“You really need to understand the customer journey, and the stories need to reflect that. Reflect the problems, the challenges, or whatever the information is that they [the customers] are trying to uncover, or want to get a better understanding of, at every stage of that journey. Our video content strategy matches that.”
These videos play into a larger, more complex content marketing strategy. Using solutions like Marketo and Brightcove, the Xero marketing team is able to monitor the customer journey from the first video viewing, to a blog reading, to the entering of a potential customer's email address. This sounds typical enough but Xero’s strength lies in surprise. Their salespeople can pick this information up, see that a lead has watched 60% of a particular video, and structure a conversation around that – or create a seemingly serendipitous experience.
One example of Xero’s serendipitous integrated content campaigns sends a gift to a customer at just the right time.
“A potential customer comes along, they check out a blog, fill out a form, watch a video and then two days later, a package turns up saying ‘thanks for checking us out, thanks for considering us, here’s a little gift’. This serendipitous experience is all off the back of video content. It’s a pretty cool thing to consider, especially if the gift is also highly contextual to the particular content experience that the customer has had. That warms the cockles of the heart of the customer!”
“As much as we want to make beautiful stuff, which we do at scale and around the world, it’s to no end if it doesn’t deliver.”
“We’re a media team that is committed to a narrative and to working with the rest of business to maximize exposure and all that narrative leads to conversions and new customers and products.”
The Art of Creative Restriction
Pat ensures his team saves 20% of their time for exploring new ways to do video marketing within Xero’s brand and positioning. This is especially important as the marketing industry itself is still considering what can be done around video marketing and the strength of integrating video into campaigns.
“I think just generally, video grows in line with the level of understanding that marketers or clients or stakeholders have around how they can use video. A lot of it is down to understanding what they can achieve and how. People will read a thing about social video and they’ll just create a video for Snapchat or Instagram.
“But you really need to understand the detail of producing a credible piece of content on those platforms from a production perspective and also from a brand perspective. How are you going to make that content truly unique and truly ownable and truly you? I think if you don’t know that then there’s not much point in trying to execute on those new and emerging platforms – you have got to have your foundations right.”
Despite this focus on developing new video marketing outlets, being creative day in and day out on the same product does pose challenges for the Xero team.
“We’ve got the one product and you’ve got to keep that creative challenge to the forefront and when you’re approaching the same product, customers, partners, it’s a challenge. Always a challenge. But it’s something that we’re owning and we make most of every project.”
“It always seems easy to do cool stuff for cool brands; we always say, “Aww man, if I had Nike, I’d do this, that, the other thing.” When you face a really meaty creative challenge like a SaaS (software-as-a-service) company, and it’s servicing what’s traditionally quite a conservative customer base, I think the creative challenge is a lot deeper. It can be pretty tough.”
So instead, Pat’s team focuses on finding the magic in every story; always asking themselves ‘how can we make this more magical?’