On a recent episode of CMO Convo, Maury Rogow, CMO of The Video Bot and CEO and founder of Rip Media, takes look at how his background in the Hollywood film industry has influenced his approach to video marketing, and how marketers can inject a little bit of cinema magic into their brand storytelling.
You can find the full episode and more here, but read on for a write up of what we discussed.
- Maury's background and approach to marketing
- The importance of video
- Telling a great story with video
- Brands with great video storytelling
- Getting internal buy-in on video stories
- The future of video marketing
Maury's background and approach to marketing
Hi Maury, could you introduce yourself to our audience, tell us a bit about your background, and how you got into the marketing game?
Happy to! So a lot of people look at me where I am right now I'm sitting here in the middle of Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. I came here because it's the soul of creativity and storytelling.
But the thing is, it's not just that esoteric or out there storytelling, it's literal brand storytelling because you have to have a pitch, you have to have a pitch that works, you have to have a trailer, you have to have a promo, you have to have a film or a product. And then you have to be able to go market it.
The dirty secret is most people don't know that 97% of the films that are made don't make any money. So it's very, very difficult to get one of these out there.
I took my lessons from the first 15 years of my career from high tech, launching products, sales, marketing, very heavy there, but I kept leaning back into Hollywood. How do they do it and I keep wanting to see these movies? Can I adjust that so that people want to see these products? How can I take some of the magic of Hollywood and mix it into the marketing campaigns?
So I just said, let me dive into Hollywood. So I moved out here, I dove in pretty deep. I wrote, I did script consulting, I worked with the producer of The Dark Knight, the Batman series, and a lot of really great things, was in some films and that kind of thing. Then I found out how long it takes, years, to launch one of these quote "products".
I said, “Wait a second, if I can launch a great story and help films get eyeballs on them, can I help brands, the tech companies I used to work with, can I help them launch in a better way?” So I adjusted what I was doing and put this video marketing company together and it really worked. It really worked. 10-12 years ago.
Now we've done 1000 commercials, numerous promo spots, and pieces to help companies launch and the results are astronomical. I mean, don't look at my results, I look at my customers’ results. We're talking hundreds of millions of dollars that they didn't have before. So it's really, really gratifying and very fun. It's hard work, but it's very fun, too.
So is it a Hollywood mindset that you're approaching video marketing with? Is that the philosophy behind your video storytelling, the Hollywood ethos?
There are two sides to Hollywood, I think there's the Hollywood that we see on the cover of the magazines and the glitz and the glamour and the whoever. I'm not taking that side, I'm not really taking the influencer side, this face can sell products so let me go and ask a Kardashian to get behind this or something along those lines who aren't even actors, by any means.
But I am absolutely taking the storytelling, how they go ahead and tell a great story and how they've gone ahead and mastered that just in 100 years. You talk about the ethos and the background, we're talking 1000s of years from the writings of the Greek philosophers to Shakespeare, up into today in 100 years, some of the filmmakers said, "That's it, we've got the structure, we've got the map, these plays were three hours long, four or five hours long. How can we boil these down into a half-hour segment? How can we boil this down into a 90-minute film?"
So I became a student, heavy student of how that story structure is put together and that's what I've capitalized on. That's what I do for our own brand and that's what I do for other brands, all of our customers. So that's really the side that I've leaned heavily on.
The importance of video
It's interesting that you talk about the story structure when it is almost like a standardized structure in Hollywood, you have this three-act screenplay that people talk about as the basis of a Hollywood film.
And yet, even though it's sort of this commoditized product, it's still considered art, and yet video storytelling marketing isn't considered art by a lot of people.
But before we get to that, why is video such an important medium for storytelling and marketing? What does it give you an advantage over other forms of content?
Sure, there are so many areas that I think you get an advantage. Again, I'm gonna say this if you do it right, and there are so many rules to this, I mean, there is not a global standard. I've certainly broken some rules.
It's almost as if you tell me if you're a small company, you're a mid-sized company, enterprise company, or a global powerhouse, that kind of thing, how you're going to tell that story, and then where in the customer journey. So you have to be telling a different story.
I mean, a brand's origin story is really interesting, only if you know the brand, right? So you've got to be in the door first. I map things to the customer journey, I map things to obviously the funnel. And then the other area that I map things to, which we all learned this a long time ago and we forget, which is there are only three ways to create revenue. There are just three ways to create revenue.
So when you have this marketing map on your whiteboards, and your spreadsheets, and your project management, it's can I get new customers? Can I get more revenue from each customer? Or can I get more sales from each customer? And that's it. So you've got all these different metrics to map out. Again, let's get back into video storytelling, how do I take all those things and then map it to video storytelling.
