Actionable metrics: Business associates deciding which KPI metrics are most useful.
This is another blog entry in our series on metrics.

A short while back somebody asked me this question:

We are helping a company to get more bang for their buck from their social media activities. Of course we also want to develop the necessary KPIs.
In your advisory services, do you have an approach you can recommend?

This blog entry addresses KPIs (key performance indicators).
We also address how one can avoid falling victim to vanity metrics instead of using actionable KPIs. The latter can make a real difference to your bottom line.

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Wine cellar: Inventory needed

I remember when, as a young adult, I worked in a very fine hotel with a great wine cellar that also had a store.

The cellar master told me that to find out what treasures he had in his wine cellar, it was best for us to do an inventory. But while counting bottles was okay, he assured me that was not what he was really after.

Of course, it was nice to know how many bottles there were of each brand and year. However, he was much more interested in learning which wines left the shelves the fastest and sold frequently. He was also keen to know how the various wine types compared when it came to customers complaining about a bottle having gone bad (i.e. had cork pieces when opened).

As the above suggests, his understanding of the term inventory or social media audit included “show me the numbers” – i.e. sales data.

Vanity versus actionable metrics: Navel gazing metrics are out.
Vanity versus actionable: Navel gazing metrics are out.

Knowing what insights we want to gain from a KPI helps develop the metrics that deliver the insights we want. As the wine cellar example shows, choosing insightful metrics makes a huge difference.

The above illustrates that besides counting bottles when doing an inventory or a social media audit, you must address such things as:

  • Which wines sell the most and are beloved by customers – For social media this means, which types of tweets or Instagram posts get the most likes…?
  • Which wines did people complain the most about after consuming the product (e.g., tasted bad) – For social media this means, which bloggers or Facebook users are most likely to complain / write negative entries about the brand…?
  • Which wines get many recommendations or word-of-mouth referrals – For social media this means, which types of tweets or blog entries get re-tweeted or receive many reader comments?

Clearly, the wine-making business and social media marketing have more in common than it would appear at first glance. In both cases, before you move forward you need to take stock. In turn, this allows you to gain insights into what you have already accomplished.

2. Effective KPIs depend on a clear objective

Besides taking an inventory of how good things might be right now, you need to know what objectives you must accomplish next quarter or during dinner.

Is the bottle of wine to woo a friend, impress your boss or just enjoy with your company?

To impress your guests it might suffice to simply purchase the wine that your favourite life style magazine recommended a while back.

Pageviews or likes on Instagram might not be the actionable metrics we want. These are like vanity metrics, i.e. we might feel good about large numbers, but they will most likely fail to move product from our shelves.

We need to decide what insights a KPI provides us with that will help reach our goals fast. To illustrate, Arsene Wenger (Arsenal football team’s longest serving coach) used a few metrics that have become legendary in the UK’s Premier League.

Of course, when considering paying to have a new player transfer to your club, you always want to check the medical data. If the player’s key medical indicators are satisfactory, you try to negotiate and hopefully they end up playing with your club.

But even when the medical data looked okay, Wenger was famous for also immediately checking the striker’s acceleration speed. Acceleration speed was a critial KPI on which he based his decision of whether to pursue a transfer or not.

Wenger was of the opinion that with great acceleration speed, the striker was more likely to win a one-on-one fight for the ball. In turn, this would increase the striker’s likelihood of winning many one-on-one contests. Whenever a striker won a ball this way, he could again use his speed to create situations that might result in another goal. Thierry Henri was one of the more famous examples where Wenger demonstrated the importance of this KPI for evaluating a striker’s potential.

Sharing content on social networks, reading content on your mobile.
Sharing content on social networks, reading content on your mobile.

What does the Wenger example tell us in the context of social media marketing? For starters, we need to decide whether we are dealing with:

  • consumer goods or capital goods, or
  • business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) situations.

Influencer marketing might work with fashion or luxury items, but paying US$ 40,000 or more for an Instagram post does not necessarily correlate to more sales. Without tracking the result with a URL and discount code, we might get many views but zero additional sales.

In the B2B context, a blogger with expertise in the business you are in (e.g., robotics) might be a good strategy. Here, Instagram posts might be a waste of resources.

In short, if your goal is to sell screws and bolts, try to assess if your KPI has any correlation with a desirable outcome, such as higher sales or more repeat sales.

Your focus could be on increasing awareness of your product or brand with your B2B target audience. Regardless, you want to find a KPI that helps measure this. One desirable outcome of your marketing activity on social networks might be you getting more requests for information or new subscribers to your newsletter, and so forth.

♥ Please share this news entry about KPIs and their best use in social media marketing on LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, etc. using this URL: https://blog.drkpi.com/?p=5794 Many thanks! ♥

What is your opinion?

Incidentally, we have not discussed what to look for when purchasing a wine. Any wine connoisseur will tell you that what year and time of year the grapes were harvested matters. Many more factors can be considered for determining how well the wine might taste after it is ready to be sold. Of course, if you want to guzzle the very cheap stuff, this may not concern you at all.

Similarly, you must answer these two questions in social media marketing:

  • what target audience do you intend to reach, and
  • what content will you produce and share on social networks?

Navel gazing or vanity metrics are not very helpful. The KPIs must permit you to gain insights. They must help you improve against yardsticks, such as:

  • number of customers, and
  • amount of sales per client.
Unless you measure for impact, why measure at all?
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Business person reading the insightful DrKPI report full of actionable metrics.
Business person reading the insightful DrKPI report full of actionable metrics.

We love to hear from you!

  • Do you have KPIs that you have used in social media marketing across projects?
  • What KPIs do you use in the B2B versus B2C context?
  • What is your best KPI in a consumer product versus a capital good (e.g., machine) context?
  • What questions do you have about KPIs?
  • What do you like or dislike about KPIs?

Please share this entry on social media using this link: https://blog.drkpi.com/?p=5794

Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

The author declares that some of the companies mentioned herein are clients of CyTRAP Labs or subscribers of DrKPI® services.

Fake bags being sold at the beach promenade in Barcelona.

This is the third in a series of blog entries about the concept of blockchain. For most of us, the problem is all too familiar: a fire sweeps through someone’s home, reducing their treasures to ashes.

The worst is when that person finds out that, not only have the much-loved treasures (whatever they may be) gone up in flames, so have their documents of ownership, tucked away in a drawer in the same home. Proving their ownership rights to the insurer now becomes considerably harder.

But the same can happen when somebody robs you. As Arman Sarhaddar, CEO of Vault Security Systems AG (with its iVAULT brand of products) explains:

These days, in some places not even your locked and supposedly guarded storage space may be safe. That happened to me – when I returned, my valuables and personal items were gone.

The above example is one case where blockchain can help the consumer, and even the insurer. Many more applications are also feasible. We explain some of the technical issues below.

1. What are we trying to accomplish?

The blockchain can help answer the important questions listed in Table 1 below.

Table 1 – Checklist: What challenges do we solve with the blockchain?
What are we trying to do? What value do we want to capture? For whom is this of use?
Record the transaction Information and knowledge about what changed hands Clients
Track the transaction Attribution and who is responsible Suppliers
Verify the transaction Access to records or permission to view them Manufacturers of goods
Aggregate transaction Ownership Creditors or investors
Reputation and trust Public agencies
Contracts Employees
Transaction ledger

Table. Adapted and expanded upon from Felin, Teppo and Lakhani, Karim (Fall 2018). What problems will you solve with blockchain. MIT Sloan Management Review, p. 36. Retrieved 2018-10-20 from http://sloanreview.mit.edu/x/6015. See also https://blog.drkpi.com/show-me-the-facts-1/

A blockchain attempts to maintain a permanent, trusted database, which the owner, and trusted advisors and manufacturers have access to only with a secure key. In turn, history and proof of purchase, the provenance of works in a collection and all related legal and insurance documents can be held on a blockchain.

