Tesco, o2, Barclays, Lloyds, BT, Vodafone, Sky, Exxon Mobil.
When brands like that are using personalised videos you know it's worth taking note.
And who are they making them with? Idomoo.
I caught up with Dotan Ginsbourg from Idomoo UK to talk about the possibilities, logistics and future of this growing marketing trend. And found out how a big brand tactic like this can be used by SME's.
Watch our chat and also take a read below for a summary and some of my thoughts.
For transparency: Idomoo have not paid me for this post.
Not even sent me cake.
Here's a summary of our conversation.
What's the essence of what Idomoo can do? Well, as Dotan told me, they "can take almost any creative and data personalisation and combine it together".
Agnostic to delivery
"We're agnostic as to where the data is coming from and agnostic as to the distribution" - so email, in an app, IPTV."
How? Because the personalized video is stored and in some cases even rendered live in the cloud.
3 levels of personalisation
"We can take basically 3 levels of personalisation. One is voiceover, the second is text and the third is scene selection. Meaning your video is a combination of different scenes, text and voiceover combined together according to pre-defined logic. So based on your profile, based on your behaviour, the brand can grab your attention, hold your attention, give you valuable information and then give you personalised click-to-actions. These campaigns are extremely effective in terms of engagement, conversion and customer retention."
the brand can grab your attention, hold your attention, give you valuable information and then give you personalised click-to-actions
4 steps of customer life cycle
"The 4 steps in a customer life cycle: acquisiition, welcome, in-life and retention and we're doing projects around those four steps".
The acquisition might come via your own CRM or data you've purchased.
Welcome? Well, for example Barclays are doing all of their onboarding with new customers through personalised video.
In-life? That's things like up-grading. Whatever your product: be it your phone, your insurance...
Retention: the brand can approach you in a friendly, emotional, personalised way.
I'd go further. What about the fifth step in the customer life cycle? Advocacy.
Engaing in such a personalised way is more likely to make a customer a cheer leader for your brand. If a video really catches their attention, they're likely to talk about it with someone and spread your brand's name and message.
Results are everything
Results are everything. Because it's digital it's very easy for the brands to track and measure the effectiveness of the campaigns, be it open, click through, voucher redemption, sign up, downloads, etc.
"Less people are interested in either generic communication or something that's not digital. So we can do digital, video and relevant to you. And this is where it's very powerful."
There's one crucial ingredient to personalised video that influences the cost of course. THE VIDEO. Any production company will tell you it's the 'how long is a piece of string' scenario. Clearly if you're filming or animating something there is cost involved. If you're including actors, even celebrities, the cost is going up further. Idomoo don't actually produce the videos. They're not marketers, they're not storytellers, they're technological wizards.
So there's the cost of your creative agency, the video production cost and finally Idomoo's.
As Dotan says, if you compared their element to other forms of marketing, then they'd be more expensive than sending an email, less expensive than sending a letter. LESS EXPENSIVE THAN SENDING A LETTER.
"We're creating an opportunity for the brand to convey a message to its customers. Because this is a major challenge. Less people are interested in either generic communication or something that's not digital. So we can do digital, video and relevant to you. And this is where it's very powerful."
How smaller brands can use Idomoo
"We work in two ways. One is working with big brands with agencies... but we also work in a 'self-service mode"
So after filming "you'd upload your scenes to the platform... you can then integrate data according to placeholders that you're defining with Adobe After Effects. And then through the platform you basically generate the videos, that creates a personalised url and then you can distribute it: integrate it into an email campaign".
"Agencies can do personalised videos in a manual way, but the downside to that is that it's very expensive. It's not in scale. So they can do one thousand; we can do ten million. And because it's manual and not automatic, there's always the risk of error. Because we give them a platform, an engine, technology, this gives creative agencies and brands a very interesting opportunity".
"This should be... part of an omni-channel communication plan.
We have enough results to support that."
Dotan, as you'd expect, believes personalisation will expand further and even spread to TV.
"You know, I don't want to watch an ad that's not relevant to me, so that's an area that will grow."
Also some sectors simply aren't doing this yet, so there's catch up to be had: "We're doing our first project with a big travel brand, but the rest aren't doing that."
Dotan certainly sounds confident, "I'm now in my second year. First year: we've tried to define this as an innovative approach. Now, we're not innovation, this should be 'business as usual', part of an omni-channel communication plan. We have enough results to support that."
Want to try this?
Not gonna lie. I'm excited to try this. Want to work together?
One of my clients are already thinking about what they can do. They should be the first in their sector. It's going to make them stand out from the crowd for sure.
Don't let yourself play catch up in years to come. Why not look at what you can do to personalise your videos? To offer something that's not generic, that's relevant, that's going to make a difference to your customers and therefore to your business. If you've not done so already, check out my original post where I give some food for thought as to how SME's can personalise videos.
This isn't the only way to make video, far from it, but this is a fresh way to cut through the noise of direct marketing, be it post or email to really connect with your customers.
PS. (In case you missed it earlier)
Idomoo have not paid me for this post.