The Virtual CMO

Using Video to Engage Your Target Audience with Gina Pomponi

June 24, 2021 Eric Dickmann, Gina Pomponi Season 5 Episode 14
The Virtual CMO
Using Video to Engage Your Target Audience with Gina Pomponi
Show Notes Transcript

In episode 80, host Eric Dickmann interviews Gina Pomponi. Gina is an entrepreneur and President and COO of Bluewater Media. Bluewater is one of the leading digital marketing/video production companies in the world. She has spent 30 years in the business pioneering digital marketing and a women’s role at the top of a company. She’s driven well over 11X in media growth and created Bluewater’s Account Management team to provide direct client support. Her leadership has been instrumental in building the web development division, e-commerce marketplace division, and expansion of the analytics team.

For show notes and a  list of resources mentioned in this episode, please visit: https://fiveechelon.com/using-video-engage-target-audience-s5e14/

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Eric Dickmann:

Welcome to The Virtual CMO podcast. I'm your host, Eric Dickmann. In this podcast, we have conversations with marketing professionals who share the strategies, tactics, and mindset you can use to improve the effectiveness of your marketing activities and grow your business. This week, I'm excited to welcome Gina Pomponi to the podcast. Gina is an entrepreneur, President and COO of Bluewater Media. Bluewater is one of the leading digital marketing video production companies in the world. Today, we're going to talk about the power of video, digital advertisements, and the impact to businesses in this post COVID world. Please help me welcome Gina to the program. Hey Gina, welcome to The Virtual CMO Podcast. Very glad you could join us today.

Gina Pomponi:

Very good to you as well, Eric.

Eric Dickmann:

Well I'm excited to have you as a guest today because we're going to get to dive into the topic of video and how to really engage your audience with video And you know what an amazing time this is to be a creator. There is so much power that we all pack in our phones and you know the tools that we have on our computer to create some really compelling content. But I'm sure you've seen the statistics, right? Video is absolutely where it's at. What do you see as the state of video marketing right now?

Gina Pomponi:

So video consumption has changed significantly. You know when I got into the business 30 years ago, it was 100% television, right? From a video consumption standpoint, but nowadays we live in a multi-screen world so even if you are watching television while you might be watching regular cable or a regular broadcast channel, but more than likely you're watching Hulu or some kind of streaming option, and at the same time you always have, If you think about it you always have another screen with you, your iPad, your cell phone, perhaps both. I find it interesting, my nephew lived with us two summers ago and he would be sitting and I kid you not sitting in our great room where there's an 86 inch huge television, and he would be watching shows on the little iPad. Yeah, so viewers have many options not just of what to watch but where to watch it.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah that's so funny that you said that because right next door to my office here when I constructed my house, I built a big media room for a big screen and everything like that ,do the same thing, I sit in my chair and watch it on my iPad.

Gina Pomponi:

It's crazy, it's crazy.

Eric Dickmann:

I think there's something about that personalized experience. I know Apple released some things with spatial audio, so now the sound is fantastic as you're listening to it through headphones. The need for some of those big screens has gone away. But I'm interested you know the way we're consuming content is different as well, right? It used to be more long form and now there's so much short form content out there. What have you really seen in terms of the changes in the formats?

Gina Pomponi:

Sure smaller bites I guess you can say that Americans are perhaps, it's the younger generation coming up has a shorter attention span I suppose. And you started seeing it with Facebook, but more and more on TikTok. And it's interesting even you know, 50 year old woman as myself downloaded TikTok on my phone, it's an advertising outlet, wanted to familiarize myself with it. And I find myself just going down a rat hole watching video after video, and all of those videos are one minute or less. And you've got influencers on there which you have on other forms of social marketing. But really on TikTok, you're watching fun videos or you're watching somebody you follow, and they might be drinking some energy drink or you know, and they just kind of mention it. So its almost like product, the old product integration on television that we used to do so much of

Eric Dickmann:

Well I'm curious too because you know you talk about influencers during the pandemic. I've seen so much change for people, you even had the network anchors broadcasting from their homes, and I think you know you and I are live on a video stream today, we're broadcasting from our offices, it seems like there was a lowered expectation of quality. So that now you know you could be somebody, a journalist broadcasting from your home and everybody knows it's a green screen behind you and you know the dog may walk in, but that's okay. Do you see that really being a trend for the longterm, that this casualness in video is here to stay?

