LAUREN EVERHART: Will you tell us about your background prior to joining Brightcove and give an overview of your current role?
STEVE ROTTER: For the last 20 years, I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the largest companies in the world, including Motorola and Adobe. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with a number of innovative startups, such as Paradigm Research and Q-Link Technologies, which was acquired by Adobe in 2004. Currently, I am the Vice President of Digital Marketing Solutions at Brightcove, where my real focus is helping marketers drive great content experiences using technology.
On a daily basis, the modern consumer is inundated with a tremendous amount of data. Given that marketers are continually challenged to develop the most relevant concepts for their customers, how are CMOs developing unique content?
The information overload challenge is interesting. It’s really a two-sided coin. On one side, it’s a real challenge because marketers have to cut through the noise and figure out ways to reach their audience, and they have to do it in an innovative and compelling manner. At the same time, this information overload is giving marketers access to information they’ve never had before. They never had access to information about their audience’s behavior and consumer preferences. It’s a real paradox in this data age for marketers.
How does the concept of video fit into this? Video is a way to cut through the noise and tell great stories, and it’s proving to be one of the most effective tools for marketers. We are seeing recent research from organizations such as Aberdeen Group. They recently released a report naming the best-in-class sales and marketing organizations. They identified best-in-class as an organization with above average revenue growth, marketing contribution to sales, and a reduction in sales cycle time. They looked at those criteria and identified the best-in-class firms. One of the common traits among these organizations was they were all more likely to use video content on their sites. We’re seeing marketers relying on video to cut through the clutter and drive the brand impression home. On the other side of that coin regarding big data and obtaining information about your audience, video has a way of providing insight that was never available to marketers before. With a typical video, someone is watching content, but marketers now know exactly how long they watch the content and where they stopped, including the exact frame where the video ceased to play. If you look at that information over a larger audience, marketers can draw a lot of conclusions from it. They may conclude their content needs to be shorter or longer. People are watching on various devices and through different social channels. It’s a very powerful way for marketers to get their brand impression out as well as attain insight about their audience.
Will you tell us about Brightcove’s video platform and other products that have revolutionized the way marketers reach target customers?
Brightcove is the leading provider of cloud content services. We have a family of products designed to help marketers deliver great content experiences. Our most well-known technology is the video club technology, which is a platform for delivering video, not only to websites but also to any destination or device. This technology makes it easy for marketers to drive a great video experience wherever it’s needed, which is important. Some of our other technologies include a cloud-based solution called App Cloud, which makes it easy for marketers and brands to create cross-platform applications to reach their mobile audiences with applications that provide great content experiences. These content experiences span iPhone devices, Android devices, Tablets, PCs, and so on.
How are companies that use Brightcove’s platform engaging with their customers?
It’s our privilege to have some of the world’s largest brands as customers. We have over 6,100 customers in 60 countries, giving us unique perspective to see how marketers are using our technology and how they’re innovating with online video and mobile applications. I will provide a few examples. One is a well-known global marketer of sportswear and apparel called Puma. They have done some amazing things with online video. Recently, at the Olympics in London, they leveraged our technology to do live events that were timed directly with specific events going on at the Olympics. Those were streamed simultaneously to their website as well as their Facebook page. It was a great combination of social and video experiences, so that’s an example of how one organization is using our technologies. Marketers are using our technologies in other ways to solve some really difficult challenges. One of the biggest challenges for marketers today is driving engagement. We live in an era where competition is one click away, and people are focused on getting information in the short term. They are bouncing from site to site, and marketers are struggling to keep people engaged. One of our customers, Cars.com, used our technology and an aggressive video strategy to increase their time onsite from 30 seconds to 6 minutes. That’s an increase of 12 times, which would be a home run and great success story for any marketer. We talk about awareness and engagement, which are great things, but a lot of marketers have to remain focused on bottom-line results. We see this over and over again, where the measure of marketing success is not simply likes and clicks, but ultimately, it’s dollars and transactions. We’ve seen a number of organizations leverage our technology to specifically drive that. One example is Marks and Spencer, and we love this brand’s story. They used video as part of their content marketing strategy, but they also used some very specific tactics where they had videos that were shoppable. It drove a 90 percent increase in product sales in certain categories. For any marketer, especially in ecommerce, a 90 percent increase in product sales is absolutely huge. Again, we love to share these great success stories.
How do you see companies using bridge media across the customer lifecycle to drive conversion rates?
Many times, we’re enamored by viral videos and think they are great. It’s true that video is great for awareness, and those success stories are fun to share. However, the reality is that video is very effective throughout the entire customer lifecycle. A recent research report from Forrester entitled “Boost Your Content Ecosystem With Video” was about how marketers should be thinking about using video in every stage of the customer lifecycle from awareness, interest, and engagement all the way through to purchase and loyalty. The statistics are proving that the best-in-class marketers are using video in all these stages.
What other challenges do CMOs face in today’s digital world?