And the reason video is so much more compelling than any other type of media is the way the world. I think it's a bunch of things that happened about 10 years ago, I'd say maybe 10 to 15 years ago, and one is internet speeds finally caught up to our desires, we always want more, we're craving more and more every single day.
But video wasn't really working that well because it was slow, it was jittery, you'd send out a GIF, it didn't work that well. Now the internet speeds are high enough that you can truly tell a great video story, we understand it.
And the second part is, stories are being honed in, like I said, to the customer journey, to where in the sales funnel people are, and our attention spans, especially here in America, here in the States, attention spans are so short. In technology-rich countries, we're hit with 70,000 pieces of information a day, it's hard to compete. With video, you can disrupt that thinking even just for a second.
Then it's if you can tell a story that's visually pleasing, you also have the audio, then if you can do something that's more tactile, that's a call to action, make people feel something, to do something, to literally bring it into the physical world, click this button, smash that like button for the internet marketers on YouTube, or click here to set up a demo, whatever it is.
But if you get people to move their bodies, literally, you have the three pieces of a great story that make people take action.
And that little piece right there is what I've focused on for the past more than a decade, which is how do you make people take action by watching videos or reading anything? We started off as regular content marketing, images, movie posters, and there was just nothing like being able to convey emotion and get people to take action with video.
So it's audio, visual, tactile, and then where in the customer journey are they and if you can map those pieces together, it becomes too compelling to pass up, and that's what we're seeing. That's why video's exploding across the web and Cisco, the global leader in routers and so on, one of our customers, routing basically internet traffic, they're saying it's over 75% of the traffic now is video.
That's a big number. Wow. It's interesting you talk about the multi-sensory aspect. When a lot of people think about video, they think of it as just being a purely visual medium, but you're right it is multi-sensory, particularly with marketing as opposed to say a movie or a TV show where you're just absorbing it.
You are engaging, the call to action is a tactile thing, an extra step so that gets you even further engaged that you might not even get with watching a TV show or something like that.
That's exactly it and there's a really interesting time happening right now with the Gen Z and millennials, younger millennials where perhaps our age, I'm not sure where you fall and I'm not asking, you look great, but with sort of 30 and above, we're used to the lean back, this is a movie, this is a TV show, this is a video let me just sit here.
The younger groups grew up with touch-sensitive iPads, phones, tablets, etc. So it's more of a lean-in, where do I go next? Is this interactive, what do I do here? Is this a game? Their brains are much more engaged, what do you do, so don't send me the flat linear video you used to.
We're really at a crossroads right now of bringing in some of the things I was just talking about to make them interactive because it's desired. People want to have that it's not just a lean-back experience.
And then the other lean-back experience, we talked about TV and film and that kind of thing, something got you in the seat, the promo, the commercial, the teaser, that kind of thing. You can channel surf, but something is going to catch your eye or your heart and you're going to stay there on that channel, or Netflix show, or whatever it is.
Telling a great story with video
So how do you catch people's eye to get them in the seat when it comes to video marketing? What steps do you need to take to get them in front of your marketing cinema screen, so to speak?
Yeah, we don't need to go too far down the Hollywood path, this is all about getting to execute and that kind of thing, and to be able to sell. Let's talk about some of my rules of story, how we do it?
You can go pick up any old book and you can find out the three-act structure. I've broken that down and made it more useful in marketing terms. What I call it is the EPIC story structure. It's an acronym, E would be engage and have empathy, it's a little bit of a double.
You've got to engage people and that means you've got to disrupt their day, that's in the first six seconds. You've got to grab them, you got to have their hook, any of these terms, but if you don't grab people in the first six seconds, think about YouTube, click out, skip, done, you've lost them forever.
Or until you've come back around again and hit them with even more budget. But the goal is not to spend so much budget getting those eyeballs, you want to engage people. So in the first six seconds, you've got to grab people with empathy, which means I understand where you are, I understand your problem.
And this little piece that I'm talking about right now, the background of that really comes from when I was in very heavy, high tech marketing and sales. We had competitors, I was at a company called GeoTel and we ended up being acquired by Cisco Systems for over a billion dollars, it was amazing.
But we had so much competition, that was either so much bigger or so much seemingly technology-rich, that we were running around in fear every day that if we don't sell enough, we don't get enough leads, we don't create enough value, and revenue, one of these other companies could get scooped up or purchased and really explode, or they're gonna win our customers.
