Marketing Turnaround: Another video success story

In our blog for Target Marketing Magazine, we share our deep dive analysis into a three-pronged concept that can turnaround results of online direct marketing campaigns. If your marketing results have experienced a steady decline in response over the years, and you’re ready for a marketing makeover, this message is for you. In this presentation, we’ll share with you the concept and results of an online video campaign. It produced a sales increase of 20% with the use of video as the central delivery vehicle. As we have dissected the results of this campaign, three overarching principles have emerged that helps to understand why this turnaround campaign was so successful.

These breakthrough concepts can super-charge email and social media. But they also strengthen direct mail, print advertising, and other channels you might use to market your product or service. And of course, it plays into the exciting world of mobile marketing.

So let’s begin with three words that quickly describe this marketing transformation: “purpose,” “frequency,” and “free.” Throughout this two-part presentation, I’ll weave in the case study that supports why these concepts are transformational.

As background, a year ago the direct response campaign I’m about to describe included direct mail, email, and broadcast radio. The pitch would have been to buy tickets to a performance, with the message that the best seats always sell first. Discounts were only offered for students, seniors and groups. It’s the way this organization has sold tens of thousands of tickets to performances for over a decade.

But in recent years, ticket sales had slowly eroded. It was still the same excellent product, but it would require an extreme marketing makeover to create renewed interest and turn around sales.

Frankly, the organization was in a marketing rut.

Sound familiar?

Making three pivots within your direct marketing approach could mean the difference between continued lackluster response, and taking you to a new and exciting level of direct marketing performance.

The first key concept is within the word “purpose.” Let me explain. In recent years, whether it’s a reaction to the economy or technology, your customers and prospects have changed. People are skeptical of every marketing pitch. As marketers, we’ve created a marketing and sales culture of distrust and turn-off through blatant interruption. Consumer’s reactions are to instinctively click away or throw it in the waste basket unopened.

There needs to be purpose and relevance in your marketing outreach. With the use of video, you have purpose every time you reach out to connect with your installed base of customers or followers with email and social media.

Let’s turn again to the outcome of the performing arts organization who was selling tickets. Email open rates had been declining. For those who did open the email, here was little reason to click-through because the message was a consistently predictable plea to “buy tickets.” Social media wasn’t understood by the organization. It was used as an inward-focused news feed, not an outward-focused engagement builder.

Now, you might expect to hear me say that any type of video in email and social media is the answer. That’s not true. No one wants to watch a 30 or 60 second video that is nothing more than a TV commercial.

Instead, the video must take on a different tone. In the case of the arts organization, the tone was to build interest in the upcoming performances using a series of five behind-the-scenes video, each a chapter in a bigger storyline. Over the course of a few weeks, the story was built around the production, musical selection, the set, costumes, lighting, choreography and more.

Using an approach that built a continuing story, with chapters unfolding with each new video, the videos created purpose for email to its patrons, and the videos leveraged the power of social media.

By now you may think to yourself that you don’t have a product or service nearly as interesting as a show production. Maybe you’re too close to your work. What process or ingredient do you take for granted, but when presented as a story, your prospective customer might find fascinating?

Thinking of past clients we’ve worked with, a behind-the-scenes video that shows how fruitcake is baked could tell an interesting story. But better: go behind-the-scenes into the pecan groves and show how pecans are harvested, or into the fields of Costa Rica where the pineapples are grown.

Maybe you offer insurance. Well, selling financial services can be tough. But what if you take the prospective customer behind the scenes and build trust by simplifying how money is invested to guarantee it will be available when it’s needed most.

Maybe you’re a business-to-business marketer and you sell medical office supplies. A demonstration of how to use insurance forms would make your product more understandable, and perhaps more importantly, might be used as a training tool by your customers for new office staff. Don’t you think your customers would be more apt to purchase from you if you demonstrated how to use your product?

Video gives purpose to reach-out to your customers and prospects. Your video should tell a story, chapter-by-chapter. It can be educational. It can give away information that elevates your customer or prospect’s opinion of you. It can be practical … just don’t format it like a typical 30- or 60-second TV advertisement. Make it a great story, tightly told and edited, and you have transformed your message in a way that engages your audience, and conditions them to say “yes” at your call to action.

The next two concepts are “frequency” and “free,” and we’ll review those with you in our next blog post. We’ll analyze how video enables you to expand your purpose, and get your message out with frequency. And then we’ll tell you how video enables you to giveaway something free, not free with purchase, but really just free, without strings attached.

Watch for our next post as we take you deeper into how you can turnaround your direct marketing campaigns with online video.


Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.