Sadie Groom, Managing Director, Bubble and Squeak Agency
Eric Trabb, VP Sales, Group Publisher, New Bay Media
Jonathan Handel, Entertainment/Technology Attorney & Labor Reporter, TroyGould and The Hollywood Reporter
Andy Marken, President, Marken Communications
Scott Page, CEO, Ignited Networks
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS
Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, we are talking about marketing, advertising, and PR. We start with Sadie Groom, she’s the managing director of Bubble and Squeak, a full service agency based out of London. She explains the differences between these three terms and shares her thoughts on how marketing and events are evolving today.
Larry Jordan: Andy Marken heads Marken Communications. This is a PR firm based in the Bay area that he’s run for more than 30 years. Andy specializes in the creative industry and tonight he shares his thoughts on what filmmakers can do to improve their visibility and attract an audience.
Larry Jordan: Next, Scott Page, the CEO of Ignited Networks lives on the cutting edge of technology. Tonight, Scott explains how we’re shifting from the world of social media into a new world of direct messaging and market influencers. This has major implications for all of us launching new products.
Larry Jordan: Eric Trabb is the VP and group publisher for New Bay Media. His magazine titles include Digital Video, Government Video, TV Technology, and Video Edge. Tonight he talks about how marketing is changing, building relationships and what we need to do to stay in front of our audience.
Larry Jordan: Plus, we have an extended news section tonight. James DeRuvo joins us for our weekly DoddleNEWS update, along with Jonathan Handel, with an update on the ongoing Writers Guild negotiations with some surprising statistics on television production.
Larry Jordan: The Buzz starts now.
Announcer: Since the dawn of digital filmmaking – authoritative – one show serves a worldwide network of media professionals – current – uniting industry experts – production – filmmakers – post production – and content creators around the planet – distribution. From the media capital of the world in Los Angeles, California, the Digital Production Buzz goes live now.
Larry Jordan: Welcome to the Digital Production Buzz, the world’s longest running podcast for the creative content industry, covering media production, post production and marketing around the world.
Larry Jordan: Hi, my name is Larry Jordan. This week we’re talking marketing, public relations and advertising, because if we can’t figure out how to find and attract an audience, all the effort we put into creating our project is wasted. We have a wide range of guests this evening, and by the way, our interview with Sadie Groom was recorded when she was in a hotel room in Dubai, attending a trade show. As far as I can tell, this was our first conversation with someone in Dubai for The Buzz, and we recorded it via Skype.
Larry Jordan: While tonight we’re focusing on the business behind the business, we haven’t forgotten the technology that enables filmmaking to occur. Next week we have a grab bag of new products and, in about four weeks, The Buzz returns to the annual NAB show, and webcasts 24 new shows, one an hour, live from the trade show floor. We’ve posted our guest list to NABshowbuzz.com and I encourage you to take a look. We have an amazing assortment of industry leaders as guests this year.
Larry Jordan: Thinking of news and all the stuff that goes with it, reminds me that it’s time for a DoddleNEWS update with James DeRuvo. Hello James.
James DeRuvo: Happy Thursday Larry.
Larry Jordan: A wonderful Thursday to you as well. What you got that’s news?
James DeRuvo: I’ve got two cool new product announcements, and a really juicy rumor.
Larry Jordan: Let’s start with the products.
James DeRuvo: Have you ever heard of the GNARBOX?
Larry Jordan: No.
James DeRuvo: This is a really interesting device. It’s about the size of an iphone and it lets you edit 4K videos without a computer. It’s basically an overglorified external storage device. It supports SD, micro SD and even compact flash by a USB 3.0 connection. But it also has built into it a wifi connection, and basically all you need to do is you connect to it through the GNARBOX editing app on your smartphone or tablet, and you can edit in 4K, and then output it to 1080p, share it to the web. You also get advanced features like color correction and slow motion. While this won’t replace your editing rig anytime soon, it’s bound to be a valuable tool for action camera gigs looking to get their moves up on YouTube while they’re still on the slips.
Larry Jordan: Is this shipping, or is this an announcement?
James DeRuvo: It’s an announcement. It’s supposed to be shipping by the end of the month. They’ve raised a ton of money on Kickstarter, and it just looks like a really clever device.
Larry Jordan: The company is GNARBOX?
James DeRuvo: GNARBOX. Why they call it the GNARBOX I have no idea.
Larry Jordan: What else we got?
James DeRuvo: It’s a cool device though, it really is, I can’t wait to try it.
Larry Jordan: I’ll take a look. What else we got?
James DeRuvo: We all know about Cinetics, they make these really super cool motion controlled sliders, and they have launched a brand new one called the Lynx, as in the cat. It’s a slider that offers not only motion control, but also multi-axis 360 motion control with imaging. There are three motors per controller, and it’s controlled by your mobile device on ios or android with the ability to set over ten key frames to set way points. Currently available for pre-order on Kickstarter, starting at 499, and then with each individual piece, it adds a little bit more to the price but the base model is around 500 bucks. Thanks to Kickstarter, more professional equipment is being filtered down to independents for big budget production values and I think the Lynx is going to fit right into that.
