Qumu, a leading business video platform provider, has released results of a survey of 2,361 Americans aged 18 and older conducted in September by Harris Interactive (News - Alert) which looked at emerging trends in online business videos. The results provide a cautionary view for organizations as more and more of their brand stewardship goes online.
At a high level, the survey showed that Americans who have watched online videos in the past year, believe:
- Online videos are becoming more offensive (34 percent)
- Videos are becoming more:
o Sexual (28 percent)
o Pervasive (21 percent)
o Funny (18 percent)
o Interesting (15 percent)
o Addictive (nine percent)
o Important (six percent)
- More men have watched online videos (92 percent) than women but not by much
- Men between the ages of 18-34 watched the most online videos (97 percent).
The not so good news here, obviously, is that there is a lot of work to be done in terms of making messages more compelling and certainly less offensive. Given that more people are likely to get their impressions, especially in some detail, about an organization online than will ever be touched a salesperson or be swayed by a 30 or 60 second ad on TV, marketing executives should be thinking long and hard about these results.
What about spokespeople?
The survey also asked about whom companies need to be thinking as the face of their brands. Again, the results should give people pause.
The survey found, in descending order, that when it comes to watching videos at work American want to see:
- An expert in the video’s topic/focus as their first choice (40 percent)
- Someone at their workplace (38 percent), including the:
o CEO (27 percent)
o Workplace Clown (10 percent)
o Workplace Gossip (six percent)
o Workplace Flirt (five percent)
Plus, 26 percent believe a famous person would make an interesting corporate video. Those people included:
- A celebrity like Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber, or James Franco (19 percent)
- A famous athlete like Tiger Woods or David Beckham (13 percent)
- An “Internet” celebrity (e.g., someone made popular by YouTube (News - Alert)) (eight percent)
It was also found that geography and marital status have an influence on who Americans want to see in corporate videos. “For example, 34 percent of Americans located in the West think celebrities would make the most interesting stars of corporate videos versus 23 percent those in the South. In fact, Southerners would rather see themselves star in a corporate video (12 percent), more so than those in the Midwest (seven percent) or the West (six percent). Those who are single or who have never married (44 percent) think someone from the workplace starring in a corporate video would be more interesting, versus 36 percent of married adults.”
Ray Hood, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Qumu, makes a good point, “While video is pervasive in the enterprise, companies need to know how best to use it.” He adds that, “Qumu knows the future of business depends on video being consumed anytime, anywhere – a Video Powered Enterprise means providing the Freedom to work with existing infrastructure; the Power to reach all audiences; and the Control to do it right.”
There seems to be a good lesson here. As Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. sing in their hit song, “You Don’t Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show).” Peter Bernstein is a technology industry veteran, having worked in multiple capacities with several of the industry's biggest brands, including Avaya (News - Alert), Alcatel-Lucent, Telcordia, HP, Siemens, Nortel, France Telecom, and others, and having served on the Advisory Boards of 15 technology startups. To read more of Peter's work, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Rich Steeves