The Internet Marketing Driver: Glenn Gabe's goal is to help marketers build powerful and measurable web marketing strategies.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

YouTube and Video Marketing - Glenn Gabe On Making An Impact The Web 2.0 Way

As many of you know, I heavily focus on Rich Media Marketing, especially the use of video marketing to support online campaigns. I'm also confident that most of you have heard of Youtube! :-) I'm in the middle of a large Buzz Marketing campaign right now and as part of our marketing efforts, we uploaded a video trailer of the campaign to the major web 2.0 sites for user-generated video. I thought I would write a post about it to share some of my findings.

YouTube (and web 2.0 sites like it) are powerful mechanisms for viral marketing. That said, you still need eyeballs viewing your video clip and it's getting harder to accomplish as more people are adding content! I'm sure everyone has experienced someone forwarding a YouTube video via email, or watched a YouTube video in a blog. My guess is that the video was ridiculously funny or know something that grabs your attention. That leads to the question, "Can YouTube (or sites like it) really help promote your marketing campaign? Will people watch it, like it, and pass it on?"

I refer to YouTube frequently in this post, but there are several user-generated sites for video like DailyMotion, Google Video, Yahoo Video, etc. My question obviously applies to these other sites as well.

Let's get back on track...We launched a Buzz Campaign last week that uses my video marketing platform (Heighten) as the platform for the campaign. Visitors can watch video-based clues over a certain time period to try and win a prize worth $4000. As part of the campaign, I edited a video trailer that was uploaded to the top web 2.0 video sites. Also, we provided a way to download the trailer from the campaign website.

So, what are the results? Which site or mechanism works best?

Here is a quick rundown:

YouTube - 28% of the views
Our Downloadable Trailer (on the Campaign Website) - 27%
Daily Motion - 26% of the views
Google Video - 13% of the views
Yahoo Video - 5% of the views

So it seems that YouTube is the winner (at least for our campaign) and that providing a downloadable video trailer on our campaign website was a smart move. The hope of course, is that the people that downloaded the trailer passed it around via email (we kept the file-size down to under 4MB). And of course we want the web 2.0 sites to fuel some viral marketing with the ease of their forwarding process or the ability to post the video elsewhere via copy and paste.

It should be interesting to see the final numbers for our online marketing efforts when the campaign is done. What I can tell you is that our online marketing mix is resulting in a high level of website activity... For example, yesterday's activity just doubled our best day of the campaign...


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Monday, November 13, 2006

Best Buy's Purchase Online and In Store Pickup, AKA Buy Online And Yell At Your Monitor

There are times that I am working on a tight deadline and don't have time to purchase hardware via the traditional methods I use. That typically puts me in a situation where I need to go to an actual brick and mortar store to buy hardware, like Best Buy or Circuit City. This happened the other day, when I needed a new firewire card and wireless card ASAP. Should I just go out to Best Buy, find what I need, and waste an hour of my precious time? I didn't want to lose the hour so I logged onto to place an order and saw an apparent answer to my dilemma...Purchase online and they will have it ready at a store of my choosing in less than 1 hour. Perfect! Or was it? Read on.

Great Functionality, Poor Execution:
As I was placing my order in light speed (smoke was actually coming up from the speed at which I was typing), I noticed two very important pieces of information on the cart screen. ITEMS IN STOCK AT PRINCETON LOCATION. Excellent. This is too good to be true, I've placed my order in just a few minutes, it will be ready for pickup in less than 1 hour and I've saved myself approximately 45 minutes, which now can be spent cranking away on my deadline! The order goes through and I receive a few confirmation far, so good. Then another email comes through...this one is not so good. One of your items is not available at our Princeton location. What?? You just showed me an "ITEM IN STOCK" message in my cart. Surely Best Buy's systems are good enough to check the inventory at the location in question, right? Obviously not. So, now I had a decision to I go to the store, pick up my item that's in stock, then browse the store for the other item and then have to pay for that separately? Doesn't that take up more time than just running out in the first place?? Again, I'm working on a serious deadline. Oh yeah, do I take the chance of placing another order on the website for pickup, only to see it's not in stock?? ...after the site tells me it's in stock? I'm not so confident anymore. Would you be?

Web Marketing Meet E-Commerce Functionality:
To make a long story short, I ended up taking the risk and ordering another item on the website. I waited for the email notification to come through telling me it was not in stock, but it was! Excellent. I flew out the door and picked up my items at the In Store Pickup Desk, which by the way, made up for some of the frustration I experienced earlier. It took 5 minutes to get my items and walk out the door. But here is my issue...I love the functionality on the e-commerce site, if it worked well. The ability for someone to purchase and then pick up in less than an hour is wonderful. That said, it has to work flawlessly (or close to flawlessly). Don't show me an in stock message when it's not in stock. I'd rather see a message that says "We need to check the inventory at the Princeton location" so my expectations are properly set. Web Marketing at Best Buy did a great job concept-wise, but someone didn't ask the next question, "can our systems tell in real time what's in stock at our locations?" Uh, that's pretty darn important, don't you think?

My final comments:
I love that Best Buy gives you the ability to order online and then pick up at a store location quickly, but they need to polish off the process. Personally, I always had a positive feeling towards Best Buy, then it was knocked down a little during this process, only to come back a little due to the positive experience with in store pickup. With a little more work and systems integration, the purchase online, in store pickup process can help gain customers, keep their current customers happy, and get them closer to truly meeting their customers' expectations.

*On a somewhat separate note, I had the wireless and firewire cards installed and working faster than figuring out my next steps during the ordering process! I hope my next experience with Best Buy is a little smoother.

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