Larry Jordan: The company is Cinetics.
James DeRuvo: That would be correct.
Larry Jordan: Now it’s time, I’m sitting down, what is the rumor?
James DeRuvo: The big juicy rumor is that by NAB, Canon is going to announce that they’re going to support C-Log or Canon-Log on the 5D Mark IV.
Larry Jordan: So what does the C-Log give us?
James DeRuvo: Just about every camera company has a flavor of log. It’s an uncompressed data code app that enables you to grab as much image data as you can, and then basically when you record it, it’s not going to give you the contrast information or anything like that, it’s just going to record all the other details other than color and contrast. So when you see it uncolor corrected it looks extremely flat. Almost looks like you’re looking through a haze, and then as you color correct, it starts to bring out all these incredible details in the dark shadows and in the bright ambient areas, so it really boosts your dynamic range. The rumor is that Canon is either going to make it available starting after NAB as part of a major firmware update, or you may have to bring your camera in for service to get it enabled. Canon has traditionally reserved these pro great features for the cinema EOS line, but bringing C-Log to the 5D Mark IV could go a long way towards closing that gap with competitors like the Sony A72 or the Panasonic GH5 Larry.
Larry Jordan: Well that’ll be something that we can keep our eyes on as we get closer to NAB, and I suspect that this is only one of the first of many NAB based rumors you’ll be giving us. For people that need more information, where do they go on the web to stay current on the industry?
James DeRuvo: All these and other stories can be found at Doddlenews.com.
Larry Jordan: James DeRuvo is the senior writer for Doddlenews.com and returns every week with a weekly DoddleNEWS update. James, thank you so much, talk to you soon.
James DeRuvo: See you next week.
Larry Jordan: Bye bye. We have news from the Writers Guild. Jonathan Handel joins us in just a few seconds to bring us up to date on their negotiations.
Larry Jordan: Jonathan Handel is an entertainment and technology attorney of counsel at Troy Gould in Los Angeles. He’s also the contributing editor on entertainment labor issues for The Hollywood Reporter, and best of all, he’s a regular here on The Buzz. Hello Jonathan, welcome back.
Jonathan Handel: Larry, pleasure to be back.
Larry Jordan: Jonathan, I was fascinated with an article that you wrote earlier this week with the ongoing Writers Guild negotiations. What’s the issue in terms of money and is there likely to be a strike?
Jonathan Handel: The big issue is the face of television. You’d think with the number of series having more than doubled in the last eight years, that these would be easy negotiations. Lots of TV, lots of work, lots of money for the writers.
Larry Jordan: In fact, we set a new record for the number of series that are in production. It’s a number we’ve never seen before.
Jonathan Handel: It’s astonishing, it’s 455 in the current season. They’re predicting 500. These numbers were around 200, 220 eight years ago. But here’s the thing. We know that a lot of those series are shorter than network series were traditionally. Fewer number of episodes per season. So I put on my hat and said, “I wonder how many episodes are being produced in aggregate per year?” I was able to get data from Professor Darnell Hunt at UCLA covering a period of four years, and what I found was over those four years, although the number of series went up by 50 percent, the number of episodes produced only went up by six percent. The number of writers reporting TV earnings during that period went up by 20 percent.
Larry Jordan: So more people writing, but they’re writing for fewer shows?
Jonathan Handel: They’re writing for fewer episodes. More shows, more series, but fewer episodes. That’s right. It’s a supply and demand mismatch with regard to labor supply and labor demand. Demand went up six percent. Supply went up 20 percent. Although it’s difficult to say what the typical staff writer makes, without having access to internal WTA data, from the data available, and making some assumptions, it looks like those wages have been at best flat over the last really eight or ten years, and perhaps even declining in place and adjusted terms.
Jonathan Handel: These writers are held, year after year, under option because a series might get picked up, you know, for another season. The producer wants the writers available. Same issue with the actors. That means that during that time that they’re held, the writer can’t work on another series. There’s no other work for the writers to do, so they’re being held for shorter seasons, making less money. Meanwhile the separate issue of the health plan, has been running a deficit. Put it all together, you’ve got a lot of pressure on these negotiations.
Larry Jordan: Well, a lot of pressure is one thing, but do you think it’s going to translate into a strike?
Jonathan Handel: Well, I don’t. It’s possible but it seems unlikely. There’s a bit of saber rattling going on, but first of all every strike in these unions in the last 80 years since they were founded, has been about residuals, and the residuals deal that the Directors Guild got which is going to set the pattern for the writers and actors in this round of negotiations, appears to be a good deal and certainly isn’t the focus of discontent. So this will be the first time that you have a strike over something other than residuals, and it’s a difficult move for a union to take. Unions have a difficulty. Their only real leverage is the threat of a strike or an actual strike, but it’s definitely one of those threats that’s quote unquote going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you. Go on strike, you don’t get paid.