It was insanely competitive, what I started finding is, they might have a great product, but they don't have a good story and they can't simplify their story. So they weren't grabbing people. In fact, some of them their technology was good but they couldn't tell that story so we beat them.
Now on the other side, I think we had the combination of all three, it was magic, we had amazing technology, but we kept it simple to get in the door, to grab people with what's your problem, let's address your problems right off the bat, and then come up with the solution which of course we add, and do that in an engaging way in exchange for dollars.
I mean, there's the basics. I feel like other people were celebrating their technology so much that they started talking about themselves more than what they could do for the customer.
That's what bounced them out the door and got us our foothold in place. So that all became, how are we doing that? I looked back at our presentations, my presentations, literally the decks as well as what we would say and talk about. So all that became the E in EPIC, which is empathy.
The P is the big one, which is the pain or the problem the customers going through. I'll go through it real quick, so E is the empathy and engagement and then the P, the pain or the problem. I is the impact, as well as the integrity of your solution. And C is the change in their life and or the call to action. What are we going to do? Let me ask you this, do you have a favorite movie or a couple of favorite movies?
Let's go with Avengers: Infinity War as the biggest tentpole movie of the last 10 years. That's probably one that a lot of our audience will have seen so they'll know what we're talking about.
That's great. Absolutely. It's one of my favorites too. In fact, just as a note, I don't think it's a spoiler because after $4 billion have come in from those two movies, I think, not giving anything away but I love that the bad guy won at the end of the first one. That was unexpected. That got us in our seats for the next one, which became the largest grossing movie of all time with Endgame.
Now you've thrown out a multi-character multiverse so that's not as easy to break down. But here's the quick way to do it which is, empathy and engagement - we have each of these characters in this case that we've gotten to know over the past few years.
We know each of the characters, we know how noble Captain America is, we know how cocky Tony Stark and Iron Man are, we know how wanting to be noble and always trying to live up Thor is, really my favorite character since I was a kid. Not when it was Chris Hemsworth, it was an old guy with a cane.
We go through each of these characters and each one of them has gone to go through a transformation. What's the problem? Well, we have an incredible bag guy.
I love this, I actually love breaking this down. We're going to start here with the film and then I'm gonna apply it to a product. So start thinking about some company or brand, because it's gonna be the same thing. Maybe it's a product that didn't exist and then maybe it's really exploded on the scene or a technology. So if you could, again, this is random, I have no idea what you're gonna say but I'll finish out with Infinity War, an Endgame.
So each of these characters runs into a huge problem. But here's what's really interesting is, we have a touch of an empathetic bad guy. This isn't I want a billion dollars, this isn't I'm going to just kill everybody because I'm horrible.
This is I want to save the universe and here's my altered way, my cracked way of doing it is to wipe out half the population. Sounds horrible, but yet his intention is good, his ethics and execution of the plan are what's so horrible, but really interesting. So not a flat character at all in my opinion. So they run into this problem.
Now, what's the impact of the problem? Well, that's pretty obvious. We can see it, they show I think it was Gomorrah, they show her plan of half the people being wiped out, how horrible that is, families ripped apart. I mean, it's just horrible because some of this is actually happening in the world we live in.
Not in that exact way but I think about certain countries in Africa and that kind of thing, so we can relate to it. As far as engagement goes, yes, this is a fantasy world, but they're using elements that exist today. So we have empathy, we have engagement, we have a huge problem. A problem we can relate to. Now, where's the integrity coming from? Where's the impact?
The impact we have pretty clearly, the integrity is who can step up here? Who can make this? Can these guys work as a team? They even split apart, they're two separate teams that don't want to work together, they have different goals. Now they'll come back together, so they have integrity.
Then there's the change, the change in the universe, they're all called to action to work together. Again, not going through these six hours of film, but they make it work in an altered way and then you get great wrap-ups for each of our characters. Literally wrapped up each character and gave them a pretty satisfying ending for a lot of the big fans.
There's EPIC in a massive multiverse, literally. Can you throw me a product or company and I think I can just compare it and show you how they do it?
How about a product that a lot of our readers will probably have been using recently, a product we're using right now in fact, how about Zoom?
That's a great one. Most people go with Apple or Nike, I was actually expecting that. Okay, Zoom, let's think for a second here. Zoom has been on the scene for a long time so there are two ways we can go about this, I can dissect them in their growth, in their rocket, that kind of thing, how they adapted, or we can go back to their particular story. Since I'm not intimate with their particular branding story, I'm going to go with the first.
