Here's the dilemma: How can marketers reconcile the need for high-quality brand videos with the ever-increasing need for a large quantity of videos required to meet their communication needs?
Five to ten years ago a marketer needed video for TV, and maybe another video or two to support the sales organization at trade shows but that was it. Fast-forward to today and this is no longer the case; in addition to TV video needs, online video has become increasingly critical to success as a key part of corporate Web pages, helping with search indexing improvements and providing the type of visual impact that customers demand.
However, those are just the basics. Beyond their corporate web presence, virtually every brand has a Facebook page -- and video helps with page ranking there as well. Additionally, almost every brand has a mix of official and unofficial presence on YouTube, sometimes company-generated and sometimes posted by consumers or amateur videographers.
Five years ago, a broadcast-quality video on average would cost a marketer $350,000+ to produce. As a result many brands tried to get the job done by spending less -- but quality began to suffer and the emerging quality vs. quantity dilemma continued. From a purely economic standpoint, marketers cannot support today's video needs at yesterday's inflated video production prices.
So what's the solution? Three come to mind:
1. Selectively reestablish in-house production companies. In the 1990s, many large corporations completely closed down their in-house video production facilities to save general and administrative expenses. All video production functions were then outsourced via independent producers or through their advertising agencies of record. With traditional production costs surging at the same time that demand for video is accelerating, perhaps it's time for brands to bring back these internal resources to manage a large portion of their video needs. While this inflates near-term G&A costs significantly, it could more than pay for itself over time.
2. Agency model redesign. Does anyone not feel that the traditional agency model is a bit broken when addressing this surge in demand for video? An innovative redesign option might include the creation of "A" and "B" creative teams within an agency. The "A" team does the prime-time work, and the "B" team, comprised of more junior creatives and a limited support staff, is in charge of social media and Web page work. Regardless of whether this approach is taken, or something else more innovative, the fact remains that the current model cannot economically sustain itself when faced with the ever-increasing need for more video.
3. Crowdsourcing. I have personally seen a dramatic rise in this approach. More brands and agencies are crowdsourcing video to obtain a broad variety of quality videos to be deployed throughout their marketing channels. Because of its ability to provide fresh and varied video content at an affordable price, crowdsourcing is something that many agencies and brands are now adding to their arsenals.
The dilemma of producing high-quality and creative video for brand use at a dramatically expanded level of quantity is going to continue, so something has to change. Marketers are simply not interested or able to spend $300,000+ on a single commercial spot and still meet their video needs when considering the required quantity and quality. Whatever the case, those marketers who can find or devise the most creative solutions will be the ones who will win for their brands in the coming years.