However, before you decide to use a blockchain, it helps to address the questions outlined below:

  • Do multiple parties share data?
  • Do multiple parties update data?
  • Is there a requirement for verification?
  • Can intermediaries be removed and reduce cost and complexity?

If you answered yes to three of the above questions, then you have the potential to apply blockchain.

Blockchain technology - What kind of blockchain is best for me?

Blockchain technology – What kind of blockchain is best for me?

2. Privacy

The traditional blockchain paradigm is complete transparency. Business applications, however, need to meet certain privacy criteria.

Not all transactions should be visible to everyone. The reasons for this may range from concerns of commercial confidentiality, to legal requirements.

Regulations, such as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) simply make it impossible for companies to make all data accessible. Instead, some information, such as a patients ID number, must be protected.

Thus, any enterprise blockchain platform should provide an extensive set of privacy features. Only then, can GDPR compliance be assured (see this resource page from MC Lago – checklists and forms that help)

3. Security

Another requirement, closely related to privacy, is security. Businesses usually need to prevent data theft at all costs. They also need to ensure all actors are clearly identified. Again, this necessity might be imposed by the business case or by regulations.

Thus, enterprise blockchains need to implement authentication features and control who can participate in the network.

Security, Safety, Privacy, and Data Protection: Vaultsecurity.ch to the rescue.

Security, Safety, Privacy, and Data Protection: Vaultsecurity.ch to the rescue.

4. Transaction throughput

As Table 2 below illustrates, public blockchains may have advantages, but transaction throughput and energy consumption levels may not be to everyone’s liking.

Enterprise applications are usually transaction-intense and need to be scaled in terms of transaction throughput.

At the other extreme, public blockchains need to be scaled in terms of the number of nodes that can participate in the consensus protocol.

In most enterprise applications the number of validator nodes can be relatively small: for example, one representative per company participating in the consortium. Thus, transaction throughput can be prioritised.

Hence, enterprise applications may not be public. Instead a combination of features of a consortium / private-type blockchain may be used.

Table 2 – Checklist: Deployment Models for a Blockchain
Access Key Characteristics Typical Use Cases
Public Unrestricted Immutable and distributed Cryptocurrencies,   general purpose
Consortium Restricted to consortium members (public may have read-only access) Immutable and distributed Consortium-specific cases, such as trade between members
Private Restricted to single entity, read-only access can be public / unrestricted Internal audit, database management, supply chain within corporation and its subsidiaries

Note. Adapted and expanded upon from Uhlmann, Sacha (2017). Reducing counterfeit products with blockchains. Master Thesis, Univ. of Zurich. Accessed 2019-01 at https://www.merlin.uzh.ch/contributionDocument/download/10024

By the way, the video below shows in a straightforward way how the blockchain principle can work for you and that its foundations – asymmetric cryptography and distributed systems – have been known for decades by computing science researchers.

Also check out iVAULT on bloxlive.tv – Interview at #WEF2019

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5. What is your opinion?

Distributed ledger technologies are collectively known as blockchain. While they offer great opportunities, we have to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to hype. We hope this blog entry helps you in that process.

What interests us, however, is what you think:

  • Do you have experience with crypto tokens?
  • Is your company trying to use blockchain technology to make its processes faster, more efficient or transparent for its customers or suppliers?
  • What questions do you have about blockchain?
  • What do you like or dislike about blockchains?

Please share this entry on social media using this link: https://blog.drkpi.com/?p=1990

Danyele Boland Co-founder of Vault Security Systems AG

In December, we gave you insights into the #iVAULT blockchain, the new brand by Vault Security Systems AG, and the DrKPI production of the first three videos for iVAULT.

Now, we are happy to provide you with an update, available on YouTube, which is an additional clip to introduce you to Danyele Boland. She is the co-founder of Vault Security Systems AG (VSSAG) and as passionate about her business as the rest of the team.

If you need to know more about iVault or the minds behind this idea, read more here:

To stay tuned and get the latest updates on Vault, sign up for our newsletter here. Or subscribe to the iVAULT Newsletter here.

Danyele Boland: “Why I am involved”

iVAULT is a global network for users to register assets, such as lost or stolen property, to search for and identify them on a blockchain. These items can be anything of value to the individual user of the iVAULT blockchain. Companies and businesses, on the other hand, can protect their supply chain against counterfeits and contraband.

Working with Danyele was a special treat. She is a charismatic and intelligent speaker, and it did not take us long to get some great shots, even though she had just arrived from the US.

With years of experience in international sales, human resource management, logistics, and much more, she is an irreplaceable part of the VSSAG team.

In her video, Danyele recalls when Arman Sarhaddar told her about his storage unit getting robbed. He lost some of his most valued belongings. This is how they got the idea to create a platform to secure physical assets such as luxury watches, pieces of art or jewellery, or anything else that is of some value to its owner.

Gain more insights on her perspective and what she tells us about blockchain technology here:

https://youtu.be/LeMDFZ7zD98

What’s your opinion?

iVAULT is the first global network to use blockchain technology for registering and identifying assets (such as lost items or stolen goods). It lets users register their items on the blockchain, search for, and identify them.

So, what do you think?

  • Have you ever used a blockchain?
  • Do you want to try iVAULT, or do you still have some concerns?
  • Have you ever had a problem iVAULT would have immediately solved? You lost something of great value or bought a fake product? It must have been very upsetting. Tell us about it, we’d like to hear your story.

Join in the discussion and leave a comment. We will respond soon.

The author declares that some of the companies mentioned herein are clients of CyTRAP Labs or subscribers of DrKPI® services.
Crowdsourcing consumers started in 2007 with getting them in creating selfie videos to asking them to design luxury watches today | Author : Rawpixel.com| Fotolia #88900750

Summary: The Trump administration’s tougher stance on China will surely continue to curtail global trade.
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s letter to shareholders in 2019 blames weaker economies and trade tension for lower revenues.
What it all means for marketers, strategists, and investors.
Read #DrKPI’s 11 trends for 2019 and get the insight story!

Share this blog entry: DrKPI’s 2019 trends: Google, Apple, Facebook, or Amazon?

Creating buzz is of interest to any brand manager I have talked to recently, but it keeps getting harder and harder to get it right. In the recent past, social media was useful to reach certain client groups. But will it still work tomorrow?

Remember Second Life? In Spring 2008, Madagascar and Sweden each raced to open a virtual embassy on the platform. By 2012 Flickr was a popular photo sharing site. Today, Instagram has surpassed it.

BMW and others spent plenty to engage with users on Second Life. And today? The platform still exists, but most large brands have pretty much withdrawn from it. If that isn’t enough to convince you that putting your bet on one or two platforms is risky, Beebo was once a formidable Facebook competitor – and who remembers MySpace?

Our past predictions covered these changes with 78% accuracy.

For 2019, we again address the trends in marketing and business policy as we expect them to unfold and why this matters to investors.

Just click on the hyperlinked points below to read more.

♥ Curious? Join 1,500 other subscribers to this blog’s newsletter and read on!

