All in all, a day's work. We are witnessing a moment in video marketing history, like moments experienced across other industries disrupted by the digital revolution, where human editors are becoming obsolete. At my agency, Cimaglia Productions, we're working with data to incorporate viewer statistics with video production to create exactly the reality I've described above. Personalization is the way of the future, but, unfortunately, most companies simply don't know what to do with their stores of customer data. In a recent article, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President at Riverbed Technology Subbu Iyer compared the future of connective networks to Google Maps: The future will see companies finding the best route to deliver their products to their end users. We're customizing the way people discover new products. While working with a multinational ad agency earlier this year, I informed them of this impending reality. At that time, they were still shooting and editing in analog. No company is. Now, more than 20 years later, the world is only more complicated, and marketers have even less time to craft and make their statements.
We are witnessing a moment in video marketing history where human editors are becoming obsolete.
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Imagine you’re a video editor in 2019. You’re handed a script and given thousands of shots to craft a 10-second pre-roll ad, promoted on social media to viewers with specific interests and viewing habits, living across North America and Europe. You crack your knuckles and get to work: You sift through hours of footage, you slice the whole thing together, you bundle it up and send it out. All in all, a day’s work.
The client approves it the next day, uploads it onto various social channels and suddenly millions of people are watching it across the western hemisphere, responding in different ways. Most drop off within the first three seconds. A data team nods along at the analytics streaming in, deliberating whether it’s worthwhile to reshoot and recut another video to minimize moments where the viewing masses drop off, optimizing those sacred few seconds your audience is actually watching.
Meanwhile, somewhere in another office, in that same year, a different team is creating a different digital video. Except they’re not shooting a single video: They’re shooting multiple iterations of it. In one, the actor changes shirts. In another, the actor is an actress. In another, the actress is African-American.
After finishing the shoot, this agency doesn’t pass the footage off to a video editor. They pass it off to an algorithm.
The algorithm can cut a different video ad in milliseconds. Instead of taking one day to edit one video, it could compile hundreds of videos, each slightly different and tailored to specific viewers based on their user data. Then, as the video analytics flows in, the algorithm can edit the video in real-time, too — instead of waiting a week to analyze and act on viewer behavior, the algorithm can perform instantaneous A/B tests, optimizing the company’s investment in a day.
This isn’t science fiction — this is happening right now. We are witnessing a moment in video marketing history, like moments experienced across other industries disrupted by the digital revolution, where human editors are becoming obsolete. This is the next step in personalized advertising, tailoring content to individuals rather than the masses. Savvy agencies are turning to artificial intelligence for help making those new, specialized creative decisions. It’s the same logic that’s long overtaken programmatic banner and search advertising, machine learning and chatbots: There are some things computers can do faster, cheaper and more accurately than humans.
At my agency, Cimaglia Productions, we’re working with data to incorporate viewer statistics with video production to create exactly the reality I’ve described above. By the 2020s, I expect to rely on a fraction of the editors I’ve worked with since starting my company in 2002. The duality of an agile company is exactly that: accomplishing more with less, reducing overhead and maximizing efficiency. You can’t hold up an older version of your company simply because it is, as too many corporate executives bemoan, “the way we’ve always done things.” Agility means adaptation.
In this future of data-driven dynamic content, viewers’ information is siphoned to AI that determines aspects of the video based on their data. Women may see their version of the video ad star a woman, for example. It may sound like Big Brother is watching you, but this model works with customer data that’s already available. Plus, as a video producer, I wouldn’t be…