Larry Jordan: Well the DGA has set the basic pattern for money, which the writers and the actors are going to follow. The real challenge is the fact that there are more writers in the market. There are more series, but there are fewer episodes, which means that overall, the money that a writer gets is decreasing. This could be a real challenge in the negotiations?
Jonathan Handel: That’s right. Decreasing or flat, we don’t have access to the granular data. But yes, the average length of a series dropped in a period of just three years from 19 episodes to 13 episodes. That’s a major drop and what we saw driving that was not just digital platforms, like Netflix, but also network platforms shortened their series dramatically in response to changing consumption patterns. So the TV world is fractionating and fragmenting just as we see some cable channels are going to struggle to survive because there are a million places to go. The fact that there are a million places to go and a million shows to be done, the number of shows brings in additional writers, and really has to because each show wants its own writers, so you are going to get an increased number of writers, and yet if the series are shorter, that’s less work for them.
Larry Jordan: Jonathan this is something we got to keep our eyes on for the future. For people who want to know what’s happening, where can they go on the web?
Jonathan Handel: THRlabor.com, The Hollywood Reporter Labor, and my own website, jhandel.com.
Larry Jordan: That’s jhandel.com and Jonathan Handel is the contributing editor for entertainment labor for the Hollywood Reporter. Jonathan, thanks for joining us today.
Jonathan Handel: Thanks very much Larry.
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Larry Jordan: Join more than 100,000 attendees from 160 countries at the NAB show. Conferences are April 22nd to the 27th and exhibits are April 24th through the 27th, at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Let’s thrive and I’ll see you there.
Larry Jordan: Sadie Groom is the managing director of Bubble & Squeak, a global PR marketing and events agency based in London. With 20 years marketing experience in the business to business market, Sadie is the driving force behind the agency working with all its clients on their campaigns and business goals. Hello Sadie, welcome.
Sadie Groom: Hi Larry.
Larry Jordan: This week we’re talking about marketing. How would you define the difference between PR, marketing and advertising?
Sadie Groom: I always like to think of it that PR and media relations is about getting coverage in the magazines, so that’s really about the online and print publications and writing press releases and features and white papers and things like that. I think that’s part of the marketing mix, and I think marketing is defined by PR, events, advertising and can also obviously include digital and email and social media as well. And then events are where you do that handshake thing with people, and meet and greet.
Larry Jordan: Where does advertising fit into that?
Sadie Groom: Advertising fits in as part of that, and I really encourage all of our clients to do advertising and to do a bit of everything. Use the whole of the marketing mix and not just do one thing.
Larry Jordan: Magazines as we know have been in trouble for years. They’re dying quickly. Is magazines even a force in our industry right now?
Sadie Groom: I think it is, and I think the good magazines will survive. I think the ones that have the good editorial, they’re seeking out the news and they have interesting features, will survive, and I think they should. I love paper and I love magazines, so I personally read them. But there is too much that’s digital in a way. We get bombarded too much digitally now, and actually if you look at someone like a cameraman who isn’t going to be sat in an office all day, he’s going to be out and actually having a paper publication works for quite a lot of the people in our industry.
Larry Jordan: Given the definitions you’ve just done of PR and marketing and events and advertising, where does Bubble & Squeak fit into this mix?
Sadie Groom: We do a bit of everything. I’m very lucky that my background and our team’s background is doing the whole of the marketing bit. We’ve all had marketing manager and director titles. We do all three, and for some of our clients we will say, “Actually you don’t need to do PR, you need to do something else instead.” So we really recommend what’s right for our clients, and that’s based on what their business goals are, not just what their marketing goals are. I think that’s really important.
Larry Jordan: How do business goals change what you do?
Sadie Groom: I think that they give us a wider appreciation of what our clients are trying to achieve. At the end of the day, in our market, everybody needs to be making money. If they can sell better and they can sell more, then they have more money to spend on marketing, and I think just knowing what their business goals really helps, and being very involved in what they’re doing. So we have some clients that will come to us when they’re heading for an acquisition or they want to be acquired. That’s a business goal, that’s not a marketing goal and I think we have close enough relationships with our clients for them to be able to share and trust those business goals with us.
Larry Jordan: One of the things that I’ve noticed over the last decade is just how much the marketing industry has changed from being predominantly advertising focused, into much more measurability focused and other trends. What have you seen from your perspective, because you’re much more deeply involved in it than I am in terms of the changes in marketing over the last ten years?
Sadie Groom: If you go back even 20 years when I first started in PR, then a press release was just written as a press release to get coverage and now it’s written for the whole world to see, and whether that’s your competition or it’s your investors or your staff. So I think that’s really changed. Obviously digital is great. It means we can measure things so much more easily, and we can really see what’s working and we can do split testing and things like that. So that’s massively changed. But one of the things that hasn’t changed is the need to see people face to face, so I think how you go about your marketing and communicating why somebody should meet you face to face at a trade show or at an event. It’s just about how you communicate. But although I will say that, I think people are being bombarded a bit too much by email these days.
