Research and consulting firm Beagle Research Group recently named Salesforce.com one of the first winners of its Short Tale Award, a competition to recognize outstanding use of videos by organizations in their customer service and marketing efforts. Salesforce.com received the grand prize for strategic use of video for, “How to Use Online Marketing for B2B Marketing.”
Denis Pombraint, founder and principal analyst at Beagle Research, described video as “informationally complete” with a growing importance in conveying information in a fast-moving world in which print is becoming more and more time-consuming.
“People don’t have the time to read everything that comes their way,” Pombriant observes. “What I have found in looking at many corporate videos this fall is that you don’t need to go very long to communicate a lot of information and to communicate an idea potentially more clearly than you could in writing.”
Pombriant cites cost-effectiveness as another considerable benefit of online video communication, particularly when wanting to get face-to-face with an interested party.
“We have wonderful online tools for small meetings through which we deliver PowerPoint [presentations],” Pombriant says. “But what happens if it’s 7 p.m. on the East Coast and somebody wants some information and everybody has gone home? The neat thing about video is that because it’s informationally complete, it has greater persistence and a greater stickiness than any other information or content delivery medium.”
The criteria for the 2011 Short Tale Award was limited to videos produced in 2010 that were no longer than six minutes in length.
“Some of the best ones got an awful lot done in three or four minutes,” Pombriant notes.
Salesforce.com’s winning video was selected for the grand prize because of the company’s decision to put some ROI metrics around the value of its video library. According to Pombriant, the company has a very large video library that has been growing during the past few years.
“That video library was generating more than 7,500 hits per day. An average hit was about a two-minute view. If you multiply the minutes times hits, they get the equivalent work product of what they say is 46 hyper-effective telephone salespeople,” Pombriant says.
He compares the viewership of the Salesfoce video to the sustained effort one might receive from a white paper or any other document, explaining that unless an iconic brand is involved, the same results cannot be achieved.
Pombriant also observes that YouTube’s becoming the second most popular search engine globally evidences the importance of video. “That is very concrete information about the fact that when people want to know something today, they might Google it, but chances are, they’re going to go to YouTube and find out if there is a video on it, especially younger people in their 20s or 30s who grew up with this technology,” Pombriant says. “It is the preferred way to consume information.”
The other winners of the 2011 Short Tale Awards include:
Best Use of an Animated Character: Sage North America, “Napkin Mike” Series".
Best Story Telling and Best Video with an Educational Theme and Best Animation: Eloqua, “The Future of Revenue”
Best Customer Testimonial and Best Video Under One Minute: Zuora, Various customer testimonials
Best Customer Service Video: Salesforce.com, “Service Cloud Demo”