That’s an interesting question. As we move forward in this age of digital marketing, CMOs are using many different channels. Another recent research report was released by the Content Marketing Institute. They interviewed over 1,400 digital marketing professionals and asked them about how many channels were being used for digital marketing. The average was 12 different channels, including live events, blogging, Facebook, virtual events, and video. Some of the high-end marketers said they used over 20 different tactics and channels. I don’t believe any one channel is going away. The common approach is to meet your audience where they’re consuming content, whether that’s on social sites or elsewhere. Companies must ensure they are where the customers are. If customers are more inclined to consume video as part of that experience, companies must also make sure they’re producing the right content.
Considering all those different channels, will the traditional marketing channels be obsolete in five to ten years? Or do you still see them as an integral part of a full marketing strategy?
That’s a great question. The same survey from Content Marketing Institute, with whom we partner, used a confidence rating and looked at how confident participants were that these channels were effective. Actually, the top channel was live events. Marketers still felt those events had the highest confidence rating. Video is very close in terms of the confidence level, but again, it’s fairly new. I think marketers are generally leaning towards things with which they’ve had success in the past. In reality, those channels aren’t going to disappear. Good marketers will figure out a way to connect those dots and integrate online with offline. We saw a great example of this with a campaign that was done with Calvin Klein using our technology. They had billboards all throughout New York City when they launched a new fragrance, CK1. Users could point their Smartphone at those particular billboards, which brought them to a video portal where they could see 20 different supermodels. Users could engage with them in a type of social setting. Whether you’re watching videos or sending Facebook updates, it’s a great opportunity to connect those dots both online and offline.
How are marketers, advertisers, and publishers measuring the value of their content across these multiple channels?
The key here is applying the right measurements for the right marketing objectives. As we start seeing people using video extensively across the buyer journey, we need to start lining up the statistics or metrics to be reviewed at those particular stages of the funnel. If we’re looking at awareness, clicks and views might be more appropriate. However, if we’re thinking about engagement, time onsite and length of time content is watched would be more appropriate. Looking all the way through the purchase, when a transaction is associated with a piece of content, we can start attaching the value of that content to specific metrics such as conversion. Over and over, we see stories of our customers saying that video drove greater conversation on product sales. We hear about video driving great click-through rates in direct e-mail campaigns and driving higher conversion rates because companies are using video on a landing page. There are a number of different ways that video can be applied or used in a marketing scenario. It’s important to use a metrics lineup with the objective of the particular piece of content based on the goal you’re trying to achieve.
Regarding engagement measurement, do you see organizations experiencing a difficult time measuring those results?
That is another one of the benefits of video. Going back a couple of years when we just had text-based web pages, a marketer could look at the analytics and see when a person clicked on a page. However, they couldn’t know if someone read the top part of the page, the bottom part, or whether they were just sipping their coffee and checking e-mail. They had no idea. They only know a user clicked on the page. Video is very different. Video gives us the ability to sit in the viewer’s seat and watch what they’re watching. From an analytics perspective, we can see how long they watch the video. If they watched one minute and 30 seconds of a two-minute video, we know that exactly. If they rewound to a specific part in the video and watched it two or three times, we can see that information as well. It’s really powerful for marketers to see how their content is working and where it’s working best. They can start tuning their content strategy and the actual production of content based on that knowledge. Here’s a really good example. We have a customer, Citrix, who has created a lot of video content around their technologies. Regarding one particular server product, they broke up their content into eight smaller pieces. Instead of having a ten-minute video, they have a one-minute introduction, a two-minute overview, another two-minute subsection, a two-minute deep dive, and then a close. By thinking about how their audience is consuming content by reviewing the analytics, they were able to provide the best customer experience and an optimal marketing experience.
In closing, is there anything else you would like to add?
If anyone in the audience would like more information about these topics, we encourage you to check out some of the research or any of the video content on our website, Brightcove.com.
For over 20 years, Steve Rotter has been helping organizations drive business innovation with technology. Currently, Rotter is the Vice President of Digital Marketing Solutions at Brightcove, the leading online video platform for web marketers and media companies. Prior to joining Brightcove, Rotter was the Director of Product Marketing at Adobe Systems, where he drove the global launch of Adobe’s Rich Internet Application technologies, including Flex 3, Flash Player 9, and Adobe AIR. Before joining Adobe, Rotter was co-founder and VP of Marketing for venture-backed startup Q-Link Technologies, which was acquired by Adobe in 2004. Prior to founding Q-Link, Rotter was Co-founder and President of Paradigm Research, a marketing and business strategy consultancy focused on the Fortune 500. Rotter received his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and has volunteered on advisory boards for several nonprofit organizations, including World Vision and A Child’s Right.
Lauren Everhart is a Director at Argyle Executive Forum. In this role, Everhart manages and leads client experience and client service delivery for Argyle’s content and event partners. She also manages the content development, editorial speaker recruitment, and execution of a number of Argyle’s annual business events. Everhart has been with Argyle Executive Forum since 2008. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from The State University of New York at Albany and a JD from New York Law School.