Marketing Can Make or Break Your Business

Marketing Can Make or Break Your Business

We were recently asked to do a marketing audit by an investor of a troubled startup.

We.Software*, a young company offering software design services to healthcare companies, set forth to conquer the world. They had set aside a marketing budget of 100K per year over three years. Three years went by, but they didn’t get the traction.

When going back and analyzing the marketing spend by their marketing agency (a boutique agency based in Seattle), we noted that a full forty percent of the budget went to pure design related assets, like logo, website design and document assets.

STOP.

If your agency wants to spend forty percent of a budget on design related assets, please find a new agency.

At the start of a company, lean and agile approaches means spending very little on design assets and more on customer research and product marketing (things that actually grow your business).

  • For a logo, use a crowdsourced asset for an inexpensive logo.
  • For a website, use a WordPress template.

As your company matures, there will be a place for more significant spend on design and brand assets.

In the meantime, here are things that maybe wise to spend your budget on:

  • Explainer Videos:
    • Helps to communicate who you are and why you are different to prospects and employees.
  • Customer Research:
    • Spend budget on research that delivers tangible information about your customer – this is invaluable and ought to be an ongoing process.
  • Media Spend:
    • Despite popular wisdom, it is never too early to put your name out there.

Viewstream can help with any of these items, and we won’t ask you to spend a ton of money on design.

By the way, We.Software went out of business.

*Not the real name!

Viewstream Marketing Receives Highest Honors for Use of Graphics at the 2015 Telly Awards

Viewstream is thrilled to receive top honors at the 36th annual Telly Awards. The Telly Awards, a premier award honoring outstanding creative work in video and film productions, online commercials, video and films has presented our agency with two accolades this year. Of the nearly 12,000 entries, Viewstream was recognized for its creative work supporting the products and brands of some of the largest companies in the world.

We received a Silver Telly Awards – the highest honor – for our work with Autodesk Seek in the Online Webisodes, Segments, or Promotional Pieces – Use of Graphics category.

Autodesk Seek from Viewstream on Vimeo.

Additionally, a Silver Award was presented for Viewstream’s work for Adobe Media Optimizer in Online Commercial – Use of Graphics.

Adobe Media Optimizer from Viewstream on Vimeo.

We add these two new Silver recognitions to our collection of seven previous distinctions by the Telly Awards for our creative work in online videos for clients including Microsoft, Autodesk, Adobe and ERA Real Estate.

See our complete list of awards here

How to Get Better Marketing Results with Video Testimonials

How to Get Better Marketing Results with Video Testimonials

What matters to most potential customers is not what you say about your business, but what your existing customers have to say.

Video Testimonials are an effective marketing solution that communicates your value by demonstrating your offer in the real world. With strong Video Testimonials you can secure credibility, invigorate your sales cycle and span across multiple communications channels, all while you tell the success stories of your most valuable asset—your customer.

If you would like to know more about how Video Testimonials can help you drive home your marketing message, visit our Video Testimonials Resource Center linked below, which features eight example videos and case studies.

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Viewstream Marketing Recognized for Creative Excellence in Art Direction

Viewstream was recently presented with two 2014 Telly Awards in the Art Direction category. Our video for ERA Real Estate revealed the location of their 2015 International Business Conference (IBC15) to their global community at IBC14 this past March in Los Angeles.  The IBC15 Reveal video earned the highest honor of the Silver Telly Award. Additionally, a Bronze Award was presented for Viewstream work for Autodesk Point Layout in Internet/Online Video.

We were up against a lot of competition—12,000 entries from around the globe were submitted. Entrants included ad agencies, interactive agencies, production firms, in-house creative professionals, graphic designers, design firms and public relations firms. The winners were announced in New York on June 16.

All the work was judged by a panel of 500 Silver Telly Council members representing a variety of distinguished media, advertising and marketing firms. Each year, the council honors creative excellence for communications professionals across the world by recognizing the best in advertising, corporate communications, public relations and identity work for print, video, interactive and audio.

We’d like to congratulate all of our fellow Telly Award recipients and thank them for their important contributions to the industry.

Viewstream Discusses Skeuomorphic Design

Skeuo_img1

Here at Viewstream we are very interested in design trends. So one afternoon we put the entire company on pause to talk about a favorite topic — the future of skeuomorphism. Our design team gave an internal presentation that explored the rapid evolution of this design trend since touchscreens became an everyday part of our lives, from the first iPhone, to iOS 7, and beyond. We also discussed how skeuomorphism impacts our experience of User Interfaces and our senses of reality, objectivity, and perfection.

Check out the visual portion of our design team’s presentation here.

 

Exploring New Ground with the Oculus Rift

Joel with the Oculus Rift!