1. How things were…

One way to get more buzz, in theory, is getting customers involved. In the past, some companies like Starbucks did it on their Facebook page. A popular way to get more likes or comments was giving people free goodies or coupons to get their next cuppa for free.

Long before that became so boring, however, Fast Retailing in Japan invited clients and bloggers to produce their own short videos.

Sounds stale, but in summer 2007 this was innovative and a creative way to get buzz on social media. In particular, it got those target audiences involved – the same people that were supposed to flock to your outlets when the new line of apparel went on sale in your stores.

The company produced a whole series of videos that bloggers were invited to show on their own blogs.

What was innovative was that it produced plenty of content, including videos, photos, text, and so forth. Most important, it was easy for bloggers to embed such fan-produced content along with their own blog posts.

In 2007, shared content and using a press campaign to launch a new line of apparel got attention, but will it suffice 12 years later in 2019? Of course not!

Much has changed since then.

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[embeddoc url=”https://blog.drkpi.com/wp-content/files/Fast-Retailing-Uniqlo-offers-free-uniqlock-blog-parts-in-new-promotion-June-2007.pdf” width=”100%” viewer=”google”]
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Go back in time with UNIQLO new media promotion or view it on Fast Retailing’s webpage, where it is still shown (a very good thing). Or visit the Uniqlo international retailer website – no news is good news?. See also Fast Retailing cuts profit guidance for third time in 2016.

2. Broadcasting was, is, and continues to be… OUT

Private as well as corporate blogs have been with us for some time. But around 2011 many companies started to focus on social networks instead of corporate blogs. Since 2016, fast-growing and large companies seem to have rediscovered public-facing corporate blogs, however:

  • 55% of Inc. 500 – the fastest growing companies in the US – use blogs, the third yearly increase since 2015.
  • 53% of Fortune 500 companies use blogs, an 11% increase since 2017.

53% of Fortune 500 and 55% of Inc. 500 firms in the US have public-facing blogs. Source: Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

53% of Fortune 500 and 55% of Inc. 500 firms in the US have public-facing blogs. Source: Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

While blogs have regained momentum in the US, in Europe several companies and charities have orphaned their blogs (Caritas Zurich), or taken them down completely (e.g., Möbel-Pfister, Oxfam).

The primary reason may be a lack of understanding of how important blog content can be for branding, SEO (search engine optimisation), and getting increasing engagement from your target audience. Some had their budget reallocated or began re-focusing on their press releases.

Other misunderstandings about corporate blogs’ potential for getting your target audience’s attention can be:

  1. Believing your target audience cares about company events or new products, and
  2. thinking high-quality content requires neither time, investigation nor a writer that really understands the topic.

As well, the novelty of commenting on corporate blog sites, especially considering boring content, has long since worn off. As we know at DrKPI, it takes effort to get reader comments – i.e. engagement – for your corporate blogs.

When producing content like videos, for example, just ask these two questions:

  1. Why should your target reader view your content and spend time writing a comment?
  2. Are you answering these comments? If so, are you doing it in the right way? If you get comments, a thoughtful answer of each one is a must to show respect and appreciation for your reader or viewer.

So some people are falling back into behaviour from the lates 1990 and early 2000s: Broadcast and many will listen. Really? I don’t think so!

3. #Crowdsourcing can matter

Crowdsourcing can mean many things. One example is Patek Philippe and Beyer Chronometrie (the oldest watch shop in Switzerland). They invited the latter’s employees to create buzz and attention with customers.

35 submissions from Beyer Chronometrie employees were made in the contest for the best design. One employee’s design was chosen as the winner of this contest.

The winner’s design was then used to produce a luxury Dom-Pendulette of which Patek Philippe only produces a few each year. Unfortunately, whatever else the employee may have received and whether she did her designing during work hours at Beyer Chronometrie is not known.

In this case, Beyer Chronometrie did a write-up in its magazine that is available online. It was also mailed in print form to clients. (Picture taken from the Beyer magazine, Beyond, Nr. 22 / 2016 – page 50 shows the winner of the design contest with the completed Dom-Pendulette.)

Patek Philippe CEO Thierry Stern and René Beyer had the idea to get Beyer employees to design samples, with the winner used to create a luxury Dom-Pendulette. #Crowdsourcing to create #BrandBuzz (via print media, etc.).

Patek Philippe CEO Thierry Stern and René Beyer had the idea to get Beyer employees to design samples, with the winner used to create a luxury Dom-Pendulette.
#Crowdsourcing was used to create #BrandBuzz (via print media, etc.).

This is certainly an attractive approach for creating synergies between the manufacturer and the retailer. The latter’s employees may even create brand buzz, if they share their experience on the web.

However, it continues to be ever harder to stand out to your target audience. And even if you do, there’s no guarantee that they’ll spend time with your content.

Incidentally, micro-influencers such as employees or your customers are far more authentic and trustworthy to your target audience than people who sell their services as influencers.

4. The more things change, the more they stay the same

The video shown under point 1 above is just one of many options that companies were and still are using to get their customers involved in campaigns. In 2007, Uniqlo was able to get quite a lot of #brandbuzz for its Fall collection release.

But in 2019 this will not be good enough.

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What we know

a) Seen that, have the t-shirt

Many users are inundated with ads, content, news tickers, and so on. The content must be good enough so people want to share it.
Creating something that sticks in people’s minds is a challenge for any brand or company AND it is getting even tougher.

b) People always want more for less

Some younger consumers may not want to pay to attend an event that is being sponsored by a brand. And even if it is free, they may not be satisfied with what they get.

Incidentally, millennials (born 1981 – 1997) are not that different than the older generation when it comes to consumer habits. BUT they are the first generation since 1950 to be worse off than their parents (see OECD data).

c) Sharing economy grows as market domination is on the rise

Ever more people use AirBnB, Uber and many other services. As these companies try to optimize their tax bill, free-riding by companies avoiding taxes and social insurance contributions is increasing (see also point 8 and 9 below).

While consumers want the best deal from companies shirking their social responsibilities, they fight for secure jobs with lots of fringe benefits and lower gas taxes – France’s Yellow Shirt demonstrators. Oddly enough, consumers seem to be comfortable with these seemingly conflicting standpoints.

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Millennials in OECD countries have less real disposable income than their parents - by DrKPI

Millennials in OECD countries have less real disposable income than their parents – by DrKPI

As the above graphic indicates, real wages and therefore also real disposable income have hardly increased. This means millennials might be strapped for cash in some cities (e.g., New York, Paris or Munich), were apartment prices, public transport, as well as entertainment costs eat up much of the disposable earnings available. In turn, not having a car may be as much an economic decision as an evironmental one.

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TRENDS that we should take into consideration

4. 1990 was about webpage strategy, today a hashtag strategy is a must

In 1990 some early adopters started to add their URLs and email addresses to a business card or company stationary. Today a company needs to use hashtags in content, on social media posts, in blogs, and everywhere else.

Using a hashtag such as#ccTiM for Competence Circle Technology and Innovation Management, or #DrKPI for our own brand is a start. For starters, just using a hashtag in a print ad would suggest your c-suite fails to understand the digital economy and search marketing. Not a good thing – you’ve got some educating to do.

Actress Jane Fonda, the 1980s fitness queen made videos that millions of people purchased and used to stay fit. Nevertheless, she neither had a webpage nor a hashtag strategy.

A very different example is Kayla Itsines. She is neither called an actress nor a fitness trainer, but most experts and media call her an influencer. Nevertheless, she has built a virtual fitness conglomerate with more than 22 million fans, partly using social media. Hashtags are part of her marketing strategy, such as.