So we have multiuser collaboration online, We're in Zoom right now talking to each other and it's very ubiquitous. But so is Teams, so is Google, so are at least a dozen pretty major competitors out there, but Zoom took off like a rocket. One thing that happened, why they took off like a rocket, P the problem. The problem was the pandemic came in, this isn't news to anybody but they capitalized on it like mad.
They became something that Google did which is they became a verb. Let's Zoom and that's it. They won the race. So they had heavy marketing, heavy pushes in areas that everybody touches, they did major pushes even past Microsoft in schools, universities, let's adapt. Hey, we've been here all along. In fact, we'll give it away for free for the first X amount of time, just fire it up and start using it.
They certainly ran into their own problems - security, things like that happening, some breaches, and things like that, but they certainly survived. How do they engage people? You can work from anywhere, anytime, on any platform, just download this thing. So they engaged folks.
There was a huge problem that boosted their market, they had two things happen. The impact is you can keep on working, you don't have to shut down your business, certainly was brought across in the videos and the promo spots and the commercials that they put out, so the impact to the business owner is great, let's do this.
It wasn't complicated, it wasn't tied into a suite, "I gotta use Google? I don't know if I trust, Google" or "Microsoft? We're not a Microsoft shop. We're a Google shop". All those things didn't matter. They said, we're vendor-agnostic, you just use this thing. They went down that path.
And then the integrity actually started building over time, they look like the major hero, but they hit obstacles and this is the big part of the story that in a founder story or an origin story, bringing it back to your story, anybody that's listening here, you've got to be open enough to show that you're the underdog. The underdog wins. We all love the underdog. So Zoom had problems with security, there were people joining in meetings that weren't supposed to be there and things like that.
They admitted it and said, we're putting a team on it immediately, we will fix this as fast as we possibly can. They had a bumpy road and people said, "All right, they're like me, but maybe a little better", because they acknowledged it, they didn't just push it off to the side, they didn't ignore it. They said, "Yes, this is it, this is true, we're on it, we are putting our best people on it, we're hiring a new security squad".
In my opinion, they built integrity over that time when it could have crushed them. Everybody could have abandoned them. Butt because they said we have integrity, we're gonna go ahead and do more here that actually built up more trust. We all know the know you, like you, trust you, and then we'll move forward with your mantra, I think that's what they did.
Certainly, the C was the call to action and everybody can use Zoom across the board, and start today, it's free. So I think they had a lot of things going for them but they had one major world problem that of course made them explode. But they were growing well before that.
Definitely. They were on some people's radar before the pandemic hit, a lot of companies were looking to shift towards a remote working setup anyway and this accelerated the whole process.
But the thing that really works with how well Zoom's done as well is how they, you spoke about empathy, they tapped into empathy. Not just in terms of, we can help you keep working, but we're keeping families connected, we're keeping people connected, which is a huge deal in light of what's been going on.
That's how it's become a household name, especially, it's that level of real emotional engagement, those core emotions. This is something that Hollywood movies do very well, which marketing videos don't do as well.
I love that you brought up emotion and I'm surprised that I didn't yet. But you're absolutely right. Because with Grandma we can Zoom, it's bringing people together. Here's the thing about why explainer videos and promo videos usually don't tap into the emotions.
One is people are afraid to do that, the marketing director or the marketer doesn't want to go up to the CMO and say, can we do this? Can we put emotion in here? They're a little afraid that'll get sliced out. We need features says the CTO, let them know what we do. But people don't buy features, they actually still do and always will buy based on emotion and a feeling and a transformation.
When I moved out here with my marketing brain, I started asking everybody, I was the guy that would take the director, the actor, the actress to lunch just to understand this market, what they're doing. I boiled things down to five core emotions. I think this is very important for any CMO here. There are really five great emotions or great elements to any story that'll make a difference and those are STUFF. I'm full of acronyms.
S for is it sexy or does it sizzle? Now, this doesn't mean actor/actress on the beach, that kind of thing. In commercials, you can do that but it can mean 18% returns out of my stock portfolio, which means I can take that vacation, which means I can do this or that. That sizzles. 18% you can make that into something that's sexy.
Every company has the opportunity to either make themselves or their customers, and you really want to make your customers because it's all about them, you never want to be the hero as the brand - your customer that's the hero. How can you make them sizzle, look sexy, etc? With your piece.
I love that you brought up the Avengers because I always talk about to brands, including our own, we're Iron Man's suit of armor. We're Jarvis. You companies out there, your product is Jarvis. Inside is the hero, inside the customer, the customer is the hero. You're the toolkit that elevates them to the next level. That's it. Don't be the hero. People don't respond to that well, so that's S - sexy, sizzles.
