Does video belong to sales or marketing?

Just do it. Taste the rainbow. What’s the worst that could happen? Odds are, due to the power of TV advertising, simply reading these slogans brings to mind the brands behind them — Nike, Skittles and Dr. Pepper respectively. While the obvious selling of products works well for TV slots, the same isn’t strictly true for modern video mediums.
By Thomas Roden, senior account executive

The lines are constantly blurring between digital and traditional media. Once upon a time, television was the visual platform and the only place that consumers could watch programming and advertisements. These days, platforms such as YouTube are battling for that position.

In fact, digital video platforms will almost definitely overtake TV in terms of popularity soon. According to consumer research company Nielsen, US citizens collectively still watch 1.25 billion hours of TV every day. This is an impressive number, but YouTube’s VP of engineering recently revealed that YouTube has hit one billion hours of daily watchtime – lining up the platform to overtake TV in the next few years.

Of course, the popularity of online video content doesn’t need stating again — there are more than enough statistics available already. What is worth noting is that this continued growth of video sharing websites, compared to traditional visual mediums, demands a shift in business attitudes towards video itself.

In the pre-internet days, when television reigned supreme, businesses had no reason to avoid the hard sell. Once they had paid for the airtime and advertising slot, the sales team understood that they only had a limited window to sell their product, service or brand.

This sense of urgency has been exacerbated by YouTube’s five second rule of advertising, where businesses must now condense the entire selling process into less than five seconds in most cases, to avoid viewers skipping the message. Yet to focus solely on YouTube from an advertising perspective is to neglect its most important selling point — that it is a video sharing platform anybody can use.

In the same way that video sharing websites opened video advertising up to engineering companies that would have struggled with traditional media, it has changed the aim of the game. Businesses should not aim to go in with the hard sell, but rather market themselves to customers and ultimately take a softer approach.

In an interview with Harvard Business Review, James Farley, VP of global marketing and sales for Ford Motors, stated that technology “has forced salespeople to find a new role.” On platforms such as YouTube, this new role involves finding a balance between marketing the brand and soft selling the product.

Marketing and sales teams can work together to overcome this. For example, an engineering maintenance company might strike a balance of filming an advert that, in under ten seconds, showcases why its rust removal products are the perfect solution for industrial problems.

This video would then be used exclusively for targeted YouTube advertising, while the majority of other content on the brand’s channel is outward-looking, thought leadership or problem-solving videos. This strikes the balance of the sales team selling products and the marketing team building brand trust, which together creates an effective soft sell marketing strategy.

This working partnership between sales and marketing doesn’t mean that your sales team shouldn’t pen witty and memorable slogans, rather that the video cannot simply be a slogan and a sell. Instead, get experienced marketers to take the lead, step in front of the camera and change minds. After all, what’s the worst that could happen?

Thomas Roden

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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