Gina Pomponi:

I do We call it UGC actually in the advertising world, user generated content And it is much more engaging, and you're not only seeing it in social, you're seeing it in television ads as well, where you'll see somebody videoing themselves in the right and down the road on a bike, and they've got it imposed. It started I shouldn't say didn't start. We were always using UGC for the past few years, but it it kind of propelled forward because of COVID and a lot of Uh television production houses weren't operating, so they had to utilize the footage they had or get UGC content from further testimonials or from hosts, or whatever the case may be, and then do it all in an editing. You're also seeing a lot of animated spots as well.

Eric Dickmann:

So with the rise of this short form content and this more casual way of approaching it, why do you think some of the thing like Quibi failed?

Gina Pomponi:

I mean I think you're going to see a bunch pop up and they're not all gonna gain traction. There was one a few years back on bite-sized TV, I'm not sure that one ever took traction but people are going to be trying to put platforms up and it's all about what gains traction or what what doesn't. I mean I know on my phone now, cause you've got I mean you've got Snapchat, you've got TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and I'm personally trying to keep up with them from a you know to look at them through an advertising lens to understand what's going on in the world and what consumers are engaging with and what other folks are doing from a competitive standpoint. But it's a lot to keep up with right? All these different platforms you don't want to be sucked in all day. But yeah, I think you're going to continue to see things pop up. Facebook is now for the older crowd as they say, and I guess I fall into that. But you know the young, the millennials, and under are primarily using Instagram and TikTok, which is even younger. I think their primary demo's 16 to 34 So it's going to continue to change. And who said to me the other day that consumer's now the marketer, so we have to follow where they want to be. It's certainly moving quickly.

Eric Dickmann:

So quickly. And it's interesting too because you know you've got this short form content that's very casually generated and then you've got you know production houses like you have there at BluewaterTV and you've got facilities to do really professional work, and then you know we're sitting at home with things like Zoom and green screens that are now becoming popularized for everybody. You can swap out your background, maybe not to the level that they do at a studio like yours. But where do you see that going in terms of where will the need be for a full production shoot at a studio versus just grabbing your phone and some lights and microphones, and going out and shooting something?

Gina Pomponi:

So I still think you know from a television standpoint, you're still getting the higher qualities. Yes, there was a bit of a change during COVID because people weren't in studio. But you're still gonna see the high quality. It depends on the platform. So when you're shooting social content, you don't need a big full production. You know it's shot on your phone, it's UGC, it's things because you've got a short period of time to engage somebody that's scrolling past. So its not going to and I don't know for sure, but I would say with pretty much certainty that it's not going to go completely away from you know full professional productions.

Eric Dickmann:

I would imagine though that even in your world, things have changed quite a bit It seems like so many motion pictures today, so much of it is being shot in front of a green screen and backgrounds are added in later. Have you really seen a big change over time in terms of you know building sets and shooting on location, to really going to more of this green screen shooting?

Gina Pomponi:

It really depends on what it is, we still build quite a bit of quite a few sets. You know at Bluewater Media, we have a 36,000 thousand square foot facility, we have a large team on staff to design and build sets, different studios. You know we've got three crews on location today, shooting, so it really depends what it is. But you know we try to not use the green screen unless it's something that requires the green screen. Do you know what I mean by that? So if it's a set we can build or a place a location that we can go, we still stick with that at this point.

Eric Dickmann:

Cause the green screen is mostly for control of the environment right? Or just the cost of getting there?

Gina Pomponi:

Or something that you know, you want a volcano behind you or something that you know yeah you're not going to be able to do or something that is, you know something you wouldn't be able to shoot because it's limitless when you've got a green screen behind you.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah. obviously, I know you shoot things like commercials, but when you're talking about various businesses you know one of the things that we strongly advocate is for businesses to create a strong brand story to be able to really articulate their value proposition and what their brand stands for, and you've seen so many businesses now, your own included that right on the home page the very first thing that you see is the name of the company and then there's a hero image usually with a video in it that explains sort of what that company stands for. Have you really seen that become a way to start engaging with businesses as they want that kind of presentation?

Gina Pomponi:

Well it's immediate gratification too So all the things we're talking about are the immediate gratification that the American consumer wants. So these shorter, shorter snippets, a video, somebody goes to your website, you immediately need to know who you are and what you do, and then dig deeper for the detail or you want them to contact you and engage immediately so.

Eric Dickmann:

What do you think are some best practices as you've worked with clients building those out? What are some things that stand out to you or what do you advise people to make sure that they have in videos like that?