  • #DeathbyKayla are selfies posted by her fans after having done a strenuous training session, or
  • #KaylasArmy and #BBG (Bikini Body Guide), which are both about her fans’ training progress and successes.

More info: #MCLago – 2018 Hashtag strategy makes the difference

5. #Crowdsourcing must be carefully managed

We all want the crowd to help us, but morals and ethics must also play a part. For example, it is unhelpful if the public, customers or employees perceive the situation as exploiting one’s employees.

Getting the latter involved is one thing, but making their sharing of content on social media a must threatens the authenticity of your brand, an, in turn, the trust of your customers (see image below).

More info: #helpIlayda crowdfunding campagin: The interview

6. Experiential word-of-mouth marketing is critical to protect brands

Word-of-mouth is helpful for spreading the word about a position at your organisation. Of course, your employer appreciates if you love your brand, spread cheers, and maybe help raise awareness about it on your Instagram account.

But ever more important is that clients that have used or experienced your product, service, etc. talk about their great experience. Even if things go wrong, take care of the problem, learn from your mistakes – and talk / write about it!

Both Jane Fonda and Kayla Itsines are both successful in business. But Kayla uses Word-of-mouth (#WOM) marketing and #crowdsourcing (including hashtags #DeathbyKayla and #BBG) to spread her virtual fitness empire around the globe (see also point 4). She is called an influencer while Jane Fonda was ‘only’ an actress. But what’s the difference?

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Functionality helps improve client's trust in brand, loyalty to brand, and word-of-mouth about the brand - by DrKPI

Functionality helps improve client’s trust in brand, loyalty to brand, and word-of-mouth about the brand – by DrKPI

The above chart shows that building brand strength, trust, awareness, and loyalty can all benefit from word-of-mouth by your customers about how great your product is… such as value for money, innovation, great service. You know the drill.

By the way, just because media houses have rediscovered podcasts does not make this a trend we need to be concerned about. #DrKPI staff did podcasts starting in 2005 until about 2009, when it got a bit boring.

Welcome to the latecomers! And no, your customers or investors will rarely care about your corporate podcasts unless you are Apple’s Steve Cook announcing that you sold less or more than predicted for this quarter…

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What is just around the corner – watch out, beware, and take care

What Google, Apple, Facebook, or Amazon worry about are the things listed below.

7. Walk-out technology: Aldi, Amazon, BP, Shell, Wal-Mart

Will you shop at your favourite neighbourhood store next Christmas or will “Amazon Go” and stores using other walk-out technology get your hard-earned cash (oops cashless shopping)?

Cameras, sensors, and so on will continue to disrupt your shopping experience. Nevertheless, having a short chat with the cashier is still more enjoyable than scanning the products yourself.

Having purchased overpriced processed or pre-cooked / prepared food at Amazon Go or your gas station convenience store does not make me enjoy shopping. Does it do it for you?

8. 2019: #Blockchain will become boring

Many of the projects launched in 2017 are getting close to getting beyond the prototype. Smart contracts are being put in place to take real advantage of the blockchain (a system of distributed ledgers).

More info: Blockchain – protect your assets – what is a blockchain video

9. #GAFAtax: Nothing is free, and free-riding is out

The Google, Apple, Facebook, and Apple (GAFA) tax went into effect in France on January 1, 2019. The UK intends to follow in 2020 after EU-wide efforts stalled. The French government hopes to raise €500 million with GAFA.

France and other EU member states such as Germany want to tax companies according to where their digital users are based.

On a side note, the past few months have seen Apple’s share price take the sort of fall that would usually result in an Apple Watch calling for an ambulance.

10. People have to care about each other before they care about the environment

All of us, except maybe President Trump, are aware that climate change is causing increasingly severe problems with droughts and storms. Nevertheless, unless we care enough about each other, we will be unwilling to do our share to solve the problem.

Therefore, shopping trips to cities like London or New York, or weekend trips to far away places for adrenalin junkies will continue to increase in 2019.

11.  Google might collapse, Amazon could run the world and Apple?

Ever more people block mobile ads (e.g., with your iPhone) and an ever larger group in North America search for products on Amazon first, not Google.  Also, people have trained themselves to ignore online or mobile ads entirely, a phenomenon that is also called “banner blindness.”

2017 Amazon Web Services (AWS) dominated with a 33.8% global market share. Microsoft, Google and IBM together accounted for 30.8%…
In 2019 AWS is surely gonna account for about 63% of Amazon’s profits (growth continues).

Alexa does well and YouTube/Google are trying to get you to subscribe to all types of content including music and podcasts.
In 2019 Apple’s revenue from services like iMusic, iCloud, AppStore will account for about 20%, compared to today’s 15% of its revenues.

What is clear is that searching for new products are ever more happening on Amazon and more and more users are blocking ads. And while Apple is moving from a hardware provider over to become more of a service one, Google’s search for revenues beyond ads continues.

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By the way, regardless of what you do, interesting content is popular – but what is interesting? For instance, US teens care mostly about groups and online forums that have content regarding hobbies such as gaming (41%), humour (40%), pop culture, and sports (both 28%)… position 9 is politics (9%). (Pew Research, Nov. 2018)

5. Have your say – join the conversation

What is your opinion?

  • What important 2019 trends for marketers, strategists, and investors did we forget?
  • Know of other great blog entries on these topics? Provide a URL for our readers in the comments below!
  • When was the last time you shopped for a brand or stayed at a hotel because of your awareness of the brand or positive feelings toward the brand?

Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

The author declares that some of the companies mentioned herein are clients of CyTRAP Labs or subscribers of DrKPI® services.

Thanks for reading. If you liked this one, you should follow me for the next one (or get the RSS feed if you prefer) and learn about another way the market changes.

Arman Sarhaddar and Urs E. Gattiker preparing for the iVault video shooting in Zurich

Three new DrKPI videos are out now on YouTube.
Counterfeiting and theft are a global problem that is growing. Billions of dollars of damage are recorded every year.
Here, we explain how you can protect yourself against both counterfeiting and theft using iVAULT.

“Protect what’s yours.” That is exactly what you will be able to do with iVAULT. This new brand was created by Vault Security Systems AG.

This blog entry is about the three videos we created with Arman Sarhaddar, Urs E. Gattiker, and Lothar Rentschler, all engaged in their work for #iVAULT.

If you prefer to read their statements, you can find each of them here:

  1. Urs E. Gattiker, COO: What is a blockchain and what does iVAULT do with this technology?
  2. Arman Sarhaddar, CEO and founder: Why I created iVAULT
  3. Lothar Rentschler, CMO: Initial thoughts on marketing

Read this blog entry in German here.

To stay tuned and get the latest updates on Vault, sign up for our newsletter here.

1. What makes iVAULT special?

Urs E. Gattiker, Chief Operating Officer of Vault Security Systems AG, talks a little bit about the basics:

  1. What is a blockchain?
  2. 4 challenges iVAULT helps clients with.
  3. How does iVAULT ensure that no fakes enter their supply chain?

Remember when your club or association kept a petty cash book or ledger on paper? Each record was entered by hand, and then we started doing it all with accounting software, possibly customised for use in associations.

To be sure things were done properly, we probably had two club members act as auditors. They checked the books, including petty cash, and reported back to the other members at the annual meeting.

This is much easier with iVAULT. All club members or a selected group (e.g., board, advisory board, and elected auditors) can have a copy of the books in digital, encrypted form. This distributed system records each booking, which is then entered permanently onto the books once the majority agrees. Entering it onto the blockchain also means it can no longer be altered, unless others agree to the alterations.

