Tuesday, October 22, 2013

6 Video Tricks for Your Next Event

Humans are internally wired to notice movement. In fact, vision is the most sophisticated of the human senses with 65% of us being visual learners.* This makes video a compelling tool at a trade show for grabbing the attention of buyers, provided it is delivered correctly. 

Different from videos that are produced for corporate, commercial, or online messaging, the trade show video is developed to cut through the clutter and draw your prospects. It calls upon the development of a concise message that’s delivered quickly while capturing the crowd’s curiosity. Creating a video for your next show? Here are a few guidelines.

1. Be visually engaging. A well-designed trade show video has only seconds to grab the attention of passers-by. It has to make itself heard against the din of the PA system and must be interesting enough to engage the prospect’s attention long enough to deliver your message.

2. Use just music and visuals. That trade show din is why you don’t want a narrative. You just want music with lively graphics integrated into relevant content. This is not the place for how-to detail, which is best on a tablet with a salesperson. This is the place for introducing your solution. One word of caution: watch out for copyrighted music.

3. Keep it short and snappy; repeat. Nobody is going to spend five minutes watching your video while standing up. So keep it short; one to two minutes is best. Also remember that your audience doesn’t all arrive at the same start time, so the video should loop and play back.   

4. Make it available from a distance. Your monitors should be slightly elevated so that people standing in front don’t block the view for others. A winning scenario is the video on several monitors, attracting viewers into the booth, where your sales team can intercept them.

5. Use and reuse. It’s a beacon for your brand, so use it before, during, and after the event.
  • In the pre-show, blast email invitations to your customers; include it on your website home page to share the excitement there as well. Don’t forget to include the company name, the show’s name, and booth number to improve search. Here’s what Aerielle did before the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show to market their product solution for streaming audio wirelessly.
  • At the booth, the video is the draw. Here’s an example of Superior Jetties’ trade show digital video presentation loop. It ran on LCD displays at various major boat shows worldwide. It offers a brief overview of the company's offerings while running passively on display. You’ll see that there is minimal documentation; just a few photos and a page of content was used to create an eye-catching digital video with motion graphics. Another example comes from iBOXfilms, who recently created this video for SuiteLinq, a single-source provider of in-room, on-site, and mobile content, connectivity, and commerce to hotels.
  • Use the video as part of the reward. With thanks for their time, give your prospects a USB Memory Stick that includes the video with a complimentary white paper or other value-added content.  
  • Stage interviews and get customer testimonials while your top executives are visiting the booth and your best customers are stopping by. Budget for a camera person and a producer/director who will guide the subjects and make sure you get the right kind of footage. 
  • After the eventwhen you get the list of attendees, create a special email with links to the video that you’ve posted on your company’s site. For promising prospects on that attendee list that missed your booth, send a letter that incorporates a message from a selected salesperson along with the memory stick.
6. Leave a smart Impression. Viewers will be left with an impression of what type of business you are and what to expect when doing business with you by watching your video. A poor quality video will not only turn people away, it can damage your brand image. It doesn't need to be Coppola, but use a professional.
 
Video delivers information in a fascinating, eye-catching, and concise form. At a trade show a big video presence with a quick message can both intrigue and prime your audience to discover more about your product. But like all great marketing tools, the effectiveness of video is determined by who is designing and using it. When appropriately deployed and strategically utilized, video can be a very useful method to engage your prospects, drive sales, and insure that you get the most return out of your tradeshow investment. 
 
Footnote:
*Bradford, William C., Reaching the Visual Learner: Teaching Property Through Art (September 1, 2011). The Law Teacher Vol. 11, 2004. Available at SSRN:http://ssrn.com/abstract=587201

Thursday, October 3, 2013

John Lennon's Lost Molar

A dentist bought a molar for over $30,000 at an auction in 2011. What’s so special about this particular molar is that it belonged to John Lennon and the dentist, Michael Zuk, has big plans for this bit of discolored ivory.  He plans to extract DNA from the tooth.  His objective is to clone the legendary musician, as reported recently in the Guardian.

The story behind this famous molar unfolds like a Gary Larson Far Side cartoon, when in the mid 1960’s, John Lennon reportedly gave the extracted tooth to his housekeeper.  She in turn, gifted it to her daughter, a big Beatles’ fan.  It stayed in the family until November 2011 when it was sold at auction.

At the time of the auction, the tooth was reportedly too fragile to be DNA tested to confirm that it actually belonged to Lennon.  But as reported by Rolling Stone, the owner of the Omega Auction House which listed the item, verified that because it was coming from Dot Jarlett, Lennon’s housekeeper, there was no doubt about its authenticity.  British housekeepers are evidently legendary for their honesty as well as making great crumpets.

This isn't the first time the dental industry has imposed itself on the affairs of the late Beatle.  Paste Magazine reports, that it was George Harrison’s dentist who, perhaps like Quinn the Eskimo, first introduced the two Beatles, and their wives, to LSD when he added the drug into their coffee cups during a dinner party (Strawberry Fields Forever).

From Lennon’s Tooth to a Lennon
As far as the cloning is concerned, the question is, can it be done?  The answer is yes.  The procedure was first illustrated by a Brit, John Gurdon using frogs; just about the time the Beatles began their career.  Later, in the 1990s, Ian Wilmut of Edinburgh used a similar technique to clone a sheep.  So cloning technology is available and standardized.  The clone of Lennon, produced today, would be genetically the same Beatle, John Lennon.  Still the process is like walking on thin ice.

Setting aside the ethical controversy related to human cloning, there are some additional obstacles. First is the fact that John Lennon was more than a product of his parents.  His experience, education, environment – these all influenced the development of his character, his talents and the legacy he left us.

