The Brave New World of Enterprise Television
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broadcast and cable networks, GE went to 15 of YouTube’s most popular independent video producers (“cewebrities”) and created a “Tag Your Green” contest to encourage them to express the message in their own ways about living green. GE exceeded its goal of 10 million views, two months ahead of schedule, and the campaign became #1 among viral videos the month it premiered. The cost was a small fraction of a traditional ad campaign.
GE is of course large enough to see and seize trends before others. Without question, the sheer scope and speed of developments in online video have caught most businesses flat-footed. From marketing and branding to employee and shareholder engagement to being prepared for unexpected crises, companies need to become broadly proficient in creating and delivering their own television experiences on multiple media platforms.
For decades, television has been a medium for entertainment, news, politics, and education. As a vehicle for businesses, it has long been the province of elite consumer brands. Online video is democratizing television to such a degree that virtually no business of any size or type will be able to effectively communicate in the future without it. Its advantages are repeatedly demonstrated, as viewers spend more time and are more deeply engaged in video-based content than any other form.
The technologies enabling this trend, from the explosion of bandwidth, massive-scale storage, social networking, devices like Flip video cameras, sites such as YouTube and Hulu, and numerous mobile delivery applications, are arriving as other, more human factors magnify their impact. Consumers were already spending less time reading established publications and paying less attention to traditional advertising. The hours they spend watching conventional TV are more diffuse, distracted and impulsive. Employees are more stretched, less loyal and more jaded. Everyone is developing more sophisticated information filters, well before most companies have figured out how to reach them effectively in this new paradigm for television.
While many companies have pockets of activity-–-adding video to certain areas of their web sites, streaming a CEO speech, or posting videos they hope will “go viral” on YouTube-–-very few have undertaken the transformation at an enterprise level. Too often, individual efforts sprout up like weeds, leading to inconsistent quality and messages showing up in the marketplace. Well-intentioned silos in the public relations, marketing, human resources, investor relations and customer service areas create their own approaches at the expense of the enterprise as a whole, which impedes the overall effectiveness of the company’s efforts.
Enabling Enterprise Television will not be simple, but it also won’t be as daunting as one might imagine. The fact that audiences today place less trust in highly-produced, slick messages, along with their more discerning attention span, opens the door for low-cost methods of reaching them. Hand-held minicams, no studio lighting, no rehearsed script have rapidly become hallmarks of authenticity that resonate with today’s audiences.
So the bar is lower, yet in many ways it also is higher. The biggest winners will be … Next Page »