Larry Jordan: I had a chance to visit your website and take a look and you’ve got some amazing clients. It’s a tribute to you and your team, the people that you’re representing.
Sadie Groom: Thank you.
Larry Jordan: Our audience is principally filmmakers and media creators rather than people who make products. How do their marketing needs differ from someone that’s trying to sell products through distribution?
Sadie Groom: I think it’s the same. I think it’s about having your personal brand. So if you’re a cinematographer, you need to build your own brand up to get more attention. I will always say, “How are people going to hear about you if they don’t have a crystal ball?” Either a small company or you’re selling a service, you still need to have your website and you still need to do social media. You can still just phone up a journalist if you want to, you don’t necessarily need an agency like that, but you could phone up a journalist and say “Look, I’ve just worked on this great project.” You can use all of the same tools, but you don’t maybe need to spend as much money.
Larry Jordan: Which is a really good question. For a filmmaker, clearly there are $100 million films that are made, but they’re made by studios who have the resources to pull this off. Most independent filmmakers are dealing with much smaller budgets. How do they budget for marketing, and where do they spend their dollars if they don’t have unlimited money?
Sadie Groom: I think that’s about doing the things that you can virtually for free which is social media. You can really do that very cheaply and having an opinion and commenting on things and you can really get your personal brand out there. I think you can do that for not a lot of money. If you do have a small pot of money then definitely doing it on your website, which is your shop window. But just things like making sure you’ve got interesting and nice business cards, spending a bit more money on those, so if people get given a business card will go, “OK, that’s a nice card, that’s interesting,” and people remember. Even if you only have say ten or 15 clients that are production companies or whoever they are, make sure you’re sending them a Christmas card and a Christmas gift and an Easter egg, or remembering their birthdays. So actually there is a lot you can do, for not a lot of money.
Larry Jordan: Which tactics were big in the past that no longer work now and I’m going to ask you the flip side question, which tactics work better now that we need to emphasize? You’ve already mentioned social media. What stuff doesn’t work? Where should we not spend time?
Sadie Groom: Oh that’s an interesting question. I think people really need to look at the moment, about what they’re doing through email. I think we’re very bombarded these days, and so even though it’s great, I think some of the email campaigns, so many people now have these apps that they use on their phone, and then their emails are diverted to another folder, so you’re not even getting seen. So I think you have to be really careful with that. Obviously people used to print 40 page brochures, and I don’t think people need to do that these days. However, I will say that actually sending something to somebody in the post these days will get a lot more attention sometimes than an email.
Larry Jordan: What are your views on the usefulness of trade shows?
Sadie Groom: Bearing in mind I’m currently at my sixth trade show of the year, and it’s only the middle of March. People buy off people, and you only get into a relationship with people when you meet them face to face. I really believe that we’re in an industry that if you wanted to buy a $50,000 camera, you need to touch it and see it, and see who else is using it as well. So I think that’s where they’re valuable. From a networking perspective, they’re fantastic, you can meet the press and see what your competition are doing. You can go to conferences and learn, and it’s good for team morale as well quite often. I absolutely think they’re worth doing and I think our industry does seem to love a trade show quite a lot.
Larry Jordan: How do we determine what a marketing PR budget should be? And again, I’m wearing a filmmaker’s hat. How do you figure out how to budget for that?
Sadie Groom: The industry statistics are that it’s between five and eight percent of your overall turnover. So that’s sort of a line that probably the manufacturers would use, but you need to think about a percentage, and whether that’s say five percent of your turnover, but really think about how you’re spending that money. If you’re spending £500 on an advert, would you be better off spending £500 by taking five people for dinner, or to a concert and some hospitality? So there is an industry rate of what it should be, but obviously if you’ve got a big product launch or you’ve got a big project that you’ve worked on as a filmmaker and you really want to get that message out there, then it might be a case of putting more into that because you need to get that news out there that you’ve done it.
Larry Jordan: When do we do the work ourselves, and when do we work with an agency such as you?
Sadie Groom: That’s an interesting question. I think there is so much you can do yourself and I think we go into clients where either they don’t have a marketing person either because they don’t have the budget for someone that’s got the level of experience and industry knowledge that we would have, then we can go in and support them on that and they don’t have to pay all the tax and employers responsibilities. Then I think there’s obviously bigger companies that need that support, that they can’t get in house, and obviously having an agency it means that we’re looking into the industry so much more, and there’ll be opportunities for example with the press where they just come to us and say, “Hi, which of your clients can fill in this feature and questionnaire for us?” So there, the press are able to come to us and they get seven or eight responses straight away rather than having to individually phone up all of those businesses.
