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Recently, this article by Jeff Fleischman really grabbed my attention with the provocative title, “How to Stand Out when Everybody Claims to be Unique”. We live in a world where everything has turned into a commodity: goods, products and even services. Competition can’t really keep up with product differentiation so at the end of the day, many industries do not really change. Companies in a given industry basically offer the same products or services time and time again. Telecom companies may offer various products, but really they are selling telecommunications products and services that are similar to those of their competitor. For banks, all credit cards are pretty much the same anywhere in the world. Insurance companies offer various types of insurance – home, health, life – but so do their competitors.
Unless you’re as big and well known in your area as Google or Facebook, like Mr.Fleischman, states: for every claim on market leadership that you make; your competitors are making the same exact claim.
Nowadays, brands have figured this out as well. They need to find a way or a channel through which to differentiate themselves from the others in their industry. So how can they do it? What channel is going to be the Holy Grail that brands are searching for?
Plain and simple, customer experience has become the channel by which brands can really differentiate themselves from the other players in their industry. In correlation with the rise of SaaS models, where customer retention, loyalty and likelihood that they’ll recommend a service to a friend have greatly increased (measured by NPS – Net Promoter Score), it’s no surprise that brands have started to largely invest in customer success.
While customer experience is key to really standing out, it makes sense that the parallel to this in the marketing world is a strategy that reflects the goal of reaching out to the customer personally. We need to invest in building brand affinity through channels which evoke emotion, not just with how we provide services in our industry but also through our communication programs.
To really get clients on board with a product or service requires us to emotionally connect to them –on their terms. But how do we do that?
The answer to getting an emotional response from a potential user or customer is to speak directly to them. Video, and more specifically personalized video, remains one of the strongest marketing tools as it evokes emotions and excitement from viewers. It is the most widely consumed media out there, based on recent statistics from YouTube. In fact, until it was acquired by Google, YouTube was the second largest search engine in the world. In fact, a recent Forrester report noted that videos are 50 times more likely to rank on the first page of a Google search than any text all.
Yet, as we said, video is not just a “popular” marketing tool, it’s also an emotive one. Viewers are able to relate to the images and sound that they see and hear and feel like the brand is personally approaching them – through their needs, concerns, and problems.
As we’ve said, it’s easier for potential clients to relate to a video and to feel emotionally connected to the brand it represents but what if you could make a video even more closely related to the person who would view it? What if as a bank, you would communicate with your customers based on their data collected from their accounts ?
This is exactly what personalized video accomplishes. The combination of video and personalization provides companies and marketers with the most powerful channel to evoke emotions, excitement and affection. Tightening brand – consumer connection, affinity and satisfaction is translated to retention and reduced churn since clients feel that they are being cared for as an individual and not as a “number”. More importantly, personalized videos are the most effective medium for increasing customer engagement and subsequently, sales. According to a recent Forrester report, 61% of respondents of a recent survey plan to implement personalized video in their next email and video marketing campaigns. In another Forrester report on a similar topic, results show that the ROI gained from personalized video versus traditional video content has been significant. Graeme Fulton, Director of Strategy and Business Development at BT, an Idomoo partner, has commented that:
“While personalized video is more expensive than standard email, it is effectiveness that counts. All the indications are that [this approach] is working, with personalized video emails achieving up to 10 times the engagement levels over a standard email without a personalized video. It is this that is driving some major companies to make significant investments in the medium.”
The power of personalized video is evident. Recently, Barclays, a leading UK bank broke a record by winning four different UK marketing awards. Barclays took customers’ discomfort regarding taking out a bank loan and came up with a solution to this specific pain point. They ran a personalized video campaign that explained to each customer how much they could borrow from the bank and how easy it was to navigate through this process and make repayments.
The Barclays campaign won multiple high prestige marketing awards. It became THE campaign of the year leading in multiple categories such as: Innovation in Insight-Driven Email Marketing, Marketing Strategy of the Year, Best Financial Services Campaign, Most Innovative Marketing Campaign of the year and more. Awards include: DRUM, DBM,DMA and the Financial Services Forum.
Adam is a market associate at Idomoo, writing creative content, as well as, lending his voice for personalized video narration. He loves storytelling, bringing life to products with his words and insights. He also loves playing video games and watching sports. But when he is not at work you will find him with his kids and family. He is also on twitter @adamtitcher.