Why You Should Question Most Video Marketing Stats You See

Why You Should Question Most Video Marketing Stats You See

Why You Should Question Most Video Marketing Stats You See. It can add weight to an argument or back up the proposed benefits of a business. But the internet has made it too easy to quote numbers that don’t add up. At a time when many people think facts are fluid, I decided to evaluate some video marketing statistics reverberating around the media industry that everyone likes to pass off as truth. Here’s one you may have read over the years: One minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. That claim, attributed to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, gets cited by marketers all over the globe. Yet, none of them seem to link to the original source. I don’t believe deception was the original intention, but I do think this type of stat speaks to the way marketers hunt for any information that makes them look good without properly vetting it first. It appears that somewhere along the line, a video marketer latched onto this snippet, took it out of context, produced a press release, and watched it spread like wildfire. Look at the detail contained within this graph: The age range, study, and publication date are all referenced, making it easy to verify each statement and use this information with confidence.

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We all know the value of a good stat. It can add weight to an argument or back up the proposed benefits of a business. But the internet has made it too easy to quote numbers that don’t add up. At a time when many people think facts are fluid, I decided to evaluate some video marketing statistics reverberating around the media industry that everyone likes to pass off as truth.

Here’s one you may have read over the years: One minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. That claim, attributed to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, gets cited by marketers all over the globe. A Google search on the topic returns an ocean of articles, listicles, and infographics, all proudly pointing toward this fantastical figure highlighting the power of video marketing. Yet, none of them seem to link to the original source.

It turns out that this grandiose statement is nothing more than an elaborate idiom. The genesis can be boiled down to a century-old saying and some quick calculations:

If a picture is worth a thousand words, and a video plays at 30 frames per second, and there are 60 seconds in a minute, then 1,000 x 30 x 60 = 1,800,000.

When this curious math gets misrepresented as a scientific data point, it’s no wonder that video agencies fervently shout it from the rooftops to embolden their cause. “Look, here’s legitimate research that supports our business model. Why use your budget on blogging when we can help you create that video?

I’ve been told that the statement originates from a 2008 Forrester report titled “How Video Will Take Over The World,” but the full text is behind a paywall. Nevertheless, given the nature of the study and caliber of Forrester, it’s safe to assume that the 1.8 million figure was meant figuratively—a playful extension of the cliche we all heard growing…

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