Larry Jordan: I could talk about marketing for hours, it’s a subject that I love learning more about, but seeing as we don’t have hours, for people that want more information about you and your company, where can they go on the web?
Sadie Groom: So you can go to our website which is HYPERLINK “http://www.bubblesqueak.agency” www.bubblesqueak.agency or just put us into Google and you’ll be able to find us.
Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, bubblesqueak.agency, not .com, and Sadie Groom is the managing director of Bubble & Squeak, and Sadie, thanks for joining us today.
Sadie Groom: Thank you very much Larry.
Larry Jordan: Andy Marken is the president of Marken Communications, a PR firm based in the Bay area. For the last ten years, Andy has focused on media, entertainment and storage as well as OTT streaming. Hello Andy, welcome.
Andy Marken: Larry, it’s great to be on this side of the mike with you.
Larry Jordan: Many times you have sat watching clients be on the mike. It’s good to hear your voice. Andy, you’ve been in marketing and PR for almost 30 years. What shifts in marketing today stand out most to you?
Andy Marken: Well it’s broadened into anything and everything, and yet it’s narrowed because there’s a gazillion opportunities out there but they’re very focused and it’s much easier to reach people more quickly. And it’s more fun.
Larry Jordan: How would you define the difference between PR and marketing?
Andy Marken: PR is working with the media and placing stories and articles. Marketing is really the aspect of positioning, promoting and newsletters, primarily advertising. The two go almost hand in hand for people.
Larry Jordan: We just heard from Sadie talking about marketing in general. What I want to do is chat with you about more specifically what filmmakers and other creative individuals can do to promote their projects and promote their films. What would you advise them as the best way to reach an audience?
Andy Marken: Let me give you a little background. I was totally depressed with the onslaught of activity on YouTube because I saw a lot of youngsters coming into … a film, because I’ve got an iPhone or what have you. All we were getting was a bunch of dumb tricks and cat and dog stuff, but they were also depressing the marketplace for filmmakers. Incidentally, I work with some very good, nice companies that allow me to work very closely with filmmakers, so they’re a concern to me, and today everybody in the industry is an independent filmmaker. Then I started looking at growth of content that’s being distributed over the net, OTT type of thing. There are a tremendous number of new opportunities for filmmakers to do their work and to place them. Facebook is doing a better job and will do a better job of taking on good content. Amazon is in 20 countries, and will be in 200 countries. I’m not working with them. They’re saying, “Hey, put your stuff here and we’ll get you exposure.”
Larry Jordan: OK, hold it a minute. I understand there’s more market opportunity but how do filmmakers promote their film? What do they need to do? Wear your marketing hat. What advice would you give them?
Andy Marken: Once you’ve got on, the trouble is it’s like doing an app for a phone, most of them don’t go anywhere. Let’s use Amazon as an example, yes you’re there, and you may be one of the top ten, but you have to keep it there, and that means encouraging friends and others to post on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook to “Take a look, here’s a screen grab I had, it’s really a cool film.” Let them tell ten more people or 100 more people and that’s the way it spreads. I encourage filmmakers to also be out in front of strange audiences like the May Film Creative Storage Conference that’s coming up, or Flash Memory Summit that’s at the end of the year. Being able to tell their stories of what they did and how they did it, and that does broaden the interest base. But advertising per se is not effective for a filmmaker and I think they can do it themselves. We’re getting a greater number of new programmatic tools that are going to help the filmmakers in my estimation, and I’m talking of the short filmmakers that says, “Hey, if you like this, you’re probably going to like these three others,” and that will be of substantial help to the filmmakers.
Larry Jordan: Andy, for people that need more information about what you’re up to, or get your advice, where can they go on the web to get in touch with you?
Andy Marken: They can go to HYPERLINK “http://www.markencom.com” www.markencom.com. They can see me at NAB in the lower level at 8905, or they ask me to get on my weekly content insider.
Larry Jordan: That website is all one word, markencom.com and Andy Marken is the president of Marken Communications. Andy thanks for taking time to share your evening with us.
Andy Marken: Thank you Larry.
Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye.
Larry Jordan: Scott Page is a musician, technologist and serial entrepreneur. He currently serves as the CEO of Ignited Networks, a mobile broadcast network focused on content creators and he’s widely toured as a professional musician. Welcome back Scott, good to hear your voice.
Scott Page: How you doing Larry? Glad to be back buddy.
Larry Jordan: Tonight Scott we’re talking about marketing. Tell us what changes you’re seeing in marketing for creative individuals.
Scott Page: We’re actually going through a major shift right now because we’re going from what we call public networks to private networks. This year, 2017, the trends are showing that mobile messaging applications will be taking over social. In other words, apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, are now moving towards being the preferred method of communications for folks right now. That basically starts to create a whole different set of rules for marketing, because how do you get your marketing messages into private communications?
Larry Jordan: Before we get too in depth on this, could you define what private messaging is because I’m not yet seeing the picture?
