I’ve been a guest on a video marketing-focused podcast recently. The interviewer asks a lot of different questions, and I’ll be sharing these interviews here and there on this blog. Let me know if you are learning from them.
INTERVIEWER: Landing big name clients for their video marketing projects, whether it be for motion graphic animation, live action, 3D animation, or even whiteboard hand drawn animation, takes luck, perseverance, and a heavy dose of “right place, right time”-itis. And so it was for LexisNexis. That was the subject of a recent episode of our new audio series:
Video Marketing Success Stories
QUESTION: In talking about video marketing, it’s nice to look at projects from the past. For today, I want to focus on projects that you’ve done for some larger name companies. Talk about what goes into securing some of those bigger fish, when you work with a bigger name and bigger budget, is there a different mindset or different creative process? Let’s talk specifically about the work you did for LexisNexis.
MAURY: I love the LexisNexis story. It’s actually one of my favorites. When this story was happening, when I tell you that a tear came to my eye here, I’m not kidding. It might’ve actually dropped to my cheek. We were doing a lot of work, you know, full explainer videos, animation. We would do little pieces of 3D animation for different customers and for different movies at that time. We had projects that were being slid into movies and trailers and things, but our name wasn’t really out there. We weren’t direct to consumer. We are white label. We couldn’t even show it and claim it as ours.
So one of our long term customers, Vigilant Solutions, got purchased by Motorola for a whole big chunk of money. We had done their full marketing suite for a long time. So somebody at Vigilant had contacted the head of marketing at LexisNexis, which is a $16 billion company with all of these divisions around the world and a really complex product. They were growing and growing by acquisitions. So I put in a phone call to the contact and I said, “I’d love to be able to work with you.” And she said, “Yeah, I liked your work. But I have to tell you, we kind of work up at a high level.” And I said, “I assure you, I promise you, we do that. But I can’t show you that work. Not without client permissions or in person (I can’t share online as per our client agreements).
So we actually ended finding a way to securely meet and share what we can do creatively and we got along nicely. A few months later, she contacted me and said there’s a big project that they’re going to be going through. They’re going to bring in all their major vendors…The Big video and design agencies they’ve been working with for years and she’s going to give us a chance at the table.
Needless to say, I was excited.
So I said, “Can we do a little bit of a discovery with you? And then we’ll come up with some pitches and some ideas and flush them out and then give them to you to present at that meeting to try to make ourselves stand out.” And she said, “I would love that because everybody walks in that door with their own favorites. But I’m not going to play favorites. One thing that I will do,” she said, “once I get everybody’s pitches in, including yours, I’m going to remove the name of who proposed what so that nobody feels like, ‘These are my guys, this is my agency I’ve used. So let me go with them no matter what the pitch is, because there’s relationships’ instead of wanting the best work, the best creativity and the most effective marketing message.
So I did a quick pitch over the phone and then handed our full proposal to her. This was on a Friday and I was very proud of what we had created. She said, “The meeting’s on Monday at noon, and I’ll call you afterwards and let you know how it went.” Here’s the phone call that I got. She called up and she said, “I just left the meeting and I said,
So on Monday, I’m pretty anxious and nervous. I mean, at this time, in the career of Rip Media Group, we hadn’t been at a table this big yet. This was our first big project. If we could win this, and even if we came in second or third, that would mean so much.
So she said, “Here’s how the meeting went. I took everybody’s names off the proposals and the pitches so there were no pre-conceived favorites. There was one very clear winner. Everybody loved the concept universally. They loved the concept, they loved the designs. And then there was a, a number two that was really close and then the drop down to number three was a pretty steep drop.” And she said, “Would you like to know who the winner was?” I said, “Of course I’d love to know.” And I also wanted to get number two because honestly I thought maybe we’re just number two and we were close. She said, “Well number one was you – your team – and we’re going to be working with you.” And that’s when the tear dropped. I mean, when you kind of fight and start your own company in a whole new industry from where I was to being the head of Rip Media Group, and now I was close to being in business with LexisNexis. So it was amazing. It was so validating. I said, “Well who was number two?” She said, “That was your second pitch.” The third was their long entrenched vendor. So they went with us and then she said, “The second idea was fantastic. We’d love to roll that out beginning of next year. But as far as the first pitch and the first project we have to start because our train is coming fast.” And so we jumped on board and it was our first full blown 3D animation motion graphics mixing with live action production.
QUESTION: Talk about the things that changed from that initial pitch to what the ultimate concept became.
MAURY: The client contact, in this case, was very creative. She’s one of those great clients to work with because she gives very clear notes. A lot of customers will say, “I’m not sure I like that, but I don’t know what I want it to be.” In this case, she had very clear and defined notes. The tips that we put out there was let’s create this as if it’s a show open, like a really sexy TV show. Like we’re moving into a high tech CSI, that kind of a thing. But not with all the live action. Let’s make this a super cool opening sequence of something like the Avengers, like a Marvel movie. So they went for that. We put a timeline together for what would happen at various intervals for up to 70 seconds or so. This would be playing not only at trade shows but on their website. Their CEO would be introduced with this for his keynote speech. What we pitched was very much what we produced. So they really loved the idea. The cool thing was we got to enhance it a little bit as we were moving forward.
She said, “We love everything.” And I said, “I’ve got an idea. I don’t know if this is crazy, but we could mix this in as well.” And she said, “I love it. Can we do it in a timeline?” I said, “We’re going to come in over the weekend and we’re going to make it happen.” And that was a live action sequence that we mixed in. So that was really fantastic. It was very much like what we had proposed but only enhanced based on the customer notes. A lot of times, what you pitch changes drastically. In this case, she really gave us a lot of creative juice and not just on that project, but she came through on the promise. And because we delivered that, she came through with not only more projects with her but with other divisions in the company. We ended up doing multiple projects with them, some innovation animation, some live action, some 3D. So it was really a wonderful, wonderful partnership. And it still is. A lot of the people that were part of that team are now in bigger, better positions with other companies, and they’re calling us and saying, “Hey, we still would like to work with you even though I’m here at this company.” It’s really been amazing.
So one takeaway for your listeners, if you’re a company that does video marketing or you’re a client of a video marketer, is you want to have or be a client is to provide as much information as you can from clients as possible. Rather than just a general note, ask them to come to the table with their own ideas.
So for those companies out there looking for video marketing help: have something in mind and be proactive in your notes.
If you have any questions or need any help with your video marketing, be sure to contact Rip Media Group today.