The FLIP Side of Video for the Enterprise: Where are the Cinematographers of Tech Marketing?

Updated: June 09, 2009

Fast forward eight years, and Canon now offers a 14.7 Megapixel camera with 5x wide-angle zoom lens. My PowerShot S110 is now as relevant as a classic Polaroid instant camera.

I recently chatted with Mimi Reilly, an innovative marketing and business development geek based in Houston, about the rise of inexpensive minimalist devices such as the FLIP video camcorders from Cisco. Mimi has worked at HP, Compaq and Microsoft and thinks Tweeting is better than sliced bread (don't ask her for a sandwich).

"This FLIP device has captured the imagination of consumers with their simple design and ease of use. It's democratized the use of video for influence, push, shout - all the elements of outbound marketing," says Mimi. "Think about the Obama Girl at www.barelypolitical.com conceived by an advertising executive and not associated with the Obama campaign. This video also became a powerful form of inbound marketing with Gen xY voters discovering the political product through viral web videos and inspiring copycat Guiliani Girl."

I agree with Mimi. It seems like skill and subject matter expertise no longer matter; the devices are so easy to use that anyone can create and upload videos to the web. Yet, I wondered, have B2B marketers really tapped into the power of web video?

Devices such as the FLIP have been touted to the consumer for recording sports events, political campaigns, travel and real estate promotion. The music industry has given these gadgets to their artists for recording and uploading to refresh their fan websites. Where are the enterprise cinematographers in all this?

Mimi told me about a very recent interesting use demonstrating the power of video outside the pure consumer space. On May 15, 2009, Wolfram/Alpha launched its computational knowledge engine which will parse and answer user questions in multiple forms and provide links to expand the answer. This launch used video and a webcast to document the countdown, create excitement and demonstrate the power of the computational engine, which many believe will be the first real competitor to Google. Stephen Wolfram, the scientist, inventor and author behind Wolfram/Alpha, has marketed the countdown via blog, webcast and YouTube videos.

"IT management is struggling with the traditional computing model, besieged by users' demands for increased flexibility and efficiency and the reality of smaller budgets," Mimi says. "Yet enterprise marketing has yet to harness this medium which can be uploaded to a branded YouTube channel, twittered to an audience, included in blogs and posted on Facebook."

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