T is touching and I love that you just brought that up. That's what Zoom did. Before that was a great campaign by Google for Gmail, launching their Gmail, their mail product. It was all about bringing families together, a father sending his daughter who was like two messages to her that she would read in 10 or 15 years, it was beautifully done. Very simple, but beautifully done. It's touching, how can we touch the heart? Or how can we inspire?
And we're about to hit the season with the Olympics, with all kinds of inspirational stories about to hit us. NBC, Universal, and all the countries around the globe are winning the rights. So they're going to be telling these great inspirational stories about how people came from little to nothing, and they fought and they trained and we're inspired by them, and then we're going to root for them and it works. T - the touching piece.
U is a funny one. U is it's got to be completely unique. If you're playing catch up to the big brand that's ahead of you, or the great technology next door, you will lose. You need to be unique, you need to find out what your customers' aha moment is.
Go poll them, talk to them, ask them, get this together and say my gosh, I didn't even realize it because this is what we do with our clients and most of them find, "Oh, my gosh, we found out it's not the interface they love it's the customer support, it's the care that we'll wait until eight o'clock at night to solve a problem instead of going home".
Whatever it is, but a specific story there. So whatever makes you unique, celebrate that and talk about that. Then the two F's are funny and fear. Funny is really difficult. Most companies back away from it because if it doesn't hit, it can go south, it can be sour, but you can always lean on humor.
You don't have to be too risky with going for funny. So funny, think about Dollar Shave Club, there's Budweiser commercials, the Budweiser frogs, the Geico geckos, these kinds of things, they're all going for funny, totally unusual, different, unique, and fun. Fear is a great one and Silicon Valley uses this every day, it's FOMO - fear of missing out.
What about your product can you help people realize if they miss out on this, they are going to be left in the dust. They will not have the job, they will not be able to buy the doll for their kid or their action figures, they will be at home without a job or they're just going to get passed by for that promotion.
So STUFF, how can you highlight those? And again, just applying it to the movies, when I was doing all that script consultation on these really large movies, any scene that didn't have an element of that in it, that wasn't a term, but I coined that term, but didn't have that in there would be cut from a movie. If it wasn't elevating the story forward and didn't have an emotion in it. It's extraneous, why have it in there?
So in big movies like we just talked about, they just cut those out, they all have a meaning to move the plot forward. And the same thing with marketing, the whole point is to move people to the very next step in the customer journey. It's not like most of the folks listening to this are selling an eCommerce thing that's $1, come in buy it for $1 see later never see you again.
Hardcore push to buy something today it's get them to the very next step. B2B marketing, even B2C, it's who else do we need to have on this decision? How great is this for you? What's the next step? Three steps, five steps, move them to the next step along the customer journey is how you will win and keep on growing.
Brands with great video storytelling
You've talked about EPIC and STUFF, who are some brands that are really doing this well, in your mind? What are examples that our readers should go and take a look at as examples of great video marketing?
There's a lot, thinking off the top of my head, I think Nike is doing a great job, they have literally become controversial, that controversy puts them in the news. And controversy, also becomes free branding, free commercials out there as stories come up. So they've done a really good job of it, but they've really stuck to their athletes.
In my mind, they've stuck to the people that got them to where they are. They were early in the 80s, with Michael Jordan. If I remember right Nike was only 12 years in at that point, they had nobody, no huge brand, it was Adidas and Reebok, whatever it was back then. But they signed Michael Jordan and that became a billion-dollar brand on its own.
Looking back, we can see that. But Nike has stuck by their athletes, their spokespeople, and it's all about just do it because you are an athlete, you can do it. It's not just Serena, it's not just Jordan, it's not just LeBron or this or that. It's you can do it. Just do it was the original. So I think Nike does a great job out there, again, sticking to their guns, sticking to their brand.
A couple of others I think are doing a great job, the brand that nobody ever heard of: Unilever.
They have one of our customers, Ben and Jerry's ice cream. We work with Ben and Jerry's ice cream and that's now a Unilever brand. I think they do an amazing job and the other is they bought Dollar Shave Club. At Dollar Shave, Michael Dubin put that video that together that went viral, taking on a very boring stayed 150-year-old industry of razors.
He put something together, it was completely unique and funny. I lightly polled that video and there was definitely a difference. They knew their target market, which is the other 10 rules of great stories too. But they knew their target market, he knew his audience. Frankly, he wasn't going for females and I don't think that video appealed as much in my small polling as it did to males.