Scott Page: When you’re talking about a two way kind of communication like through WhatsApp or WeChat, or those type of things, it’s not the same thing as where you’re just putting up a post, maybe running an ad. Now we’re going back and forth. Our communication is between you and me across these apps and it’s not necessarily across a public situation where everybody can see that, so it creates a challenge for folks to get into the conversation, and when you’re talking about real time conversations, it’s not just a one post thing. You’ve got to go back and forth. So it makes it difficult again for marketers to get their messages into these communications. Does that make sense?
Larry Jordan: It does, it makes perfect sense, except I see a huge problem. In order for you and I to have a conversation, I need to know that you exist. If I’m marketing, and trying to reach a new audience, they don’t yet know that I exist. How do I reach them through private messaging?
Scott Page: These are some of the challenges. This isn’t to say that the public networks are going away, but definitely some major challenges that are starting to come on board for marketers, and marketers being able to interject themselves into the communications through influence marketing. So those folks that are part of those communities, the influencers now will be the ones that will be more important. Also what will happen is Facebook likes and follows and all that are going to be a lot less important. It’s really going to be about the word of mouth of the community. Now instead of all these big giant public networks, we’re now moving to what they call hives. Smaller, direct, niche kind of communities and if you want to survive in this game moving forward, you’re going to have to figure out how to be part of a hive and create that hive mind of folks with like mindedness and communications around products and around things need now be more conversational where everything that comes out has to have a conversation around it because that’s what’s happening with the whole idea of real time.
Larry Jordan: Scott, where did chatbots fit into this conversation?
Scott Page: First of all, what are chatbots? Chatbot is really artificial intelligence. AI, they’re great for help systems and for keeping people up to date. Chatbots are now taking over like crazy, especially on Facebook and Twitter, all of them. Facebook has made a big initiative to really focus on chatbots and bringing them into the system, because they really do help in the communications and delivering information to people that you normally might not be able to get, because how do I scale myself in a conversation to give them information all the time? So chatbots are very helpful in that way. Unfortunately, this is going to have a major impact on jobs and so we’re going to have to figure out new ways to keep people in the game, because I read an article not too long ago that said 47 percent of all jobs are susceptible to these robots. So there’s pros and cons to all of this, but we’re definitely moving into a world where chatbots are going to be much more prevalent in everything we do every day.
Larry Jordan: Put your creative hat on for a second Scott. If you’ve only got a limited amount of time, and a limited budget, and given the vast new areas that marketing’s exploded into, where do we invest our time?
Scott Page: You’re better off, number one, to focus on one or two networks and not try to focus on lots of networks, because it’s very difficult to keep up with the pace of having to post and deal with all these different networks when in reality you’re trying to create relationships. We’re moving into this area where the relationships are word of mouth. The real time communications is really going to be the most important part of the communications you have with your customers. Right now I believe that Twitter still is a very big opportunity for folks because you do have this direct messaging, but what’s happening is that communications and that real growth in marketing is happening in the DMs, not so much in the actual streams of the content. These days, the money is in the relationship, especially for content creators that are trying to get their content stuff out there. You need to start building those relationships and focus on the super fans, because that’s where the real dollars are.
Larry Jordan: Scott, for people that want to keep track of what you’re thinking, where can they go on the web, to learn more?
Scott Page: My Twitter handle is @Iamscottpage, that’s my communication tool of choice, and you can also find me at iamscottpage.com.
Larry Jordan: That website is iamscottpage.com, and the Scott Page himself has been chatting with us. Scott thanks for joining us today.
Scott Page: Thanks Larry. Talk to you later.
Larry Jordan: Here’s another website I want to introduce you to. Doddlenews.com. DoddleNEWS gives you a portal into the broadcast, video and film industries. It’s a leading online resource, presenting news, reviews and products for the film and video industry. DoddleNEWS also offers a resource guide and crew management platforms specifically designed for production. These digital call sheets, along with their app, directory and premium listings, provide in depth organizational tools for busy production professionals. DoddleNEWS is a part of the Thalo Arts Community, a worldwide community of artists, filmmakers and storytellers. From photography to filmmaking, performing arts to fine arts, and everything in between, Thalo is filled with resources you need to succeed. Whether you want the latest industry news, need to network with other creative professionals or require state of the art online tools to manage your next project, there’s only one place to go. Doddlenews.com.
Larry Jordan: Eric Trabb is the VP and group publisher at New Bay Media’s broadcast and video group. He oversees some of the industry’s leading brands in the professional video marketplace, including TV Technology, Digital Video, Video Edge and Government Video. Eric’s been in the industry for nearly 30 years, and I am delighted to say, hello Eric, welcome.
Eric Trabb: Hi Larry, thank you for having me today.
Larry Jordan: Eric, I was reflecting, just before we began this interview, that the first time we met was about 12 years ago at DV Expo. The industry has certainly changed a lot over the last decade hasn’t it?