With iVAULT, the new platform, we can keep our association’s books via the blockchain. Additionally, an individual may register their assets in the data bank. It can be seen and checked by everyone on thousands of computers, and the data cannot be manipulated. This means that if you want to buy a product secondhand, you can be sure that the person selling it to you is the true owner. Most important, if purchasing a used luxury car, jewellery, or expensive technical equipment, you know that what you think you’re buying is what you’ll get.

No fakes, only the original with genuine parts.

iVAULT offers four advantages:

  • Authenticity: Consumers can be sure that they’re not buying stolen or fake products.
  • Compliance: Streamlining your governance processes.
  • Information Security: iVAULT helps better protect consumer data while strengthening privacy.
  • Costs: Reducing costs, while speeding up transactions in the supply chain.

Urs explains this in a video, with an example:

If we want to buy a luxury car secondhand, we want to be sure that all data about the car are true.
This challenge iVAULT addresses by providing you with 100% assurance of that, because data, once entered onto the blockchain, can no longer be altered or even falsified.
You can trust that what you buy is what you get. As well, the company can assure its customers that they get the original product. In turn, this helps protect the company’s reputation.

We can check the information on every computer:

  • Which garage did the warranty work,
  • was the car in a major accident, and
  • more factors that affect its value and dependability (e.g., mileage and major repairs).

That is why we can protect what’s ours with iVAULT. But how did this idea originate?

2. Why I created iVAULT

Arman Sarhaddar, Chief Executive Officer und founder of Vault Security Systems AG, tells his own personal story in the video below.

It is what inspired him, along with his team, to create iVAULT.

With his personal belongings in a storage facility, he would have gladly used iVAULT, had it existed. When he was robbed seven years ago, having iVAULT available would have given him a real chance to recover his stolen treasures, and things he loved.

Watch the video of this very personal story below.

Arman lost all the things he gave to a storage facility, like a wooden sculpture and his complete music production studio.

With iVAULT, everyone can register, search for, and identify assets, such as lost or stolen items. Consumers can look up the information given by a seller about a watch, a painting, a car – almost anything – to check if the seller is the true owner and has the right to sell it.

For companies, the benefit can be even greater. For example, when fake medication is sold online, it damages the business’ image, and hurts patients. iVAULT makes it possible to identify counterfeits, both medication, and medical technology.

3. Initial thoughts on marketing

Lothar Rentschler, Chief Marketing Officer, explains that customer happiness, as well as service, is essential to iVAULT’s vision and mission.

iVAULT is about providing a new level of security and comfort for consumers and businesses alike. It is an outstanding solution for counterfeiting and theft. iVAULT helps to protect your goods, and that is why everyone on the team is certain of the market potential of the new brand.

Last but not least, if you want to read more about the shooting take an exclusive look at us behind the scenes.

4. What’s your opinion?

iVAULT is the first global network to use blockchain technology for registering and identifying assets (such as lost items or stolen goods). It lets users register their items on the blockchain, search for them, and identify them.

  • Have you ever used a blockchain?
  • Do you want to try iVAULT, or do you still have concerns?
  • Have you experienced something like Arman Sarhaddar did? Did you lose something of great value or buy a fake product? It must have been very upsetting. Tell us about it, we would to hear your story.

Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

The author declares that some of the companies mentioned herein are clients of CyTRAP Labs or subscribers of DrKPI® services.

Developing an expert system: Much work, many challenges, challenging job. | Copyright iStock 912613902

In Brief: Last time we talked about the equipment, responsibilities among the involved, legal aspects and the shooting location.
In the third part of the series there are more important tips with examples on how to make a marketing video successful.

Now we are closing this series with more thoughts on these last 4 points (click and read the answer immediately):

  1. 1. Budget: Something always goes wrong
  2. 2. Where do we launch our video?
  3. 3. Which duration is best for our marketing video?
  4. 4. Epilogue: The actual secret recipe is to plan long-term
  5. 5. What is your opinion?

And there is more you might be interested in:

[su_box title=”How to Prepare Your Marketing Video?” box_color=”#86bac5″ radius=”9″ class=”alignlcenter max-width: 700px”]

Video marketing: 4 tips for creating relevant content 
Video marketing: 4 tips for avoiding trouble
Video marketing: 4 secrets experts won’t tell (you are here)

[/su_box]

Read this blog entry in German here.

To stay tuned and get the latest updates on successful video marketing, sign up for our newsletter here.

1. Budget: Beware, something always goes wrong

  • Do we have the necessary means to fund the production?
  • Does our calculation comprise every detail and is there a financial buffer (it is almost always needed!)
  • Is there a need for external financing?
  • Where can we find sponsors and how can the compensations look like?

Especially this last point is interesting to all of us. If you can pay your video production yourself, then there is no need for this. But the sooner you get more partners and cooperators on board the better!

This is because you should not stop after producing only one video (for further details see below!). It is beneficial to find sponsors even though there is no need to find external investors in the first place. But in future these can support your projects and furthermore promote your video in their own networks.

Sponsors can not only give money, but provide for catering or a perfect shooting location. In this way working with sponsors means your marketing video can be really good even though it is a low budget production.

Then it’s your turn to give something back to your sponsor. This can be as easy as incorporating the sponsor’s company’s logo into the picture. Or thank him in the end credits.

For our Deutscher Marketing Verband (#DMV) video, we only needed someone who had a white wall we can use as a background

By the way, we had to go there twice. By the time we were there the first time we noticed that Urs’s shirt (white with small, light green dots) was practically indistinguishable from the white background. We could not shoot a floating head…

We had to postpone the shooting. Fortunately, we lost only one week.

Dies ist das YouTube Thumbnail unseres Videos für den Deutschen Marketing Verband (#DMV) zum Thema DSGVO

This is the YouTube Thumbnail for our Deutscher Marketing Verband (#DMV) video.

2. Where do we launch our video?

This is a question we ask ourselves and we work on theoretical solutions even before we start putting something into practice.

  • Which video platform can we use to launch our marketing video? YouTube, Vimeo, something else?
  • Do we have a YouTube channel that matches the corporate design or do we have to create one?
  • Do we have to write blog entries about our video and the production, where we can embed the video? (YES, definitely! We do this every time.)
  • Does our sponsor have a blog? Can we embed our video in one of his blog entries?
  • Do we have social network accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter? There we can for example post a short version to generate traffic on our blog site or YouTube channel.

Another question is: How to launch the video.

[su_note note_color=”#86bac5″]

Tip

If you have a short movie that’s about 10 minutes long, task the cutter to make a trailer or teaser of about half a minute. This will be posted on all social media channels before we launch the actual video.[/su_note]

Maybe there is the option to show your marketing video on local TV channels or in the cinema in the surrounding area. Obviously, this depends largely on our target audience as well.

3. Which duration is best for our marketing video?

In the first 15 seconds of your movie the viewer chooses if he wants to watch more of it or not. This means, the first few seconds have to be as interesting and eye-catching as possible.

Turned out – after many projects – our DrKPI camera team spends most of the shooting time with these first seconds. It’s definitely worth it, to be a perfectionist when it comes to the introduction.

The rest will fall into place: If you are going to talk about a to of complex information, you have to ensure the talking speed is appropriate for your target audience to understand. Do not tell too much in too little time. But make it as short as possible, so it will not become boring half way through.

Duration time largely depends on your budget as well. For example, 1 minute of video needs 1-2 hours of basic cutting. (Consequently, more complicated editing like animations needs more time.)