Gina Pomponi:

So you know when you watch the video on our website you know exactly what we do, it says creative, media, analytics. So it's not only getting across the point of your brand, your core services, but it's also at the same time because we're showcasing some of the creative snippets from different commercials. It's giving you also a sample of our work at the same time. So it kind of hits those three major points.

Eric Dickmann:

Being able to talk a little bit about that story, about what that brand is, and really identifying maybe who some of the people are, some of the physical locations of your buildings, just giving people some sense or identity of really who you are as a company,.

Gina Pomponi:

At a higher level, right? And that's really important for your homepage there, for the homepage video.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah. So now if I was a company and I wanted to embark on some sort of a a video advertising campaign, where do you start? How do you start with that creative process? That may be a tough question to answer but where do you start when a new client comes on board and says, Hey, we're going to be running this new campaign, we need some videos to go along with it. But they don't necessarily have an idea of the creative of what that video is supposed to be, maybe just at a high level. How do you usually start working through that process to narrow it down, to figure out what is this video shoot going to look like?

Gina Pomponi:

Sure. Well when we first engage with a client I mean we take a big step back and we do a lot of research. We want to understand what they've done before, what's out there, we want to understand their brand and their brand guidelines. We want to understand the competitive marketplace and what others are doing in that space and what's successful. And then we have a discovery call with them to kind of dig deeper into that. As far as the creative concepts that we create, I mean we have a full team of creative siers I like to call them, that will sit down and come up with different concepts. We might you know throw 10 at a client and then walk through and see. You know it's really interesting with creative because there's no right or wrong answer, right? So in the marketing and media world, with the strategy side, it's more numbers, it's more what's proven that kind of thing, but on their creative side when you're talking just about the pure creative concepts, it's more of a partnership with a client because they've got definite ideas or thoughts that you do you will try to incorporate and then also bring your expertise to the table. There are proven elements in a commercial, especially when you're talking about direct marketing. You know in the beginning of the commercial you want to do something that's going to engage the consumer that might be you know attention or that might be you know the sound of a hammer hitting something, or something that grabs their attention, and then maybe some kind of problem solution that's going to you know, if you have this problem then you really engage them further, because yes they have this problem, before you're announcing what the product is that's solving that product problem, right? And then you're go into your features and benefits to build that offer prop and then move to some type of call to action and when I say that it's okay you've now sold the viewer on it, how can they get the product? What do they need to go to the store? Go to a website, call phone number or go to Amazon, that type of thing, so that they can get that immediate gratification.

Eric Dickmann:

Hey, it's Eric here and we'll be right back to the podcast. But first, are you ready to grow, scale, and take your marketing to the next level? If so, The Five Echelon Group's Virtual CMO consulting service may be a great fit for you. We can help build a strategic marketing plan for your business and manage its execution, step-by-step. We'll focus on areas like how to attract more leads. How to create compelling messaging that resonates with your ideal customers. How to strategically package and position your products and services. How to increase lead conversion, improve your margins, and scale your business. To find out more about our consulting offerings and schedule a consultation, go to fiveechelon.com and click on Services. Now back to the podcast. Is most of your business nowadays, is it currently focused on digital advertising, or do you still do a lot of mainstream television?

Gina Pomponi:

It's I would call it omni-channel. don'tdon't You know nobody is really just going on television or or just digital. Sometimes they might start digital when you you know perhaps Put a higher marketing strategy together where they're doing kind of crawl walk run to build up to that Or testing different offers or different concepts digitally to see what resonates best with different uh demographics or to understand who your demographic actually is. You know you can do that with television by doing Audience segmentation testing right because national cables will still skew vertically or you can also do it with with digital and different affinity groups on let's say Facebook or Instagram. So but you know very rarely do you have somebody just going out with one channel, and I mean now, there's there's also you know there's direct mail and there's there's other things that are kind of making a comeback a bit. Um I always say you know your your email box is now the mailbox that's very full and your actual physical mailbox does not have all of the quote unquote junk mail that it used to have back in the day. So Um that's making a resurgence It does depend on the on the audience you're going after though. I don't know that I would do a direct mail campaign for you know 25 year olds but.

Eric Dickmann:

No, you're exactly right. We've talked about it before on this podcast during COVID, the amount of physical mail that people received went way down.

Gina Pomponi:

Yeah

Eric Dickmann:

And it wasn't just the post office being inefficient. There was just a lot less mail going out for sure.