Elekta, a leader in clinical solutions for radiosurgery and radiation therapy, recently completed construction on a state-of-the-art learning center in Atlanta, Georgia—the company’s North American headquarters. The Learning and Innovation Center (LINC) is expected to draw clinicians, researchers, and health IT professionals for education, training, and collaboration on Elekta’s solutions for treating cancer and brain disorders.

To help generate awareness, Viewstream created an interactive, virtual tour of the LINC facility that can be explored using the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Elekta invited attendees of the ASTRO 2013 conference to wear the Oculus Rift and experience the Learning and Innovation Center in virtual reality. To help build a buzz, the virtual tour was promoted before and after the conference through Elekta’s social channels, including YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. In the end, the virtual tour received overwhelming positive responses from both the client and the conference attendees.

Viewstream created the LINC virtual tour using Autodesk Maya, the Unity game engine, and the Oculus Rift developer’s kit. The visual model was created in Autodesk Maya, using a combination of photos, videos, and blueprints of the facility. The model was then imported into the Unity game engine, where it was given physics, movement, and lighting. Finally, the resulting program was calibrated with the Oculus Rift headset using the product’s developer kit to create the interactive, virtual tour.

Check out a preview of the virtual tour:

Viewstream Recognized for Creative Excellence

Viewstream was recently presented with six 2013 Communicator Awards by the International Academy of Visual Arts (IAVA) and three Telly Awards by the Telly Council. Our video Dabble: Make History, featuring iPad and iPhone product captures, received a Gold Award for Excellence. Three videos created for Microsoft garnered Silver Communicator Awards of Distinction and three Bronze Telly Awards. Additional videos for Autodesk also earned Silver Communicator Awards.

We were up against some serious competition—6,000 entries were submitted to the IAVA and 11,000 to the Telly council. Participants included ad agencies, interactive agencies, production firms, in-house creative professionals, graphic designers, design firms and public relations firms.

The Communicator Awards is the leading international creative awards program honoring creative excellence for communication professionals. Founded more than a decade ago, the annual competition recognizes the best in advertising, corporate communications, public relations and identity work for print, video, interactive and audio.

The Telly Awards is the premier award honoring outstanding local and regional cable television commercials and programs, video and film productions and web commercials. Winning entries represent the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators, and corporate video departments in the world.

We’d like to congratulate all of our fellow Communicator and Telly Award recipients and thank them for their important contributions to the industry.

Ethnography for Business

Ethnography has become a buzz word. A lot of companies claim to do “Ethnography” or offer it as a service. However, most of the companies offering ethnography services are just market research firms and what they are offering is basically “fancy” surveys and focus groups. In terms of agencies, a lot of agencies offer “ethnography” as part of their services, but usually they are bringing in outside consultants to do this (i.e. they have no one with an anthropology background on staff). Also, in most cases this is an adjunct to the standard branding, marketing, and design services as opposed to a unique focus.

Several of MDC companies noted their “ethnographic” work, but none actually listed an anthropologist on staff. Red Associates is the only agency I could find oriented towards selling Anthropology qua Anthropology and have an actual Anthropologist on staff. Most of the other real business ethnography, anthropology companies are small consulting firms. Ethnographic Solutions being a good example.

Red Associates
Red is a NY/Copenhagen based company that mixes social sciences and marketing. They broadly categorize their services as “Applied Business Anthropology”.

From website:
Who We Are

ReD Associates is an innovation and strategy consultancy. The anthropologists, sociologists, economists, journalists, and designers who make up ReD employ the methods of social science to study human behavior.

Our teams in Copenhagen and New York work together to develop deep insights into how and why consumers make decisions. We use these insights both to see the world in more compassionate and complex ways—and to identify new opportunities for our clients.

We benefit hugely from having a very international staff: Our diversity of perspectives enables us to ask culturally relevant questions and explore the world in open-ended ways.

In our practice we employ methods and ways of thinking from two domains—social scientific practices from ethnography, market analysis from traditional business practice—to provide clients with clear and comprehensive directions for moving forward.

Ethnographic Solutions
DC based Market Research company. The principals are all Anthropologists from respectable backgrounds. Looking at their services they have found some interesting ways of applying their skills beyond the usual “market survey”.

From their website:
Services:
ETHNOGRAPHY
-Physician-Patient Dialogue
-Sales Representative Ethnography
-Day in Life Customer Ethnography
-Employee-Customer Dialogue
-Consumer Unmet Needs
BRAND COMMUNICATIONS
-Positioning & Platform Research
-Message Testing & Story Flow
-Creative Concept Testing
-Visual & Sales Aid Testing
CUSTOMIZED QUALITATIVE
-Medical Device Testing
-Consumer Buying Process
-Disease Exploratory Research
-Netnography
-Customer Tracking Research