[su_note note_color=”#86bac5″]

Tip

In general we can say: The video has to be as short as possible, as long as necessary.[/su_note]

4. Epilogue: The actual secret recipe is to plan long-term

If we are going to produce only one video alone, it has to become something magically perfect to be a success just like that. Videos get more attention if they appear in as a series, therefore we have make new videos on a constant bias.

That is why we ask ourselves: Is there a potential for continuation of our idea, our project? Do we have other similar ideas with the same style so that our videos will be recognized?

If the answer is no, you should consider making another movie.

Another fact is, that videos will be outdated after a while. Sometimes because of the content, sometimes because there are so much more new videos with the same content.

This is not very surprising when we consider that every minute there about 400 hours of video material are uploaded to YouTube. To make it even more stunning: Every day there are 576.000 new hours of moving pictures on this video platform alone!

What we learn is simple.

[su_note note_color=”#86bac5″]

Tip

Video content has to be renewed on a regular bias, because one video alone is never enough. [/su_note]

A video will at some point become less and less interesting for the viewers. Even though the content might still be up-to-date after months or years.

It depends mostly on the industry and the nature of the video contents, but there is a tendency that in about 2 to 8 weeks there are no more new views. Of course, you can post the video again and again and stretch this period. But, at some point, everyone who wanted to has watched it and will not watch it ten times more.

So think about the continuation, think about your first video as the beginning of a long-term project. This is what we always suggest our clients to do.

What is the secret behind videos gone viral?

What is the secret behind videos gone viral?

Maybe you are lucky: You succeeded in making your first marketing video a hit. And you gained a lot of new costumers.

But will these costumers be loyal? Especially, if the concurrence is uploading new videos with even more innovation in the same field every month. This is problematic…

5. What is your opinion?

  • Do you want to make a marketing video, but you are still looking for a good idea or do you need help with the execution of your project?
  • Do you have experience in video marketing? What would you improve next time?
  • You have already succeeded in making a marketing video for your company? Show us your project with a link in the comment section below and tell us how you made it.
  • Or are you planning to make a little movie for your company, for an event or produce a short video for some of your blog entries? Tell us about it in the comments. We answer as quickly as possible.

We are glad to get to know your project and wait for your comment.

 

What will the future bring? Nobody knows but we want to be part of it.

Blockchain has become the buzzword of the year 2018.
Apparently, simply adding it to a start-up elevator pitch helps convince more people that they should invest.
But do investors understand what blockchain technology is about?

This is the first blog entry of a series of posts regarding Technology, Innovation and Management #ccTIM.
The main question is, why should I use blockchain in marketing or sales of a Fast Moving Consumer Product (FMCP)?

The fact that people are not always sure what it means is illustrated by Absatzwirtschaft, a monthly publication. Its October 2018 issue carries a special section on blockchains. While it explains a few things and lists important facts, some portions remain confusing to the uninitiated.

This blog entry will clarify some facts about blockchain for you.

Understand what matters

Blockchain allows a transaction to be permanently recorded on a database shared between computers, without relying on a third party to authenticate or process it.

What makes it attractive for consumers as well as companies is that immutability and security are written into blockchain. As well, because no single authority is in charge of the ledger, no one may remove entries or fiddle with them.

Here are three examples:

  • Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency that wants to eliminate the middleman in finance, such as banks.
    It runs on a blockchain that has been used since 2009 to underpin the working of the currency.
    Bitcoin offers one particular application of blockchain technology, a peer to peer electronic cash system that enables online Bitcoin payments.
  • Ethereum aims to bypass online giants such as Amazon, eBay and Facebook.
    It wants to achieve this laudable objective by allowing automated agreements to guarantee users a service.
  • Vaultsecurity.io aims to help those who suffer a break-in or a fire in their home.
    Vaultsecurity creates a permanent, trusted database of valuables that anyone may access with a secure key. In turn, selling lost or stolen goods becomes very difficult, if not impossible.

Bitcoin blockchain is used to track ownership of digital currency (bitcoins). In contrast, Ethereum blockchain focuses on running the programming code of any decentralized application. Other open source systems include Hyperledger, which has five projects.

In contrast to Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric (one of the five projects mentioned above) provides different roles to the participants within the network. Examples are Peers (e.g., customers), Endorsers (e.g., a jewellery store), and Orderers (e.g., a manufacturer).

The internet is to email what a blockchain is to Bitcoin or Vaultsecurity. A big electronic system, on top of which you can build applications. Currencies, such as bitcoin, are just one possible application.

[su_table]

Blockchain depends on distributed computing and cryptography.

Blockchain depends on distributed computing and cryptography.

Key questions for designing a blockchain are listed below. We need to figure out what we are trying to do, the value we want to capture, and for whom this is useful.

What are we trying to do? What value do we want to capture? For whom is this of use?
Record transaction Information and knowledge about what changed hands Clients
Track transaction Attribution and who is responsible Suppliers
Verify transaction Access or permission to records Manufacturer of goods
Aggregate transaction Ownership Creditors or investors
Reputation and trust Public agencies
Contracts Employees
Transaction ledger

Table. Adapted and expanded upon from Felin, Teppo and Lakhani, Karim (Fall 2018). What problems will you solve with blockchain. MIT Sloan Management Review, p. 36. Retrieved 2018-10-20 from http://sloanreview.mit.edu/x/6015 see also https://blog.drkpi.com/show-me-the-facts-1/

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Besides the more general questions above we feel it is necessary to answer the seven questions below.

Answering these questions is critical

Before you start considering working with a blockchain, it is advisable to answer seven questions that will help you decide whether a blockchain is the best way to go (listed below).

[su_box title=”7 questions to be answered before developing a blockchain” box_color=”#86bac5″ radius=”9″ class=”aligncenter max-width: 700px”]

  1. Do multiple parties share data?
    Example: Manufacturer, distributor, and retail customer.
  2. Do multiple parties update data?
    Example: Customer updates sale to another collector, both inform distributor and manufacturer.
  3. Is there a requirement for verification?
    Example: Manufacturer doing repairs wants to know if person claiming ownership of an asset does rightfully own the asset.
  4. Can intermediaries be removed and thereby reduce cost and complexity?
    Example: Can Amazon, eBay or others be avoided to possibly save costs, and keep customer data to ourselves.
  5. Does a blockchain possibly help comply with, if not exceed, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (2018-05-25) and the California Consumer Privacy Act – Assembly Bill No. 375, CHAPTER 55 (2018-06-27) requirements?
    Example: Can a wealthy client protect their assets while being assured their identity is protected from general public knowledge (e.g., public figure or movie star).
  6. Does the blockchain help reduce trade in stolen goods and fake luxury items?
    Example: How can a potential buyer be sure that jewellery, antiques, or a luxury product are not stolen or fakes?
    Recording, tracking, verifying, and aggregating of information about an asset can further reduce the risks as outlined here.

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Resources: Microsoft, DrKPI, #MCLago White Paper about the GDPR (Tools) Data Protection

With blockchains, no single one-size-fits-all approach is useful.

Cyberspace and Security: Blockchain

Cyberspace and Security: Blockchain

Initial Coin Offering (ICO): One way to use a blockchain

The scalability and user-friendliness of some applications may not be satisfactory. For instance:

  • Ethereum can currently process fifteen transactions per second, while
  • Visa can handle 45,000 transactions per second.

The main benefit of using blockchain is for recording, tracking, verifying, and aggregating of information.