It's not a bad thing to target. We all want to segment, and now they can branch out. Once you win an audience, you can then expand. I think that Unilever is doing a great job by letting those brands be themselves and letting each one have its own personality. I think Ben and Jerry's has a very different take on things than Dollar Shave Club and there are other brands too.
Moving onto Always, Always is a female brand and they had a campaign called 'like a girl'. I thought they did an amazing job with this, now it came out roughly around the time I had a daughter, so maybe I was a little more aware. But I absolutely loved it. Loved it. For all the reasons that it should, be strong, you are strong, you're smart, but they didn't say those things, they said, "Hey, kid, you and your sister here, throw this ball, throw it like a girl".
Then he did this mock weird throw this ball terribly. He said, "Is that how your sister throws?" No. "Is that how you want your sister to throw?" No. "How does she throw?" And he's like boom and he threw a strike. That's like a girl. It still chokes me up just thinking about it, it was amazing. So they've done some beautiful work there.
I also think Google, I also think Susan love Breast Cancer Research Foundation, putting out huge amounts of really educational smart videos that are helping women with breast cancer and their families that are dealing with all the repercussions of the treatments and this and that learn and understand good treatment. Again, we are helping them, we're doing those with them, but I think those are two great brands as well.
It's interesting you talk about still getting choked up about a video even a few years later. This is something that really, really good video ads do. If you're familiar with the brand John Lewis, they're a big deal in the UK. Every year they put out a Christmas ad and they become the talk of the entire country. The entire country gets together, all sharing it on social media and it's always linked in with the emotion of something that's going on at the time.
It's very, very powerful in that respect. That's probably an advantage video has over a piece of written content, for example, or just still image content. Because you experience a video, and that experience stays with you, at least when it's a good video at least. A forgettable video, you forget about five seconds later, but a good video, you remember for years.
People still talk about the 'Buy the world a coke' ad that came out in the 1970s because it tells a good story effectively. Those are the good things to do, good examples, what are the pitfalls that CMOs need to avoid when it comes to their video marketing strategy? What should be avoided?
Yeah, I like that. People listen to the bad part more than they do the good, that's good. The things the CMOs don't do. I'm thinking through this and CMOs, again, if you're doing some of this, don't feel bad, don't quit your job, you're gonna be fine, you can fix it. But I think there are traps that people fall into because they're so proud of A) their own company, their own brand, their founder, whatever it might be, or they want to look good to their founder.
If you're talking we, us, our, that's a pitfall. There is a place to do that and I think that we, us, our, I call it the origin story, that can be done on your hiring page when you're talking about your culture, your brand culture.
Because this is more important than ever. In one spot you can do that, but here's the pitfall, you don't talk about we, us, our, we're awesome, we're huge, we did this and that. You've got to do it from a different perspective and that's how you are serving your customers. Those customers that you love, you love solving these problems for these customers.
When you do that you get to here's our mission, when you do that, you get to have benefits that raised a million dollars last year for breast cancer research. When you do that you get the best people here, when you do that, blah, blah, blah, and you're making those that are watching the hero, even though you're really talking about we, us, and ourselves. But if you start talking, we do this that's a bit fault.
That's a problem. That's a red flag, don't do it. Change your story. The same goal is achieved, but you're doing it in different ways. So it's the customer's the hero. I mentioned a couple of times just in that little rant, I was saying we're big, we're this, and that.
Don't be the overdog, be the underdog, be the one that everybody relates to. Back to mythology and back to Hollywood films, everybody we've been talking about is an underdog, even those Avengers, they all have their scars. That was one of the things that made Marvel take off because we saw their personal stories. Think about Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, think about on the waterfront, whatever it is, these folks in a way are underdogs and they had to fight through.
Zoom we talked about a little bit, they have integrity, they fought through the problems, and everybody can relate to that. So don't be the overlord, the overdog, be the underdog. Talking about video marketing, let's get back to the brass tax here, when we talk about this, you really need to talk about one specific goal. You can have three big elements in each of your videos, but one specific goal needs to come out of it.
And a lot of times, hey, we have this budget, or we have to get this done so they pack in so much information into one video or one spot that it drowns itself out. Nobody knows what to walk away with. Oh, that was cool. That was great. But what am I supposed to do now? I don't even remember what it was. They go over to a competitor and the competitor has a nice, simplified message that looks great.
And I'm like, I'm gonna continue down this path. Now they've got somebody in their customer journey, and you didn't, because you're trying to do too much and that destroys a story. I think one of the other things is people aren't taking advantage of these two different pieces of technology right now, or two different storytelling techniques, which is we all know about funnels, and we all know about video marketing, but why am I not seeing more video conversion funnels?
