I recently covered the Chicago Interactive Marketing Associations’ panel discussion – Creative, Technology, Media, and Analytics. The panelists of senior industry leaders debated on how creative, technology, media & analytics are converging more in interactive video marketing; and how agencies can overcome the limitations of video measurement towards client buy-in.

The CIMA Interview

cimaFor some background, The Chicago Interactive Marketing Association (CIMA) largely consists of marketers on the agency side (including creative, technology, and media agencies) who gravitate heavily towards advertising solutions for upper-tier clientele. Their clients consist of large or well-known brands, or have a notable background and investments into both traditional and/or online marketing. In other words, no small potatoes by any means.

jen-bradyJen Brady of Fred & Associates, & CIMA’s VP of Marketing, says the goal of the dinner was to provide “senior industry leader insights” to the their members and the interactive marketing industry, based on what topics are considered most relevant to CIMA members. According to Jen, their this dinner topic of creative and media was actually discussed by their board for many years,

“but adding the angle of accountability was relevant, especially in today’s economy.”

Observations from the CIMA event

The panelists expanded on our pre-event interview coverage about new video technologies; and strides that web publishers, technologists, and collectives are making to re-cast online-video; how success with video needs to be better measured, and future predictions with video applications online. The panelists all agreed on some key points about better packaging and purposing online video for client buy-in and campaign success:

hounsell-patrick-razorfishOn Creative – making a branded video a more interactive experience (such as providing an extended level of engagement or inspire an action by the viewer), rather than simply a display tool or message vehicle. Patrick Hounsell, GM of Marketing for Razorsfish, says

“the effectiveness of video in creative, media and technology fusing together will be about turning it from a message delivery vehicle into a more engaging conversation and experience.”

spurway-catherine-pointrollOn Media – Integrate the offline idea into a multi-channel point for the video. Catherine Spurway, VP of Strategy and Marketing for Pointroll, suggested better application and audience targeting with dynamically-generated video ads.  According to Spurway, it would allow agencies to better determine

“elements of a rich media we perform that are specific to that individual advertiser, rather than across an industry or vertical.”

On Technology – Improve the ability to measure latency in the video experience (i.e., measuring an extended time from the initial experience, including repeat experiences); Spurway shared an example of “on-command” interactive video in the Kellog’s Special K Jeans campaign, where the user’s commands into a search box right within the video, generated video actions of within the same video in real-time.

(Note: I did try out video demo myself, and while I found serious limitations with the range of interactions from search commands, it does show a lot of innovation and potential for great improvement.  Hint-try searching the word “dance” or “jump” and then click search)

The agencies cry for help: Better Video Analytics!

The panelists all expressed that a big problem they continue to struggle with is the limitations on tracking and measuring viewer engagement with their clients’ online video, and connecting that with real business revenue. For agencies to be able to convince their clients to get more involved in the online video space, being able to better measure online video is hugely important. According to the panelists, right now, most agency’s clients still treat the video for the Web as a TV model. Clients believe that online video its unproven for business value, yet at the same time, they know they have to at least be somewhat involved in the space. So rather than treating online video as a fully integrated part of their primary campaigns, they instead relegate it to a much smaller share of their budget than their agencies are pushing for.

bleser-elisabeth-incognitoElizabeth Bleser, Managing Director for Incognito Digital, said her hope for their industry is that someone can come up with a technology that better measures video across the board, so they can get online video to have a better client buy-in.

“We need to be able to better measure UGC content, in-banner, professionally produced content, from rich media video ads. We need technology that will literally give you reports with measurements at literally every different intersection. Agencies like ours are very committed to finding a partner that does that.” She Says.

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