Eric Trabb: It has indeed.
Larry Jordan: As you look at the last decade, what’s been the biggest change, from your perspective?
Eric Trabb: The biggest change that we’ve seen is the transformation of the way the business community has embraced or transformed their marketing efforts. I think you see that from every size organization, from a big diversified company to small entrepreneurial companies, everybody is trying to analyze how they can better market their products to this industry, and try frankly to do more with less. That mantra has cut across every fabric of our business, our readers are trying to do more with less with the tools that they have, and our customers, our sponsors, our advertisers, are trying to do more with less to sell their product. You know, New Bay Media provides a conduit of information to those customers. We try to build partnerships between advertisers or marketers and the end user. Our relationships today are a lot more collaborative perhaps than they were maybe ten or 12 years ago.
Larry Jordan: Well in tonight’s show we’re talking about marketing specifically marketing films and creative projects. How would you define the difference between advertising and marketing?
Eric Trabb: That’s a good question. I think that it’s going to require a few different points here. One is I think that most marketers now look at their short and long term business objectives. It’s no longer just advertising and marketing. The marketplace is a lot more sophisticated. They’re looking at larger integrated marketing program Larry, and inside that program there’s a couple of tenets. There’s owned media, there’s earned media, there’s paid media, and then there’s shared media. Then on top of all this are other ways to reach the audience. There’s events, so let me give you an example. Inside of owned media are owned elements. You know a company for instance might have to figure out their branding strategy. They have a website that they have to publish. They need sales tools to give to their sales people. They need collateral, they need to develop a booth for a trade show. They need other content, they need videos. All of this is part of owned elements. That’s all underneath this marketing umbrella, and years ago, a lot of these things you didn’t even have. So the bucket of marketing has gotten a lot bigger.
Eric Trabb: Then, if I may, you also have things like earned elements, and that’s anywhere from press releases to articles that we publish, that companies give us that we publish. And thought leadership articles and user reports and case studies and then they have press events at shows and they do interviews and there’s all of this that goes into this entire big marketing story. For example, we have coming up for NAB this year, New Bay Media does the NAB best of show awards, so a good marketer is going to say, “Hey, getting an award at NAB is a feather in my cap, and I want the ability to promote that.” So they need to enter as many things as they can to help elevate their brand, for instance, entering an award program is one way to do that. So those are a couple of different ways that marketing has changed quite a bit.
Larry Jordan: Well one of the terms you used earlier that I want to pick up on is the word relationships which is something we never heard ten years ago. Why are relationships so important?
Eric Trabb: Every business is built on relationships with customers right? So, I think it’s important that when you meet with a customer, whether it’s us, New Bay Media talking to our advertisers and sponsors, or a video production house, a creative producer, the first thing that they have to do is understand the customer and what the customer’s trying to accomplish. If you look at marketing you want to ask very simply a couple of easy questions. Who are you trying to reach with your marketing? Have you reached them before, and how did you go about doing that? I think understanding the customer and building that relationship is what it takes in today’s environment. You can’t just go in and say “Hey, do you want to buy this?” I think today our partners are much more sophisticated and they want us to help them understand how to go about understanding their customer and how we’re going to measure success along the way. We help them do that. We help them understand the customer, and then, whatever program we work together with them on, how they’re going to measure their own success, because at the end of the day, you have to be accountable for this. I think that’s how we build good relationships and that’s how our customers then build good relationships with their customers.
Larry Jordan: When I was reading your intro, one of the words I used was the word professional. You oversee your brands in the professional video market place. It seems to me that the word professional is defining people differently today than it was a few years ago. How are you defining professionals?
Eric Trabb: You’re absolutely right. With the amount of content that’s being generated and distributed through all the different platforms that we see in the world today, I think that professional line has got quite a bit blurry. Across the tools, to help quote unquote professionals deliver that content has come down which I think has made that professional line more accessible for more people. But in general, our rule had always been that if you made money producing and delivering content, then you became a professional. But I think there are people who don’t make money doing this anymore, that are producing very good content.
Larry Jordan: Which means it’s even blurrier than usual.
Eric Trabb: It is, and just do a quick search on Google or YouTube and you’ll see how many videos there are.
Larry Jordan: Shift your focus for just a second, away from your magazines and to the people who read your magazines. The professional video person, however we’re defining them. If they’re trying to get the word out about their film or their project, what marketing is available to them? What would you recommend they focus on?
Eric Trabb: Funny you say get the word out. That notion of getting the word out is what people used to say a few years ago to us when we would have that kind of introductory conversation and I’d say, “What are you trying to accomplish?” and they’d say, “I just want to get the word out.” Today, I would encourage my customers to think beyond just getting the word out. I would take that “Hey we want to get the word out,” and I would say, “What specifically do you want to achieve with this message?” I’d say “Do you want to create brand awareness? Do you want to create thought leadership? Do you want to generate leads for your product? Do you want to drive traffic to your site? What is it specifically that you are trying to achieve with your investment?” because that’s important.
