Tag Archives: leadership

Company Culture As A Sales Tool

Posted on December 18th, 2012 | Leave a Comment

EntreLeadership-PodcastI was recently listening to Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership podcast about his no gossip policy, and it really hit home for me.

The discussion turned to company culture with podcast moderator Chris LoCurto interviewing best-selling author Jon Gordon. Not only have I worked in worked in good and bad cultures, I’ve also seen how a company can leverage its culture as a sales tool.

Case Study

Electri-Flex is a suburban Chicago-based company that specializes in producing electrical conduit. The leadership and employees there are passionate about their product, but maybe even more so about their culture.

We produced their company video. They wanted something their sales team could carry with them to show prospects what they’re all about, and culture is the focus of the video.

My initial reaction to their pitch was skepticism. Then they started telling me how important their culture is to sales. It’s a family business. They treat their employees like family, so the employees treat customers like family.

Everyone has bought in, and it fuels the entire company.

It has been a while since we produced that video. Since then, I’ve pitched the idea of featuring company culture to a few other prospects, but nobody has been willing to bite. I wonder why more business leaders aren’t willing to put their culture front and center for customers to see?

Maybe it’s because they need some work on that end of their company.

–Tony Gnau

It’s Not You, It’s Not Me… It’s Them

Posted on June 4th, 2012 | Leave a Comment

Here’s one of the big problems that plague clients and their video producers… competing visions.

The client envisions the video going one way, the producer sees it in different light, and they end up getting on each other’s nerves. Who’s right? Neither.

See… it’s not about you. It’s about the audience.

Video is a tough thing because it’s art that serves a business purpose. In other words, it’s a completely subjective medium that’s carrying a corporate message. The client wants to control that message, the video producer is usually more interested in the story that’s delivering the content.

The trick is for neither party to get so wrapped-up in what they’re doing that they lose sight of the most important piece of the equation. The audience should dictate which direction the video goes… not the client… not the producer.

Whenever there’s competing visions, someone better step-up and ask what’s most important to the audience. They’re the ones you need to consider. After all, it’s their video… not yours.

–Tony Gnau

Another Way To Serve Clients

Posted on March 19th, 2012 | Leave a Comment

I did something last week that a lot of people might think is a bit crazy. While bidding on a project, I also recommended a competitor.

The project in question is not the typical video we produce, as a matter of fact I wasn’t sure it was even something we wanted to do. After talking about it a bit, we decided it would be fun so we gave the client a quote.

She thanked us and basically told us she’s shopping around and would let us know. Once I found that out, I recommended she get in touch with a competitor I e-met through a business acquaintance.

The reason is simple. I want her to find the right person for the project. If that’s T60, great! If it’s someone else, that’s fine too. We just want to be a service.

The person we recommended specializes in the type of video the client would like to do. We might not get this particular job, but if we can still provide a service, i.e. a good recommendation, then I’m confident we’ll here from this client again.

Sometimes things that are bad for the bottom line in the short-term end up being a boom in the long run.

–Tony Gnau


Proving PR/Marketing Videos ROI

Posted on March 8th, 2012 | Leave a Comment

I still speak with business owners who question whether or not it’s “worth” producing videos.

When I tell them, yes, they often want proof. Some sort of statistic that will shown return on investment. Truth is… I haven’t found good data on that subject. There are tons of stats on people being more likely to watch an online video as opposed to reading online text, but I’ve never seen anything on ROI.

That doesn’t, however, mean that I don’t have proof. Here’s my answer for them. Go to YouTube, then type in a major corporation you admire and see what turns up.

Chances are that company is producing videos. They’re investing time, effort and dollars in… producing videos. They’re devoting creative energy to… producing videos. Big companies that calculate ROI for just about everything they do are… producing videos.

Why? Because people watch them. Because every time they create a video and post it online it’s an opportunity to highlight their company… their brand.

How’s that for proof?

–Tony Gnau

PR/Marketing Videos That Serve Your Team

Posted on November 3rd, 2011 | Leave a Comment

We all know videos can serve multiple marketing purposes. Social media, email campaigns, live events… the list goes on and on.

How about internal morale booster? That’s right, the same videos used to cultivate relationships with clients and prospects can have a tremendous impact on your own team.

The way you do it is to include your team members in the videos themselves. In some cases, you can even highlight them and the good job they’re doing (see an example).

Have you ever given someone a pat on the back? I’ve been reading a lot lately about leadership, and encouragement seems to be a recurring theme. Think about how it’ll make your team feel to see themselves and their co-workers in the videos their company uses to help earn new business.