For instance, Initial Coin Offering (ICO) requires a transaction ledger to allow a company and an investor to take advantage of an alternative fundraising mechanism. With an ICO, a start-up can issue their own crypto tokens and get needed capital.

One main difference between an Initial Public Offering (IPO) and an ICO is that the latter is similar to crowdfunding with two differences:

  1. No fee has to be paid to a platform like Kickstarter for the amount being raised, and
  2. token holders do not own any equity in the company but may get the product faster or be paid with product. The company has no real obligation to the contributor to deliver on their promises (ICO example, Lake Diamond CNN video – YouTube).

Lake Diamond uses an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to raise capital without forcing the founders to give up equity.

Lake Diamond uses an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to raise capital without forcing the founders to give up equity.

What is your opinion?

Distributed ledger technologies are collectively known as blockchain. While they offer great opportunities, we have to separate the wheat from the chaff of hype. We hope this blog entry helps you in this process.

Have these explanations helped you so far? Feel free to leave a comment below.

  • Do you have experience with crypto tokens?
  • Is your company trying to use blockchain technology to make its processes faster, more efficient or transparent for its customers or suppliers?
  • Are you planning to use a blockchain as a customer soon?
  • What do you like or dislike about blockchains?

Please share this entry on social media using this link: https://blog.drkpi.com/?p=4689

Making a movie for your blog: the best social media marketing strategy, youtube video marketing

In Brief: In the first blog entry of this series about Marketing Videos we talked about: Why a movie? Plus, thoughts about our target audience, our goal, and what is the best content.
The second part of our series covers more production tricks and examples.

How can you avoid common problems in video shoots and preparing for them?

We can provide details, because our own past experiences were a process of trail and error. To reflect on our projects allows us to optimise our working process in the future. Learning never ends and we are motivated.

This time we came up with a variety of answers to these five questions (click and read the answer immediately):

  1. 1. Which equipment do we need?
  2. 2. Who is involved and who is responsible for what?
  3. 3. What are the legalities?
  4. 4. What is the best location?
  5. 5. What is your opinion?

For more information read the following articles:

[su_box title=”How to Prepare Your Marketing Video?” box_color=”#86bac5″ radius=”9″ class=”alignlcenter max-width: 700px”]

Video marketing: 4 tips for creating relevant content
Video marketing: 4 tips to avoid trouble (you are here)
Video marketing: 4 secrets experts won’t share

[/su_box]

Read this blog entry in German here.

To stay tuned and get the latest updates on successful video marketing, sign up for our newsletter here.

1. Which equipment do we need?

The technology

Everyone would probably list the same item first: a camera. But keep in mind, lighting and sound are equally important. These two components are almost always underestimated, especially by beginners.

I would say, if you provide for professional lighting and sound you don’t even need to have a big professional movie camera. A good video nowadays can easily be shot with your iPhone. The image quality is more than sufficient. That is, under certain circumstances (outdoor shooting on a bright and sunny day).

However, without a high-quality microphone, your marketing video will seem amateurish no matter how good the image quality is. Synchronisation in a recording studio is possible but requires a lot more technical know-how and an experienced voice behind the mic.

If your shoot takes place indoors, you can almost never expect the natural light (from the windows) or the installed lighting in the room (usually only from above – another disadvantage) to be enough.

If you want to guarantee a professional-looking outcome, consider good-quality spotlights a must for every shoot.

And, to be honest, we from DrKPI do not make the marketing videos with our iPhones. We use camera-like camcorders like the P2HD solutions offered by Panasonic. Of course, you need a lot of accessories as well: memory cards and devices for transfer data compatibility, the tripod, and so on…

Without sufficient know-how in camera technology, you might be lost. And the same goes for the cutting. The Windows Movie Maker cannot compete with a professional video editing software like Final Cut Pro X. But this program calls for an expert, too.

In short, everything calls for one thing – and that is professionalism.

[su_note note_color=”#86bac5″]

Tip

A highly authentic marketing video can be shot with an iPhone and some headlights.
Start collecting short videos (pictures only) from products that are made, hands that work on something, a walk through your company (for stabilization consider using an Osmo that fits your Smartphone), etc.
Film everything that comes to your mind.
Then contact an expert and discuss the value of your material and what can be done with your clips.[/su_note]

More equipment needed

If you work with a production team, you can leave these questions to the experts. That gives you time to think about other things you need, such as:

  • props,
  • clothes (also known as costumes), and
  • catering.

For LomMedical (more information here), we made a video about how they integrated the smart retractable syringe for single use.

By the way, this is one of our first videos. It illustrates, what can happen, if you do not have the opportunity to test the location prior to the actual shoot. Therefore, we had no time to conduct light and sound tests.

It turned out that the long and narrow conference room was poorly lit, with windows at only one end. Even with the three spotlights on (at the best positions we could manage) the lighting for this project was not the best…

What clothes should our speaker or actors wear? The director and camera operator (responsible for visuals) can help you. Start with thinking about the Corporate Design first. This should form part of any marketing video.

And then, if your project will take a lot of time, you should provide for your team. Prepare some food and drinks. Or, at least, inform them that there will be no lunch at the set, but there is a restaurant and a supermarket nearby.

[su_note note_color=”#86bac5″]

Tip

Show your process on Facebook, Instagram and other platforms!
Take pictures from behind the scenes (Smartphones are perfect for a cool little making-of).
But keep in mind, everything that’s in the room – cups, plates, bottles, food, notebooks, pens – will become props. It’s worth thinking about how these things look on moving (and unmoving) digital film, and how they will be perceived.[/su_note]

2. Who is involved and who is responsible for what?

Participants can be divided into two groups:

  1. those working in front of the camera, and
  2. those working behind the camera.

Choose the face on screen: should it be an influencer, CEO or an employee “like you and me”? A poor choice can ruin the whole project.

All persons involved are present at the shoot (left to right): Peter Johann (CEO, Lumendi Ltd.); Corina Rieflin (Investor Relations, Lumendi Ltd.); Patrizia Sinistra (camera operator and editor, DrKPI); Urs E. Gattiker (producer and director, DrKPI).

The next question is, who is responsible for what? Expertise is needed in every area. That is why it’s almost impossible to make a movie on your own.

For instance, the head of a company can instruct a manager to take on the organisational tasks of a producer, but they will not necessarily have the technical know-how to operate the camera and lights, or the eye to arrange a scene.

It would be frustrating to realise that the material just does not look good once you’re in the editing room. Or an editor from a contracted company tells you, there’s nothing to be done with material this bad.

And you will still have the production costs to deal with.

It’s helpful to include everyone from the beginning:

  • actors, speakers, extras – everyone who is expected to be in front of the camera,
  • producer,
  • director,
  • camera operator,
  • lighting and sound experts,
  • someone responsible for legal issues
  • financial officer,
  • editor, and
  • the marketing people.

There has to be an active exchange of important information and the communication must be totally reliable to avoid misunderstandings.

[su_note note_color=”#86bac5″]

Tip

Include everyone from the beginning before taking any step in any direction. (Sometimes you will not need everyone, but it is good to have someone for everything – just in case.)[/su_note]

3. What are the legalities?

Do we need consents, contracts, insurance?

For everyone’s sake, any agreements should be done in writing. Especially when it comes to personal rights there should be signed consent forms. Prepare the paperwork with your legal expert and collect the signatures.

That goes not only for your actors or anyone else on camera, but also for anyone in the background, who may not want to be filmed. This is of particular importance if your shoot takes place outdoors. For shooting in public, you almost always need to obtain a permit. For privately-owned places, you might need permission to access the facilities.

