How Many Videos Do We Really Need?
Max Wilson, Director of Marketing at WE-CAN Technologies sent the following email to Jim Everett, VP of Marketing at WE-CAN.
This is my first follow up to your previous email outlining the executive teams request for 200 videos, (Chapter One), to support our channel partners. Their strategy for using videos to leverage our channel partners had eight objectives but also came with five questions. The first question I will answer in this email. It addresses the realistic number of videos required to support the channel program objectives. I will send answers to the other four questions as soon as they are developed. They include:
- How will we produce the videos?
- How will we make decisions about what to spend to meet our goals?
- How will our partners engage with us on this?
- What would a start-up operating plan look like for creating this program?
Before we address a realistic estimate of the number of videos required I need to explain three assumptions that impact the estimating model.
The first assumption is about the linkage between videos and use cases such as lead generation, nurturing, events, or webinars.
A traditional production approach to creating videos is almost always tightly linked to a specific use case. This is outdated thinking. Instead of first thinking about how a video is going to be used the focus should be on how it helps buyers by answering their questions. The expectation should be that a video will be used in a variety of marketing, sales, training, and channel use cases.
The independence from the use cases is important to the second assumption. We should be thinking of videos as having two forms. One is a video module that is developed to answer a specific customer buying question for a defined audience. This is the number of videos we will be estimating in the model. The second is a video use case or story assembled from multiple modules for a specific marketing purpose. Ultimately both video modules and assembled use case videos will reside in a database accessible to marketing, sales, training, and channel end users.
The third assumption is that video modules will be classified as core, variants for relevance, and extensions. A core video module is a foundational answer to a common buyers’ question.
Variants for relevance are nuanced versions of a core video module to adjust for different personas, industry language, or the need for multiple buyer touches. Extensions are video modules that add to the core answer or provide context. Partner specific video modules are considered extensions.
The volume of video modules is dependent upon the following volume drivers. The first two volume drivers define the number of core video modules to be created.
- The number of customers’ problems: We have to earn the right to talk about our products and services by first demonstrating that we understand our customers’ problems. You could think of this volume driver as the primary problems our software and services along with our partners’ hardware, software, or services are intended to solve. We will use one problem for this volume estimate.
- The number of questions in the buying cycle: Keeping it simple we will think about three buying cycle stages; awareness, education, and closing. Some companies use more stages to help align content to buyer cycle behavior. For our purposes, the number of buying cycle questions across the stages is the real volume driver. The number of questions will depend primarily upon the complexity of the problem, how a solution fits with what buyers believe, and how familiar buyers are with how to buy a solution for their problem. For example, true innovations need to introduce a buyer to a problem they don’t believe they have. To do that we must stimulate and answer many more questions. For the purposes of this estimate we will use 20 questions for the complete buying cycle.
The next three volume drivers impact the number of variants of core video modules to enhance relevance.
- The number of buyer personas: Industry research shows that complex solutions are usually bought by buying teams that can be very small or have as many as 15 or more people. It also shows buying teams have grown in size as more solution research is done online instead of during sales calls. Normally we think of an executive, an operating person, and a technology person as central to technology solution decisions. Personas help us appreciate the values and beliefs buyers need to have to find our messages relevant and useful. We will conservatively use three buyer personas in this estimate.
- The number of touches: Buyers screen out a lot of what is presented to them. To address a question buyers have to pay attention, understand the answer, incorporate the answer in their beliefs, and be motivated to act. Video is a pretty effective messaging media but it will take three or more touches to move a buyer through each question. For this estimate we will use three touches.
- The number of industry verticals: Channel partners may sell to several verticals. When we define verticals for this model we try to define them broadly but focus on what is meaningful and relevant about the differences for buyers. We might define retail as a vertical instead of lower segments like mass merchant, grocery, or chain drug as verticals. For this volume estimate we are using three verticals.
The development of video modules in multiple languages is a production process activity. Using our recommended approach to video creation this is a low cost activity so we have not included it in the volume projection. Traditional approaches to video development are much more complicated when it comes to changing audio to match visuals. Using a traditional approach would have made it impossibly expensive to create this scale of videos in multiple languages.
1 Problem and Issue set
X 20 Buyer Questions
20 Core Videos (Each includes 1 Buyer Persona, 1 Touch, and 1 Industry Vertical)
X (3-1) Buyer Personas
X (3-1) Touches for each Question
X (3-1) Industry Verticals
160 Variant Video Modules
+ 20 Core Video Modules
180 Video Modules
The original request for 200 is in the ball park. Since this is a round number and our estimate is pretty conservative let’s continue to use 200 videos for our analysis. Understanding the volume drivers allows us to do the math when we add more customer problems, questions, personas, touches and industries.
I am sure you noticed that the number of partners is not included. My assumption is that partners will work with us to add their own content as extension modules to what we provide if they choose to. We will not provide any custom content for each partner. Their buyers however will see fully integrated and seamless video use cases containing our joint content. We will make it easy and inexpensive for partners to co-brand and extend our content with their messages.
Let me know if there are any questions on the number. The anwer to the next question on how we will produce the videos should make the concept of video modules and assembled use cases much more clear.
Max Wilson, Director of Marketing WE-CAN Technologies
I Need a Plan for 200 Video For the Channel, Chapter Three
photo credit: Jeffrey Beall via photopin cc