We have them, they're terrific. People come in, they see a great video, they take the very next step. Continue the journey here. The more time people spend on your website, the more time they're getting to know you, and the more they're not looking at a competitor.
Use those because it's not just a read, it's not download the white paper, see you later, you're on our email list now. Walk them through at least a three-step funnel. So here, and then thank you so much, we're going to follow up with you, and while you're here, have a look at this - more information or more things that are helpful.
Did you know that these are the six stories that sell? Download this. When they do it's thanks for downloading the six stories that sell because the problems that most people are running into are these and then you're capturing information, you're giving value at every step of the way, with the most powerful medium. You can start to become irresistible. Not using video in your funnels at each step, I think is a major mistake.
We talked about not using this stuff, not using EPIC. If you want I can go through my 10 rules of story? If you aren't using these I think it's your own detriment, you're costing yourself. Some of these are basics, but some you just forget. Some of these are definitely new so I'd love to see what your thoughts are. You've got to know your audience, we just talked about that.
Nike knows their audience and actually part of their audience is their actual brand ambassadors. The people that they hire for millions of dollars, their audience, they're gonna celebrate them, and they're gonna stick by them, for example. B2B, whoever it might be, you're not going to sell Pampers, diapers during a Superbowl halftime show.
So know the audience and target market and segment as much as you can. Second is, disrupt, that's the unique, so you've got to disrupt people in that first segment, minimally in the first seven seconds, if it's a web app, you have a little bit more time if it's television and different mediums, but you've got to disrupt, you've got to do something different, totally unexpected. Then you can bring it back home.
Sell the hole, not the drill, this is number three. Sell the result, sell the experience, don't sell your features, don't sell your widget, talk about the solution. I don't know if you have that expression, but if you're selling a drill that's one thing, here's the features, here's the drill bits and blah, blah. But it's "Oh, you want to put a door up?" That's it, you want to put the door up so your wife doesn't laugh at you so that you can be the hero and fix thanks.
Again, four I just talked about it, it's focus on the experience. What's the transformation in the person's life, in their life, in their personal life, their professional life, both. What's the experience of having your solution of having your product? Again, it's not the features, not the actual product itself, it's their experience of having it in their lives that makes the difference. The next one, number five, is a really good one and it's hard to do.
And if your salespeople aren't on board with this, if your marketing people aren't on board with this, I think this is a great place where you can say, "Ah, we're dropping off because of this". Raise the stakes and if you're not raising the stakes to become so important, if you're a nice to have not a must-have, you're not going to get purchased. You might get purchased here and there, "It'd be cool to have that I have expendable income or I'll try it out as a pilot".
But if you are high stakes, that there's a huge difference here, you're on a wire tightrope walking between buildings but you're the net that saves the life, that's high stakes. Your product has to be high stakes or else you're not going to be purchased. I've got a few more. I am a firm believer in KISS but instead of 'keep it simple stupid' it's 'keep it short and shareable'. This also is one of my other offshoots, I call it CORE; 'create once, repurpose everywhere".
So if you are creating that video marketing piece that's going to go front and center on your website, you also need six-second, 15-second, 30-second pieces of that for all the different social media platforms. Because if people are scrolling through you need to grab them in six seconds. If they're on a Facebook feed or even LinkedIn, that kind of thing, you've got to grab people fast.
You have a little more time on different platforms but you need to have these cut downs and then repurpose them everywhere, it goes in your newsletter, on your blog, use that expensive asset because videos can be expensive. It can be a million dollars, millions, it can also be 10 grand or $100. But make sure you get the most use out of it. Maintain the mystery is another one of those mistakes I think a lot of marketers do, which is they give it all away.
I think the great example here is back to the old movie world, which is when we used to sit in the theater, and hopefully, we will again, the trailers would come up at the end of the movie, that's why they're called trailers, but they moved it to the beginning. So the previews come up, if they tell you the whole thing it's like, "I don't need to see that they just told me the whole story". They leave a hanging thread, they leave the mystery in there, you want to pick up the next piece, and that's the customer journey.
What's the next piece, what's the very next piece? We talked about the underdog, extremely important. And then keeping things related, number nine is keeping them relatable. If you do something that's so esoteric, or so creative, it can look beautiful, but if people don't understand it, and they can't relate their problem to it, I say leave it behind.
Put that in when you have all the customers sitting in a room with you, you've got your audience right there, that's a fine place to do something that's big and explosive, that kind of thing but may not be as pointed as video marketing, as a marketing message, promo message, you've got to be very pointed there. And then this really cool in here, which is a ticking clock.