Ensure that you have insurance to cover the work you’re doing – just in case. It would be terrible if you suddenly could not publish your marketing video because you unwittingly infringed on someone’s personal rights…

[su_note note_color=”#86bac5″]

Tip

Start the paperwork by making a list of every consent you will probably need.[/su_note]

4. What is the best location

You have an idea that suits your marketing video? A location with the perfect atmosphere or one that is able to reflect your company’s philosophy? Be sure to do light and sound tests before the shoot.

If necessary, you may need to increase your equipment, e.g. more spotlights, a wind-attenuating cover for the microphone, etc. Sometimes you need to reconsider your choice in order to prevent budget overruns.

Keep an eye on the weather forecast and plan ahead. There should be an alternative date for the shoot. The publication can be delayed by weeks or months if you start organising a new shoot date too late.

[su_note note_color=”#86bac5″]

Tip

Be specific. The location has to be perfect.[/su_note]

5. What is your opinion?

Have these tips helped you so far? Feel free to leave a comment below. Or proceed with the third part of this series (coming soon) to get more answers to important questions regarding the preparation of your successful marketing video.

During production we often experience sudden insights we want to share with you as our secret tips in filmmaking. We hope to support you in optimising your own marketing video production.

  • Do you have experience in video marketing? What would you improve next time?
  • What interesting insights do you want to share? Tell us about your “Eureka!” moment.
  • Are you planning to make a little movie for your company, for an event or produce a short video for some of your blog entries? Tell us about it in the comments. We answer as quickly as possible.

In brief: This is the first of three blog entries about marketing videos.
In this post, we show you what it takes to create a successful video.
Careful preparation is the first and biggest step.

Keep reading to see a full post and how you can implement these tips for your next video.

Almost five billion videos are watched every single day on YouTube alone.

Another interesting fact about video marketing ROI (return on investment) is that 92 percent of mobile video consumers share content with others.

We are convinced that good preparation is half the job. Conversely, a lot of time and money will be lost if we realise during production or – even worse during post-production – that our project was not thought through properly…

That is why we made this series of twelve questions with tips, tricks and examples you should know before you dive head-first into shooting.

Below are four questions that need to be answered carefully during the preparation phase. Please address these issues before you do the video shoot (click to get straight to the answer):

  1. 1. Why a video?
  2. 2. Who is our target audience?
  3. 3. What is our goal?
  4. 4. What will the content be?
  5. 5. What is your opinion?

For more information, read the following articles:

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Video marketing: 4 tips for relevant content (you are here)
Video marketing: 4 tips to avoid trouble
Video marketing: 4 secrets experts won’t share

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Read this blog entry in German here.

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1. Why a video?

Making a movie or simple video is easier said than done. Why not a white paper, blog post or press release, instead?

First and foremost, we need to clarify our intentions. Otherwise we will get lost during the process of shooting the video. This helps bring everything into focus.

For example, why should we make a video instead of, or in combination with, a blog entry?

Of course, a video will be more easily remembered, and over all, people love to watch videos on the internet, even more so than reading a blog entry. A video might be easier to understand as well, because it generally demands a lower level of concentration than text.

In particular, we have to think about what we want to show. If we provide our costumers with audio-visual material, we need to give them something particular to see.

For instance, if we are going to talk about a lot of information, our audience be better off with text. An interested user is able to read through important sections of a text again and again. He or she doesn’t have to search for the very second where the important part begins. In a text, there are headlines that structure the information so that one can easily find a sentence or word again.

Then again, there might be a very complex issue that requires a more precise explanation. Why not make a video about this very matter to accompany the text? In the video, we explain the issue and visualise it with an exemplary demonstration.

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Tip 1

Making a marketing video just for the sake of having some video might not be beneficial, but it is always useful to have a short video a blog entry to supplement a text with visual content.[/su_note]

2. Who is our target audience?

Who are we trying to reach with this content? Existing customers, key accounts, or employees? Or are we trying to get new audiences on board, and reach even more people?

Does our target audience consist of pupils and those looking for a job or training, or of companies that could become affiliates? Or do we want to get closer to the end-user?

Children? Artists? Sportsmen? Dog lovers? You know what I mean…

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Tip 2

It is helpful to look for the kind of videos your target audience is watching, but keep in mind, your audience might be interested in completely different videos when it comes to your business.[/su_note]

Most adolescents love to watch vines (7-sec-videos) by their favorite YouTube star, but if you want to air those, the situation gets more complex. If we want to produce a video that will go viral, we had best also include an influencer (note the irony).

This inauthentic video might deter the student. She wants to be taken seriously by her future employer, who has to show they understand her situation, probably characterised by her uncertain future.

In this case, we had best focus on our qualities as trainer and an employer that provides our trainees with security, learning support, and other important qualities.

We made a video (in German, see below) about Hadya Khalil from Syria.

This DrKPI production shows what it takes to make an authentic video. Hadya herself is not an influencer, but she is authentic in speaking about her personal situation. As a refugee, she was looking for an apprenticeship in Switzerland. After a lot of hard work, which she talks about in the video, she secured a position.

For Hadya, Alpiq InTec in Zurich is the best employer / trainer she can imagine. That comes across as authentic and truthful, based on her experience.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlX6mSkY2n8

Obviously the video’s tone (factual, emotional, etc.) arises from the objective, which was to reach a younger target audience.

Understanding your target audience’s preferences, needs and wishes is a first important step. As we show below, defining what you intend to accomplish comes next.

3. What is our goal?

The next step is to ask:

Do we want to produce an image video, to illustrate our corporate culture or philosophy?
Do we need to increase awareness for our newly launched product?
Do we want to increase the number of qualified and motivated job applicants for certain positions?

In some cases, the company may just want to document the annual shareholder meeting to communicate with an important group of stakeholders.

We must write down and discuss our objective or what we want to accomplish. Without this, it is difficult to stay focused when shooting the video. Moreover, this makes assessing whether you accomplished the goals you set feasible, such as with the help of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

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Tip 3

It is helpful to watch others’ videos with a similar objective to help you formulate your goal and decide what can be accomplished. [/su_note]

Of course, if you have the budget, getting advice and support from professionals is always helpful, but remember that, while creativity can be wonderful, keeping your goal at the forefront is key to getting your message across.

4. What will the content be?

Obviously, a marketing video about a toy train cannot be compared to one about an innovative accessory to an endoscope.

That is what determines the video’s tone. If a CEO of a medical company is talking about the technological advancement of a new product, the video has to be neutral and fact-based. This goes beyond just the product, the firm’s strategy or an event. It is about communicating what needs to be communicated well. This can easily go wrong, whether you keep your target audience in or not.

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Tip 4

Tell a story. That goes not only for better blogging, but for videos – maybe even twice as much.[/su_note]

We often want to tell a story (see Hadya Khalil above), but sometimes we only want to give important information. Either way, we need to specify what is to be communicated.

A script has to be prepared beforehand, which must be structured properly. Without structure, you risk your audience losing the thread of what you are trying to communicate, in which case they will not watch your video to the end.

Do you want to share your views? Have these tips helped you so far? Leave a comment below or read the second part (coming soon) to get more important information on how to make a professional marketing video.

5. What is your opinion?

  • How much time do you think you spend each day watching video content on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop?
  • Do you have an example of a great video for a product, event, or explaining algebra?
  • What would you advise someone wanting to make a great video? Please share in the comments.