Perspective is Reality in Video

Perspective is Reality in Video


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

At least that seems to be the case when you start talking about the best ways for measuring the effectiveness of online video in the enterprise.

After all, there’s more than one-way to gauge the impact that video has on business operations. In some cases, executives look at the extra revenue that can be generated from using video. Others look at ways to use it in cutting expenses or improving productivity. Still others see the greatest value of video in the ways that it enhances organizational communications.

For video professionals in the corporate sector, though, the important thing to remember is that the effectiveness metrics that matter can vary significantly from person to person. And one of the biggest variables impacting perceptions of effectiveness rests in the extent to which an organization uses online video technologies.

Simply put, online video newbies look at the technology differently than those that have had significant exposure to these capabilities. Indeed, one might say that those without video experience are more financially practical than their video-savvy peers.

According to results from a recent survey of 1,007 executives conducted by Wainhouse Research, executives with little exposure to online video worry about the bottom line of deploying the solutions that enable streaming. For instance, individuals working at companies that do not use online video are most likely to describe the issue of “generates revenue” as a “very important” factor to be considered when measuring the effectiveness of web communications technologies. For this group, “improves productivity” was cited second most frequently as a “very important” factor in measuring effectiveness.

Contrast those results with those from executives working at companies that deploy 100 or more live online video events annually. At these companies, financial considerations ranked in the middle of the pack—at best—in terms of prioritized metrics of effectiveness.

Instead, for executives at these companies that use online video extensively, the primary measures for grading online video gravitate to the intangible side of the effectiveness ledger. The factors most frequently cited as “very important” measures of effectiveness by executives at companies deploying 100 or more live video events per year were “improves corporate brand image,” “places our company on “cutting edge” of technology,” and “improves comprehension or retention of complex presentation content.”

Let me translate these results: Once executives start using video more frequently, they stop counting the nickels and dimes that are so important during the initial deployment stage. Rather, they begin to look at video for the intangible benefits that come with communicating more effectively.

This is a crucial shift in perceptions that also changes how your executive team perceives the video professionals on your team. Capturing a video no longer is the province of a “camera jock.” Rather, executives are more likely to view you as a communications professional who can play a key role in helping them to tell their story to the intended audience. Video is no longer “media.” It evolves into a medium of corporate communications. It’s a slight change in wording that makes a big, big difference.

The bottom line for corporate videographers is that —when you are justifying the costs of your online video investments—you need to make sure that you know your audience. Executives not familiar with using video in business communications will respond to a basic, spreadsheet-driven analysis of the costs of benefits of video implementation.

In contrast, those with video familiarity are more likely to respond to more grandiose statements emphasizing how video helps a company communicate—and conduct business—more effectively.

The good news for video evangelists in the enterprise is that the technology is not exactly a tough sell—no matter what benefits are being emphasized. Overall, 78% of Wainhouse Research survey respondents describe online video as either a “very effective” or “somewhat effective” venue for conveying a business message.

It is said that one can’t be too young, too rich, or too beautiful. If you know your audience, you can cast online video in its best light possible. No matter who’s doing the judging, that helps you boost the odds of making online video look beautiful to whatever executives might wind up doing the “beholding” of your video budget.

Steve Vonder Haar is a senior analyst with Wainhouse Research & can be reached at