and other content that’s been generated over the past couple of years.

    Cheers!

    Greg

    • The Marketing Intern said

      Greg,

      I did, in fact, miss Greg’s vBlogs, but even so, vlogs aren’t really what I’m after. What I’m thinking of is direct marketing: those emails that you send to customers or would-be customers to introduce new products, advertise events, talk about recent achievements, and so on. And if you guys have been doing that, awesome! Unfortunately I must have missed it, or for whatever reason I just don’t remember seeing those videos.

      Yes, I am talking about “marketing” in a rather limited sense here. I know that you and the rest of the crew at Stone have been leading the charge (or at least near the front of the pack) of the craft beer revolution. I would characterize this, however, as what David Meerman Scott (among others) calls “Thought Leadership”; in essence, it calls attention to the industry without naming the specific brand. That is good and admirable, but for the purposes of this particular post it falls just outside of what I’m talking about.

      I know I kind of cast Stone (and the others, I suppose) in a somewhat negative light as lacking in the marketing arena, and maybe that’s not entirely fair. So I’ll tell you what: I’m drafting a post for the weekend concerning the Thought Leadership concept, and I’ll make sure to mention Stone in it.

      And for the record, “Craft Brewer on a Roomba” has awesome viral potential. 😉

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