MarTechSeries: Interview with David Mason, CEO and Founder, StudioNow

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Tell us about your role and journey into technology. What made you start StudioNow?

I have been an entrepreneur for the past 25 years. Along the way, I have dabbled with having a normal job here or there, but always found that my passion was to create ideas and companies from scratch. My key ingredients have always been to identify a large-scale trend (internet retail, WiFi communications, digital video, etc.) and then create a new business model for that industry that utilized technology to disrupt the status quo. I started one of the first internet bookstores in 1994, which later became Buy.com, which was then sold to Rakuten. I started StudioNow in 2007 because I was taking a ton of birthday and vacation pictures of my five- and two-year-olds at the time and never got around to doing anything cool with that content. While thousands of these pictures and videos were clogging up my hard drive other and more experienced individuals with film school backgrounds and editing software were uploading funny and entertaining videos to YouTube and generating millions of views. My original idea was to create a marketplace where less experienced individuals (people like me) could be matched with video experts to turn their pictures and videos into something that was worth watching. StudioNow 1.0 was born and on the first day, we had about 80 video professionals sign up to be part of the StudioNow Creative Network. Fast forward to today, and we now have over 10,000 creative vendors from mom and pop creative shops to some of the largest, high-end production companies in the world. We stopped making video content for individuals in 2008 and our software platform now manages the video creation process (vendor sourcing, bidding, project management, contracting, payment, etc.) for some of the largest companies in the world, including Coca-Cola, P&G, HP, Bridgestone, etc.

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Digital Video Measurement: There Will Never Be a Nielsen, So What Are Your Options?

When the first Nielsen ratings for television were released in 1950, the television world accepted Nielsen as their rating standard and it became the basis for everything. Then, things changed. The same can't be said for the digital world, as there is no global reporting standard for the various forms of digital video measurement that companies are now using.

There are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being produced from different sources daily — and software is being purchased on top of that data to help make sense of it. In order to demonstrate ROI, modern digital marketers are becoming incredibly creative in the way they position and leverage these insights to inform their campaigns, strategy and measurement.

In order to get the data that they need, new forms of measurement are constantly being created and leveraged by digital marketing teams. For example, NBCUniversal created its own ad metric, CFlight, earlier this year in order to measure digital impressions. While this measuring system may be helpful internally, without a formal method of industry-wide benchmarking , it’s somewhat impossible to make apples-to-apples comparisons to competitors’ content.

I can think of several ways modern marketers can approach the lack of formalized method for measuring digital video content:

Don’t Just Rely on Views

Videos views are one very basic data point. While it may be an effective way to determine reach, it says nothing about the audience, or if the video is reaching the right people.

Video views are also potentially misleading. The viewer may not always be watching the ad because they’re interested in the product. Perhaps they watched because their favorite athlete is the star, or they just enjoy the ad, or they like the song, but not the product. There is no definite way to tell if they are watching at all, which is not a new issue, but one that has remained relevant since the early days of TV. How about television prior to the controversial People Meter? Brands and advertisers could not even tell if people were in the room with the TV. Bottom line, number of views has long been the favorite way to record a piece of digital media’s success rate, but there’s so much more to the story.

Focus on User Sentiment

We talk a lot about what viewers are doing, but what about the things they’re saying? Performing routine sentiment analysis helps to provide insight into the opinions and feelings of the target audience.

Conducting these types of analyses is a great way to avoid misleading data.

And while there is software on the market that can perform automated sentiment analysis, you’ve got to do the work — pair this technology with a higher level of human analysis to validate results. Having this type of qualitative feedback will help marketers better understand the needs of their audience so they can develop a higher-quality product — and project brief — that is more aligned with those needs.

Include a Call to Action

Though it might seem basic, including a call to action somewhere in the video is an easy way to learn whether the view turned into a transaction. Simple call to action buttons are the most tangible way for marketers to judge the effectiveness of their video — for example, the marketing team at Jaguar will know their video is successful if it drives viewers to test drive a car. In order to collect that data, users should be guided to a call to action. In the case of Jaguar, they should “click here to test drive.” With this simple step, marketers can make a connection between a video view and interaction with the product.

Don’t Overthink It

With the huge amount of data produced daily, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. However, it’s unproductive and unrealistic to analyze everything. Try not to overthink it. Pick two or three metrics and measurement methodologies that will best determine what success looks like for your brand. Is it number of video views combined with number of social engagements (likes, comments, etc.)? Is it number of clicks? Number of new followers? Once you figure out what metrics paint the best picture of success for your brand, stick to them for awhile to get the most accurate measure of video impact.

To sum it all up:

  • Don’t accept the basic “view” metric. Do more.
  • Find out what people are saying
  • Include calls to action
  • And have a point of view internally that is consistent, focused and sustains for more than one campaign.

Though there may not be a standard rating like there is in television, bringing a cross-section of these different analytic methods to your strategy can give you accurate, useful data for your digital media.

article originally posted here

Ben Tyson
ABOUT THE AUTHOR | Ben Tyson
Senior Vice President and Executive Producer

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE STUDIONOW PLATFORM

 

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