Online Video: The Intangible Side of Things

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By: Steve Vonder Haar

Please accept my condolences: You’ve just deployed video in the enterprise.

Video itself is not such a bad thing. But once you’ve put your budget (and possibly your future employment prospects) on the line for video, your next challenge is convincing everyone else in your organization that you’ve spent the company’s money wisely.

That task is tougher than it may sound. After all, there’s more than one way to gauge the impact that video has on business operations. In some cases, executives look at the extra revenue that can be generated from using video. Others look at ways to use it in cutting expenses or improving productivity. Still others see the greatest value of video in the ways that it enhances organizational communications.

For video professionals in the corporate sector, though, the important thing to remember is that the effectiveness metrics that matter can vary significantly from person to person. If you want to sell others on your savvy video investment, you need to understand how different groups within your organization are likely to perceive video.

Simply put, online video newbies look at the technology differently than those who have had significant exposure to these capabilities. Indeed, one might say that those without video experience are more financially practical than their video-savvy peers.

According to results from a fourth quarter 2013 survey of 1,007 executives conducted by Wainhouse Research, executives with little exposure to online video worry about the bottom line of deploying the solutions that enable streaming. For instance, individuals working at companies that do not use online video are most likely to describe the issue of “generates revenue” as a “very important” factor to be considered when measuring the effectiveness of web communications technologies. For this group, “improves productivity” was cited second most frequently as a “very important” factor in measuring effectiveness.

Contrast those results with those from executives working at companies that deploy 100 or more live online video events annually. At these companies, financial considerations rank in the middle of the pack – at best – in terms of prioritized metrics of effectiveness.

Instead, for executives at these companies that use online video extensively, the primary measures for grading online video gravitate to the intangible side of the effectiveness ledger. The factors most frequently cited as “very important” measures of effectiveness by executives at companies deploying 100 or more live video events per year are “improves corporate brand image,” “places our company on “cutting edge” of technology,” and “improves comprehension or retention of complex presentation content.”

Here’s the bottom line: Once executives start using video more frequently, they stop counting the nickels and dimes that are so important during the initial deployment stage. Rather, they begin to look at video for the intangible benefits that come with communicating more effectively.

Any video evangelists trying to win bigger budgets for their deployments should take heed of this lesson. When discussing the value of video to other executives in your organization, don’t emphasize the fancy cameras, cool encoders or any of the other nifty technology investments you have made. Instead, focus on how video is helping executives to communicate more effectively.

Move the needle in improving corporate messaging – internally and externally – and you’ll have better odds of winning that next budget battle that gives you even more to spend on the next cool thing in corporate video.

Steve Vonder Haar is a Senior Analyst with Wainhouse Research and can be reached at


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