In many senses, I am a “guy” of two worlds: I’ve spent my entire life split back and forth between Tel Aviv and New York City, from growing up to my education to my career, and even today I lead teams in both cities. Additionally, I’m a man of two worlds because I’m passionate about both design and technology, art and science, form and function. Which is why SundaySky is a natural and perfect fit for me; it’s a company that allows me to blend my love of technology and art as the vice president of creative.
At the SmartVideo Summit this year, I discussed this balance between data and creative, and how blending these two worlds makes for a cohesive, engaging and effective SmartVideo viewer experience. When our customers think and plan their SmartVideo programs, there are three key components to be considered for a holistic viewer experience:
- The story and video content, or the “What do I watch?”
- The video delivery channels, or the “Where do I watch?”
- The interactive components and elements, or the “What do I do with it?”
By addressing these questions, brands ensure viewer-centric SmartVideo programs. Here’s a closer look at what each component means…
What do I watch?
Traditional marketing and advertising creative is typically one message for an entire population or target audience. Alternatively with SmartVideo creative, brands are communicating multiple messages, or stories, tailored to individual viewers at specific points in time, driven by a cross-section of factors including the viewer’s interests, persona, location, account status, personal information and more. These individual parameters can be used to define what stories are delivered as well as how and when.
Of course, a major part of a five-star SmartVideo is personalization. Personalized elements can be overt – such as the viewer’s name and account details – or subtle, in which are decisions made throughout the video yet the viewer would not know those decisions were made specifically for him. Such decisions evoke relevance to the viewer, but in an understated way. A new cable subscriber awaiting installation could either get an educational scene about professional installation, self-installation pick-up or self-installation shipment. Such scene inclusion is a subtle personalization decision, chosen via parameters that are most relevant to a viewer.
With all of these opportunities for personalization, how can so many stories be designed and managed without becoming too challenging? This is also where SmartVideo creative is different – though at SundaySky we are staffed with traditional creative roles such as creative directors, animators and copywriters, we also have unique roles such as a data analyst, responsible for reviewing and mining structured data sets and feeds to fit the video logic.
Where do I watch?
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Personalized videos are very similar – if they are not viewed, they are not effective. No matter how targeted and personalized the videos are, where viewers are watching and how they reach them is a second key component for an optimal viewer experience. In addition to the traditional delivery channels of email, SMS and pre-roll ads, we’ve recently starting serving SmartVideos through set-top boxes and in mobile applications. Not only do these delivery channels put SmartVideos in front of viewers’ eyes, they can be part of an organic experience.
For instance, if a consumer snaps a photo of his recent car damage to submit a claim through an insurer’s mobile app, the logical next action is a SmartVideo delivered back to the claimant as part of the app experience, with appraisal results and next steps. Similarly for a cable subscriber, turning to channel 900 on her TV to review that month’s statement can occur from the convenience of her living room sofa and puts the SmartVideo bill right there within the cable provider’s product. By delivering videos through these new channels, we are incorporating SmartVideo as part of a step in a service or business’s process, to support the customer and deliver a positive customer experience.
What do I do with it?
How are viewers interacting with SmartVideos? In-video call-to-action (CTA) buttons throughout the video and in the closing scene are a standard interactive component. Similar to set-top box and mobile app delivery channels, we’re also looking at interactivity that complements what the video story is and how it is delivered, such as breaking the boundaries between the video and the landing page to creative a totally immersive viewer experience.
Developing SmartVideo programs is a delicate process, and each aspect needs to be examined through the eyes of the end viewer. This is a balancing act in and of itself that requires versatile talent who are capable of understanding both data and creative, form and function. Here is where I’ve got to give a shout out to the work by the SundaySky creative folks – a team of two worlds.
How have you optimized the experience for your SmartVideo viewers? Through the story, the delivery or the interactivity? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Review my full presentation on SlideShare if you want to learn more: SmartVideo Summit 2014 – The SmartVideo Viewer Experience from SundaySky.