It should come as no surprise that the amount of video being consumed by the typical US Consumer has skyrocketed over the past decade. Just the last four years we have seen the number of minutes of digital video watched go from 513 minutes per month to 750 minutes per month, and it is anticipated to only increase. I recently had lunch with a friend of mine that commented that this should be the gold rush for the direct response television marketer of old; the more I thought about it the more I realized he is right on point, so first let me give thanks to Tim Hayden @TheTimHayden.

Tim and I were having lunch near the entrance to this year’s ACL (Austin City Limits) Festival @aclfest the opening day, when he pointed to the masses headed toward the entrance. He continued his thought “Jim, there may be fewer and fewer cable and broadcast customers each day, but there are more and more screens out there.  I mean think about it, how many apple and android products do your kids have…..”

The very next day, on local access cable I hear the founder of Mass Relevance (now Spredfast) speaking about the number of impressions that the consumer is seeing every day. Impressions are great, but are they driving the activity you are looking for?  Don’t get me wrong, this is one smart dude, and his company is doing some incredible things, but when I hear people focused on impressions I get a bit nervous.  Are impressions enough of a measurement to ensure success for your product or service?   Sometimes yes, sometimes no, but often the reality is we just aren’t sure, so is it the best metric to measure media and message effectiveness? What can you do about it?  Use video to make your messages stronger and allow viewers the ability to take action as part of the message.

More choices require a more defined message.

6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube alone. Now that Twitter, You Tube, Facebook http://bit.ly/1BXjBB5 and LinkdedIn are placing much more targeted ads in and around the messages they push, the quality and number of targeted messages are increasing exponentially.  Take these messages to the next level and drive your lead to video.  We know that when reading a message we retain about 10% of what we read, but when you watch a video you retain up to 95% of core content.

In the 90’s those of us marketing goods and services on television dreamed of the “black box”. This was going to be paradise; every consumer would have box top device that allowed them to swipe their credit card and purchase the clothes that Jennifer Aniston was wearing in this week’s episode of Friends.  I knew several companies that were working on it, and in fact was involved in a test using a Desperate Housewives episode the following decade.  But due to the rapid change in technology, fragmentation of the cable and broadcast providers and a fickle consumer this dream was never realized…..or was it.

The answer is right here in front of our faces and has been for a decade now. Media has never had it so good, planners can track more information now than ever before. Since a webpage containing video is 53 times more likely to be listed on page one of Google than those without, why would you do anything else?  You wouldn’t.  In fact 76 out of 100 marketers have indicated that they are planning to add video to their sites in the near future. Add to that, that more than 30% of all online advertising spend is planned to be in online video.

Now is the time to combine the art and the science of marketing using response oriented video. Look at who is leading your category and you will find they are already doing it, and they have a distinct advantage over those that don’t.  American’s are cutting the cable cord, but they are becoming more and more receptive to digital media messages using video.

Make sure your video messages always have the four components of any good direct response advertisement; The USP, Offer, CTA and Hook and start counting the dollars (not just the impressions) that tie directly to your marketing and media spend.

Simply put, now you can put your message in front of the targeted viewer like never before. Combine with that: great content USP (Unique Selling Proposition), with a strong CTA (Call to Action) and with a timely and relevant offer wrapped in strong creative that resonates with the USP and Offer, you have the perfect recipe for a solid return on your marketing dollars.

I call this blend of art and science in direct response video, The Science of Cha-Ching! Hokey but you will remember it, and more importantly it works. If you want to know more about this tried and true method of putting together effective television and digital video messaging check out this executive primer for The Science of Cha-Ching at http://bit.ly/10VPWga  It has worked for some of the largest brands in the world, and it has helped creative and bold entrepreneurial brands grow at a Gazelle’s pace.