Second, there are the tricky tasks in preparing for the actual cloning procedure, like harvesting DNA from the tooth, converting tissue cells into stem cells and then transforming those cells into a re-born Lennon.

In light of all of this you’d think the molar owner and dentist, Michael  Zuk, would be dissuaded.  But he remains fixed on his goal, saying that he hopes to “fully sequence” Lennon’s DNA.  He’s seeking headlines by putting out a press release and launching a website revealing that this ambitious dream might just be one of the “best decisions of my (his) life.”


Making a Good Decision

Are you looking to make a good decision about marketing your business?  Give me a call and let's discuss your current efforts and look for additional ways for you to break through the clutter and get noticed by the consumers you want.  Contact me today (marion.guthrie@gmail.com).

This blog was originally written by me and published on AFPD Insurance for Professionals' site.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Lost Your Keys? 3-D Printing to the Rescue!

 
For those folks who habitually lose their keys, an insurance company and an advertising agency, both based in Belgium, have partnered to rollout a new service called Key Save.  The brain child of DVV Insurance and its agency Happiness Brussels, Key Save makes good use of specially adapted 3D scanning procedures to capture your key’s image and store it for downloading when your key-loss-disaster strikes.    

Like any good preventative measure, pre-planning or should we say, pre-scanning, is involved.  Once you’ve signed up for the program, they give you of a date and place where you come with keys in hand.  At the session, every pre-registered individual is provided with a certain number of scans. 

The scans are stored in digital form (.stl) in a cloud-based “super secure server, where cyber ninja’s will protect them from any possible kind of theft”, according to the FAQ’s on the Keysave web site.  Once the scan is stored, you can download it from your pc or mobile device using your special user name and password.

Key Save will roll out in September. Of course there are alternatives like keeping an extra set of keys at your Mom’s or hiding them in your garage in the tool box, but 3-D printing is such a cool method of being prepared.


Source: Advertising Age, Creativity-Online.com,  

Friday, May 31, 2013

Marketing is Like Cooking?


How is marketing like cooking?  Well, are you preparing coq au vin or hot dogs?  It depends, doesn't it, on who you're feeding and what's the occasion.  Then sometimes you want to try something new, and other times you combine new elements with traditional ones. Irregardless there's a lot of careful determination of past successes, evaluation of viable methods and ingredients, weighing of your audience's preferences, and the actual preparation which includes dicing and simmering (analytics with creative).

As often as you're hungry, you'll be conjuring a meal so you'll be cooking (or choosing a resource for the production of your next meal, a gourmet restaurant perhaps?) at least daily. This planning takes an enthusiastic attitude, which gets you through the tedious parts, like scrubbing data and waiting for results to boil while it drives inspired strategy.  Of course, planning also involves research, evaluation, product selection, project timing, goal setting and schedules, especially if there are other cooks in the kitchen.

Don't forget, at the end to look around the table at your audience, examine their reactions and answer this; "Would you do it again and what would you do differently?"  All these factors play into the execution of a memorable and actionable result. Marketing and cooking, done right, both are planned carefully, done daily and filled with measurement, artistry, and passion.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Viral Bait: Infographics


Infographics are everywhere. You find them on blogs, websites, press releases, social networks, even the weather report. These colorfully illustrated charts break down data into simple pictures and turn complex information into easy-to-understand symbols. By making the difficult digestible (and sometimes fun), infographics catch the attention of your audience. Just as importantly, Google loves them and will reward their delivery with top search rankings.

Their story starts in late February 2011, when Google made a strategic change to their search algorithm in an attempt to stop the use of content farms from manipulating search results. The purpose of the algorithm, called Panda, was to ensure better rankings for high-quality websites that delivered original content, like in-depth research and data reporting. From this evolved the need for websites to improve content in order to deliver higher search rankings and the infographic was born. 

Adding to the infographic’s growing popularity, the following year, in April 2012, Google’s Penguin algorithm was released. Penguin decreases the rankings of websites that buy links from link farms or directories, offer irrelevant content, or worst, employ black-hat SEO (deceptive SEO techniques like using hidden text). 

How your website ranks in Google search results has a big impact on your bottom line. Smart marketers want their sites to perform well with the current Panda and Penguin search algorithms. How? Well, the saying “content is king” has never been truer. Google’s Panda algorithm must "believe" that you are adding valuable content to the web for your site to rank well. So you need to focus on creating good, unique content that viewers will want to share. One way is by using infographics. 

Also something like 65% of us are visual learners and this visual attribute is the reason for their inherent viral potential. Even better than a picture, when you add an infographic to your content, especially one that contains interesting data or challenges your audience’s world view, it makes your topic more relevant and engaging, increasing the chance that your reader will share that graphic across the web.

Here are some examples from Creative Blog with a list of 60 Brilliant Infographics. Another fun example from Visual.ly provides you with a free tool on their website that takes your Twitter profile and turns it into an infographic in 30 seconds. Give it a try at http://visual.ly/twitter.  

If you design and use an infographic, remember that its viral capacity may remove it from your website. This means that you’ll lose your branding. So expect that to happen and be prepared. Like a dog without a collar, you don’t want your infographic to get lost on the Internet with no one knowing it belongs to you. 

Are there any infographics that you've seen recently that caught your eye? Share your thoughts in the comments. Here’s one that inspired this post. It’s from NowSourcing on The State of Infographics.

State of Infographics
My post was originally published on Talent Zoo's Digital Pivot.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stop Blogging, 5 Things Will Happened...