Gina Pomponi:

Yeah, well that post office now actually does at least in our area, they do shipments for Amazon. So trying to keep themselves busy with the less volume of mail.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah, I mean you see those trucks all over the place. You know as I've talked to a number of clients who were interested in shooting our commercial and one of the things that intimidates them, I don't know why but I live in a neighborhood where every once in a while, maybe once a summer, someone decides to shoot a commercial at one of the houses here, and you know that it's happening because there are signs up on the corners, there are lines of cars up and down the street, there are trucks and there are you know it's, Yeah it takes a village, exactly. And business owners look at that and said if it takes a village, it takes a truckload of money to do it. Why is there that perception of complexity and oftentimes why are so many people needed for these big production shoots?

Gina Pomponi:

Right .And what you might be seeing as just a particular segment. So that might be you know that whole day might be 10 seconds in a 30-second commercial, right? So it really depends. I've had folks say to me well what does it cost to make a commercial, and I'm like well, Oh gee, I don't know. What does it cost to buy a car? So So you know there's so many different things, location, talent, whatever sometimes You know if we need a sunset or do we need it snowing, do we need it raining. Um it really, is it a food shoot? You know do we need all these different food stylists? It really does depend on what it is, but you've got grips and you've got production assistants and producers and associate producers, and the director, and there's there's tons of equipment and different camera angles. And do we need GIBS? Do we need you know Twink? What kind of lights do we need to get that perfect lighting, There's only so much that can be done in post, right?

Eric Dickmann:

Right, right. No every time I do one of these live streams I'm always mucking around with lights and there's a lot to think about. There's a lot to think about to make it all look right. So as we sort of are winding down here, I'm curious if people are interested in creating a spot, doing a commercial, do you recommend that they start first maybe working with an ad agency to start to build that creative, to get a framework of what they want before they engage with a company like yours, or do you encourage people to come directly to you and you said you have a creative team that can start to do some of the work for them.

Gina Pomponi:

So we are a fully converged advertising agency with full media both digital and television, we have full creative and we have not just television production and editing and everything in house, but we also have a full digital content team. Because as we just discussed those are very different. We have an Amazon marketplace team, so you know we're a fully converged agency, and that's how we're structured to handle that. So clients come to us with many different marketing challenges and we help them with the right solution. So absolutely I've come to Bluewater.

Eric Dickmann:

That's great. Just off the top of your head, are there any things that you've filmed there that particularly stand out, that you'd you thought were just really great or funny, or just memorable?

Gina Pomponi:

Yeah. I mean, it's always, it's always cool. Now mind you, at the beginning of my career, I was in the media strategy and planning, for most of it. So to come here to Bluewater to see like the front end piece of it and you know, come in in there. You know, we're shooting something with Jillian Michaels or Kevin Hart, so that's kind of exciting to me to see that kind of thing, and also to see the behind the scenes, like see what we do with the green screen or see all of the pieces that it takes to put it together. It's really exciting I think, but still when I see talent, it's still a kind of I don't know. I don't want to say I get star struck, but.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah. No, I understand though. When you see somebody walking down on your set, it's like, yeah, that's kind of cool.

Gina Pomponi:

Yeah, it's pretty cool.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah. You know, as we wrap up here, I'd love it if you could just share with the audience where they could find out a little bit more about you, where they could find out about Bluewater, and how they could reach you all.

Gina Pomponi:

Yeah, no, great. So Bluewater Media is a fully converged national advertising agency in Clearwater, Florida. Our website is bluewater.tv. And you can reach me directly by emailing me at Gina, that's [email protected] I would love to discuss your marketing challenges with you to have you come up with the right solution.

Eric Dickmann:

I think it's great, I think it's exciting that as we're sort of rounding the bend here with this pandemic and the economy is lighting back up, that marketers are really talking about spending money again, and there's some tremendous opportunities in the marketplace, behaviors have changed, and I think there's a real opportunity for those who want to get ahead of the curve to really start to take advantage of these new behaviors and video is certainly going to be something that people are going to want to jump on, if they haven't already.

Gina Pomponi:

Absolutely. Especially now with most companies trying to engage directly with the consumer. It's so critical.

Eric Dickmann:

Absolutely. Gina, this has been fun. I really appreciate you taking out the time to talk to us today and sharing your thoughts.

Gina Pomponi:

Awesome.

Eric Dickmann:

Thank you for joining us on this episode of The Virtual CMO podcast. For more episodes, go to fiveechelon.com/podcast to subscribe through your podcast player of choice. And if you'd like to develop consistent lead flow and a highly effective marketing strategy, visit fiveechelon.com to learn more about our Virtual CMO consulting services.