In every movie, Mission Impossible, I mean, how many times is this guy, Ethan Hunt, going to stop the bomb from exploding the earth with one second left? There's always a ticking clock. You can use that and we've seen in the past few years the adoption of these clock counters on a lot of website landing pages - expires in 12 hours, that kind of thing.
These nudges along, the webinar starts in 12 hours, starts in one hour, etc, you've got to have a ticking clock because it just taps into the psychology that we don't want to miss out, the FOMO. If there's a ticking clock, I'll make time, fine. It just amps up that disruption. So use the ticking clock to your advantage.
Getting internal buy-in on video stories
Let's talk about selling the result and maintaining the mystery. To tie into something you've mentioned previously about overfilling videos with features and being so feature-led videos, a lot of that comes from other stakeholders within a company. As you said earlier, it comes from the CTO or it might come from the sales team.
How can a CMO engage those internal stakeholders and convince them that's not the way to go? How do you go about convincing them that it's better to tell a good story, rather than just show what features you can do with the product?
Yeah, two-part answer. One is you hit on something we haven't talked too much about here, which is being a CMO is internal, as well as external. It's not just the brand voice, but you need to sell internally as well. How do you do that? How do you get folks that were like, "No, I need this feature in there, people are talking about it"? I think what you do is, there's a few conversation styles you can have. One is the gap conversation.
Here's what you want and here's what we're trying to do. With this thing, what we're trying to do is get the customers to take action. So the more customers we get to take action give you what you want, so we both are aiming in the same direction. How do we get there? Your idea's to put it inside here that we have 23 buttons or 24 ports instead of 18 like our competitors. We have this many USB three ports, whatever.
What's the result of that? Why is that beneficial? So it really is just the conversation, you're literally just selling your own team on the same thing you're gonna be selling the world on, which is the result. So I really think you use your own technique, right there. And I know it's difficult.
This isn't easy stuff, because technology has worked on it for three years, we finally got these extra ports on the same chassis and it fits in the rack and blah, blah, blah. But what's the result of that? Oh, less power consumption. Oh, they can fit more. Oh, they can buy more. Oh, they get these things. If you go with the result of that, I think you have a winning battle there.
It's literally meta where you are selling the hole, not the drill, instead of getting people to talk about the feature, talk about that experience. And then the result the customer has and I think you get more buy-in that way. I certainly have at the organizations I've been with.
The future of video marketing
You talked briefly about Gen Z, so what is the future of video marketing? Is it interactive storytelling? Netflix have done a few series that had interactive storytelling, is that going to be the future of video marketing, being able to choose your journey through video?
So we're figuring it out. There are a few things that I think are definites. And I think that there's a lot of bets, including us, we're doing more interactive and personalized. The two areas I think it's moving in are as follows. First, personalization of content.
One video to a million or 10 million people has been working for a century, but I think that's gonna change because, especially with the younger audience coming up where everything has been personalized to them, personalized content, personalized feed, personalized this and that, what do I like, what I dislike.
Personalized content, personalized promo spots, etc, are very important. Frankly, that's why I started or am CMO of The Video Bot that does exactly that, personal video message to each customer.
Then the interactive piece seemed like it was going to take off like a rocket five years ago, hasn't quite done it yet. I think it's a combination of two things. One is still that audience is still coming up into having the budget to be able to make purchase decisions, that it really is used to interactive. And then the rest, the 90% aren't even used to it yet, because people are watching interactive videos and don't quite know what to do with it.
Because we were watching for our whole lives in this lean-back mode. So I do think that personalized is a definite across content marketing. I think that the interactive piece, even if it's not inside the video certainly has to be outside of it, certainly has to be obvious pop-ups and obvious next steps is where it's going to start.
The other thing is, I think the augmented reality and virtual reality, we all again, a lot of us in this area, thought that would have taken off like a rocket at this point, too. But it hasn't for many different reasons, it took a while just to even get QR codes to be recognized on our phone, that kind of a basic thing, point this at the sign.
So I think that's moving along slowly, but the gamification of marketing and the gamification of videos, and literally, I'm talking using game engines like epic engine and these kinds of things, where people are getting more immersed in these worlds, that's going to catch on more and more. It won't happen through $2,000 goggles is my guess. The price points of those will come way down, that'll be helpful.
The more we can do it just in our regular world, the AR, the augmented reality, I think that's going to lead to it, and again, these are just my guesses. But I would say those are the four areas that marketing video is moving in and I think it all comes under gamification, which is in the next steps, immersive, immersed in a world, personalized to you and interactive and you can take advantage of things.
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