Eric Trabb: Beyond magazines Larry, we have a lot of different triggers we can pull to help our partners and to help small independent video production companies. I think this applies to them as well. There’s a lot of different mechanisms you can engage in to get a different result, and if you want to build awareness you would do one thing. If you want to generate leads you would do something else. It’s very important for us to be able to understand what their goals are beyond just getting the word out. So if a company wants to generate leads, we would typically tell them that a way to do that would be to create some really good content and create some kind of program around that content, and then help them ignite that content to generate leads. So, the industry is very much peer to peer, and people respect other people’s opinions, and so creating good content and then igniting and promoting that content is one way that companies are generating leads. So we would want to be sure that we are matching up the need of that customer with the right option, and that’s part of the whole customer experience I was talking about.
Larry Jordan: One of the pet peeves that I’ve got is that when I visit a new company on their website, the website itself is using language that is unintelligible or filled with jargon or as hard as I try, I cannot figure out what the company does. How do you advise your clients when it comes to writing about themselves?
Eric Trabb: I would say if a company can’t say very quickly what they do and how they do it, and how it’s going to benefit from the customer, that’s a problem. I think you can spend all the money in the world to drive traffic back to your site, but when they get back to the site if there’s a disconnect on your unique selling proposition and how you separate yourself from your competitor, that’s a fundamental problem. But I think that keeping it simple and helping them understand how your product or service makes a difference in their life, how it helps them solve a problem, and just going back to those basics. How using your product or service is going to help make my job, my life, what I have to do every day, easier or better or more efficient. I think if you can just go back to those basics as a marketer and try to articulate that on your site, then you have a good starting point to engage the traffic that comes to your site.
Larry Jordan: I will confess that if I read the words ‘world class customer focus and customer driven’ one more time in a first paragraph of a company I’m going to throw up.
Eric Trabb: Everybody’s world class at something. I agree that world class and leading are a bit overused, and they don’t do enough to separate one company over the next, but I think that marketers are very fond of using adjectives, and trying to embellish a little bit on their products or services. But you know what? It’s part of the buyers opportunity to wade through that a little bit, and make informed decisions. It’s just a little bit of marketing.
Larry Jordan: I think a marketer has never met an adjective that they don’t like.
Eric Trabb: Right.
Larry Jordan: Which gets to my next question. How long shall we allow for a marketing scheme, whether it’s building relationships or getting the word out, or focusing on a particular audience, how much time should we allow? Does it happen instantly, or takes two years, or what?
Eric Trabb: Again, I think that depends on the individual objective. I think the biggest thing that most marketers fall short of is their lack of commitment to stay the course, and I think it’s important with almost any marketing program, to be consistent and to continue it often. And that’s just about with anything that you decide you want to do, whether it’s paid elements, shared elements, earned elements or anything throughout the entire journey that a buyer might take, it’s important to be consistent and to do it frequently.
Larry Jordan: Eric, for people in companies that want to take a look at the tools and resources that New Bay provides, where can they go on the web?
Eric Trabb: The best bet is to go to newbaymedia.com and there you’ll find all of our editorial calendars, and that will give you an idea of the magazines and websites and events that we publish. I’d also invite other listeners who are end users to subscribe to our newsletters. I think most are familiar with our brands of Digital Video and Creative Planet Network, and so please take the time, if you’re not subscribers, to subscribe to our newsletters. We feel there’s some valuable tools and tips and tricks in there to help you stay abreast of the latest techniques and products to help you get through your day. And of course, manufacturers, we’re eager to help you and tell your story to this market.
Larry Jordan: That website is all one word newbaymedia, and Eric Trabb is the VP and group publisher at New Bay Media’s broadcast and video group. Eric, thanks for joining me today.
Eric Trabb: Larry, as always, thanks for having me.
Larry Jordan: Marketing is a complex issue, compounded by the fact that all of us are getting hit with far more messages than we can deal with. So just as our audience, we tend to tune things out. This makes it increasingly challenging for us to capture the attention of an audience, yet it’s more vital than ever that we reach out and connect with them in order for our projects to be successful. It is a never ending puzzle.
Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests this week, Sadie Groom of Bubble & Squeak, Andy Marken of Marken Communications, Scott Page with Ignited Networks, Eric Trabb with New Bay Media, along with Jonathan Handel from the Hollywood Reporter and James DeRuvo with DoddleNEWS.
Larry Jordan: There’s a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Here you’ll find thousands of interviews all online, and all available to you today. And remember to sign up for our free weekly show newsletter that comes out every Friday. Talk with us on Twitter @DPBuZZ and Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com.
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Larry Jordan: Our producer is Debbie Price. My name is Larry Jordan, and thanks for listening to The Digital Production Buzz.
Larry Jordan: The Digital Production Buzz is copyright 2017 by Thalo LLC.