It’ll make them feel appreciated. It’ll make them feel like they’re a part of something. It’ll make them feel like stars.

–Tony Gnau

Win Forever, Marketing Success

Posted on July 27th, 2011 | Leave a Comment

I’m a big Pete Carroll fan, as a coach and as a motivator. I’ve been fortunate to have met him and you can’t help but walk away from the experience feeling good.

He’s a forward thinking guy, so it should come as no surprise he’s onboard the social media train and that includes using video. It’s a big part of his Win Forever series, and I love what his team did with this “About Us” video.

If you’ve read this blog before, you know I’m big on keeping web videos short. The Win Forever video isn’t short. It’s over 7-minutes long… pushing 8-minutes.

The reason why it works is thanks to a smart little trick. They break it into two segments. The first 1:20 is a basic introduction video. If you stop watching at that point, you at least got their core message. If you continue watching the next 6:00+, you get an extended look at the program.

Doing this satisfies the casual viewer, as well as the person who’s especially interested.

Great idea! How great? Don’t be surprised if you see some future T60 videos done this way.

–Tony Gnau

Going Beyond “About Us” PR Videos

Posted on July 20th, 2011 | Leave a Comment

I attended an interesting PRSA Chicago luncheon yesterday. Author John Leavy talked about some of the ideas behind his book Outcome-Based Marketing, and a lot of what he touched on really got me thinking.

I know I’ve written before about businesses pushing their video boundaries. Going beyond the “About Us” video and producing videos that will really appeal to clients, but now I’m more convinced than ever.

If you’re a business leader, act like one. Lead the conversation. Use well-produced videos to tell stories about the issues facing your industry.

Don’t worry so much about promoting yourself. Your expertise will speak for itself. When people view you as an expert in your field, their business will follow.

Any good examples out there?

–Tony Gnau

Don’t Hold Back Content

Posted on May 4th, 2011 | Leave a Comment

I’m not a big fan of “under-promise, over-deliver.” Obviously, I don’t advocate the opposite, but under-promising to me seems like you’re holding back something from your client from the get-go. It feels little dishonest.

If you know in advance you’re going to deliver something to a client, lay it all out on the line from the beginning. Then once you’ve started, if you come across ways to give them additional value-added service, go for it.

Over-deliver… just don’t under-promise.

–Tony Gnau

Prep, Just Don’t Prepare

Posted on March 31st, 2011 | Leave a Comment

I love PR and marketing types because typically I don’t have to sell them on why video is a terrific marketing tool. They get it. The only tip I usually pass along to them is how to prep their clients and not to prepare them.

I know, isn’t “prep” just short for “prepare?” Exactly. It’s a big help when the PR or marketing person has prepped the client before the project begins… giving them an idea of what the production crew will need, how long the shoot will take, stuff like that.

On the other hand, you don’t want to prepare them. Don’t give them a list of questions that might be asked, don’t give them talking points, don’t prepare them for being interviewed.

Those are great things to do when getting ready for an interview with the media, not a video production the client is paying for. You don’t have any control over the message the media puts out, so better to be prepared. Not the case with us.

As video producers, it’s our job to make the client look and sound good, and the best way to do that is when you get authentic answers. Remember, we’re working for you and the client. If they make a mistake or don’t say something the right way, we just won’t use that sound bite.

Clients who prepare for an interview sound that way. Clients who have simple been prepped sound much more genuine.

–Tony Gnau

Delivering On Promises

Posted on March 29th, 2011 | Leave a Comment

A client had a last-minute request yesterday for some DVDs and I was happy to be able to accommodate them. I also promised to deliver them myself. A promise made and a promise kept at about 8:20 a.m. this morning.

Pat on the back… nice job Tony… thank you T60. If you’re a hard worker and want satisfied customers, this is pretty standard stuff, nothing noteworthy. Believe it or not you deserve that pat on the back because that’s not always how it works.

I got a reminder on the way home while waiting at the Clark & State “L” stop. Looking for my train I spotted at flat screen monitor operated by the Chicago Transit Authority. Various ads were running, the time, weather, and then something that caught my attention… a graphic that said, “CTA Train Tracker.”

Standing there in the cold I anxiously awaited to see how long it would be until my train arrived, only the information never followed. The CTA announced they have a train tracker, but that’s it. Frustrating.

About 10-minutes later my train showed up and I was on my way, but it really made me appreciate people who deliver on promises. If that’s you, this is your pat on the back.

–Tony Gnau