Three months ago, I posted a story called The Traditionals and The Adaptors. In it, I described the plight of a Traditional — a woman who just couldn’t get her mind around the use of a free tool such as YouTube. She had issues with the behavior of a video embedded within her web page — you know, where instead of just ending, YouTube makes some “recommendations” for other “similar” videos? Well, she wanted that behavior gone, and refused to budge from her position, no matter how many times I walked her through the pros and cons.
She held out for another solution. Members of our tech team experimented with Google Video, and found that it acted differently than YouTube — sans any recommendations at the end of the video. The team created a mock-up, demonstrated it to her, and she approved it. From a marketing perspective, it doesn’t matter that nobody will ever find this video on Google Video, but at least it looks like she expects…or does it?
Did I mention that this conversation started three months ago?
This week I was drawn into an email thread involving yet another problem that she had with the video. The thumbnail picture, the one that people click-on to make it start streaming? She hated it.
Was it a blurry frame with no relevance? Was it confusing to the viewer? Nope. It was a picture of the presenter, the woman who speaks during the entire video. Now I’ve seen images lifted from videos that just don’t look good, but not in this case. The presenter is smiling, looking at the camera, and it looks great. If I had to judge the thumbnail based on what it’s supposed to do — compel a viewer to click on it — it gets an “A.”
But no. My Traditional wants the picture changed. I have no idea what she wants to replace it with, maybe a boring PowerPoint slide, but she is negotiating with the tech team to change the thumbnail to something else.
Perhaps she’s right. I mean this is the Internet. People are much more likely to click-on the image of a bullet-ridden PowerPoint slide than the smiling picture of an attractive woman, right? That sounds like solid marketing to me…don’t you think?
Oh, and did I mention that this conversation started three months ago?
Having your company adopt New Media technologies is hard. Your company must take some risks, to experiment with new ways of communicating. Your Marketing Department needs to craft messages that are more human (like the thumbnails of people!) and less corporate (death by jargon-filled PowerPoint).
But that is your job, the job of the New Media Evangelist, to spread the new word of marketing throughout your company. The question is whether or not you can spread that word before the Traditionals burn you at the stake:-)