Archive for the ‘video advertising’ Tag

Jean Maurice Touboul Makes Video Watchers Click-Happy – Interview


The following is an interview that I had with Kevin Wallach for Performance Marketing. This interview was published on August 22.

Performance marketing is all about change. While today’s buzz may be mostly about mobile marketing, tomorrow’s hot topic could easily be video. According to Borrell & Associates, “Online video spending is forecasted to account for more than 1/3rd of all online advertising in 5 years.” For marketing professionals 1/3rd of any overall advertising budget is a big number. So when I caught up with an old colleague, Jean Maurice Touboul whose company EnContext had broken into video marketing in a big way I had a lot to ask him.

Jean, first can you tell me a bit about your professional background leading up to this current venture?

I’ve come from a background of entertainment having gone to film school, working on a dozen or so film projects and with Disney in distribution. This is where I started using what we called New Media, video solutions in an industry where celluloid was it! Eventually the Internet started to take shape and I always had the feeling that media such as film and video were a natural for the Internet making it possible for anyone almost anywhere to be connected in some way and enjoy similar programs and with them feelings, desire, attractions. Today the technology has advanced so much and it is so accessible that this convergence is no longer limited by technical issue. Images, the Internet are all entwined into this new media that we watch and enjoy every day using all kinds of devices.

What was it like working at a media giant like Disney?

Disney is a household name in the US and throughout the world, and probably more so in countries like Japan or Taiwan and China so opening distribution for Disney in Asia was a blast. We were received like liberators arriving in an occupied country. Europe was much more challenging but overall working at Disney was like a dream and to some extent it was a dream since we were pushing the concept of a mouse that was entertaining, teaching, showing, goofing around.

How did the work you did at companies like Disney and Commission Junction help lead to the creation of your current project EnContext?

EnContext is a direct result of my experience at Disney and CJ or World Avenue for that matter, combining the ultimate form of entertainment, moving pictures, with the Internet and ultimately lead generation as well as the incredible power of knowledge that the Net can provide. Watching films and videos all day long and viewing things that actors wore or were using or places that I was attracted to made me wonder why I could not simply click on the image and get these items or information on what I saw. Quite a few years later, the result in EnContext.

Can you explain a bit more about what EnContext does for advertisers and marketers?

EnContext enables viewers watching videos to click on almost anything that is seen on a frame and be connected to a web page where information on that item is available and a purchase can be completed. The system uses geo-targeting and optimization to deliver the right web page to the viewer wherever this person may be. This in itself is a great advantage for advertisers. However what this technology does is to turn video, a passive media that we watch for information or enjoyment purposes, into what I call a pro-active media that invites people to know more about what they are watching or getting something that they see and like.

As a lead generator I’m always inclined to look at something from the perspective of my own business. In terms of B2C lead generation can you elaborate on how your company can help?

Videos like ads can be used (and to some extent are already used) to generate leads, however they typically contain only one link to an advertiser’s website. EnContext enables us to put as many links as we want in a video, so you can imagine a typical city scene with someone walking in front of a store while a car is driving by. We can link most everything this person wears such hat, shoes, suit, watch and so on as well as add a link for the store (let say Macy’s) and the car (Audi for the sake of example). The videographer or film maker can make deals with any advertisers that fits the bill for what the on-screen person is wearing as well as make a deal with Macy’s and Audi. Leads can then be paid by one of these entities when an action at their site is recorded. EnContext enables all this to happen from the encoding to the tracking and recording of clicks as well as action on the advertiser’s “action” page.

Do you serve mobile advertisers and marketers as well? Are online and mobile the same as far as your technology is concerned? If there are differences can you explain them briefly please?

EnContext is compatible with most Smart Phones and Tablets. As far as the technology is concerned there are no differences. However there are obvious limitations in terms of screen size with Smart Phones. This being said, Smart phones and tablets offer a new level of targeting that is unique since their geo-location can be better defined than simply relying on IP address. As a result, I believe that there is tremendous potential in that space for EnContext.

How well does your technology work in terms of creating sales? Is it typical that a visitor to a video makes a decision to purchase at a later time?

We are testing various solutions to enhance sales on video that are encoded with EnContext. For example realizing that not everyone would click on something when they see it, we are implementing an option to review/replay specific sequence of a video that features items that were offered but that may have been missed by the viewer.
Major video content owners like Disney seem like obvious fits for your technology but what about the smaller, viral video producers out there on YouTube and other video sharing sites?

Do you think your technology will spur the entry of people into affiliate marketing who previously had no experience with it for example?

Actually I believe that this technology can help the smaller and what you call viral producer much more than large conglomerates like Disney since it would provide 1) more depth to any program that wants to carry a message by linking the video to web sites that are relevant and contain information that complement the video. As importantly and 2) it could help independent producers who struggle with distribution and, indirectly, generating returns the opportunity to create revenue streams that could last for a long time. As a matter of fact they could also use this technology to enhance the SEO of some sites since it would be yet another way to attract traffic and links.

As far as providing this technology for entry-level affiliates, this is precisely what we are working on for the next generation of EnContext Advertising. The technology is already in place but we have to finalize the offering to users and how far we want to go as far as connecting affiliates’ videos to affiliate networks.

You’ve made a great case for advertisers to use your technology but what other uses do you see for it outside of the marketing world?

I really believe that EnContext is an ideal solution for enhancing educational programs. We have a perfect example on our website of an educational program explaining the discovery of the Atomic Nucleus that we linked to a many websites. Each website enhances the video by enabling the user to know more about the scientists that discovered the Atomic Nucleus and their work. The current research on Atomic decay and related research at the super accelerator at CERN in Switzerland, and so on. The possibilities are endless and could truly take video learning at a new level.

Seems like social media such as Facebook could really make use of your technology. I can imagine a Facebook user uploading a video of a wedding for example and tagging friends in the video. Any chance we’ll see big news in the future involving your company and one of the big social media players?

Absolutely, this is something that we see as well as that we are working to implement whereby someone could tag friends, items, things to get or send, etc.

If you had to name one thing that has been your biggest inspiration as an entrepreneur what would it be?

That may sound predictable but my biggest inspiration comes from my experience at CJ as a model for working as a team focused on being the best and with a very clear purpose. I also inspire myself from Google as a model for vision and quality before profits, something that I believe is paramount to any company’s success.

How can you be reached if readers have additional questions?

I’d love to hear from anyone who has a question or comment and can be reached via email at jeantouboul@encontextadvertising.com or by phone at 415-670-9397 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            415-670-9397      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

You can also find out more about EnContext here.

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Video essentials: A 5-minute tutorial


(From iMedia)

To say things are changing is an understatement. Morgan Stanley (2010) recently reported in a study that there are now more social network users than email users. An even more profound and sobering fact is that 80% of business buyers today say that they found their vendors as opposed to vendors finding them. If you are a Chief Sales Officer, when was the last time you checked how often your sales teams are making contact with potential buyers? You might be surprise that most often, outbound calls are going directly into voice mail. Don’t worry, you are in good company as 85% of business phone calls go into voice mail and are never returned.

What is happening? For starters, businesses using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networking platforms are expected to grow at a rate of 20%-30% this year and even at a greater rate next year (CIO Insight, 2010). The Fortune 500 is jumping on board with nearly 70% actively pursuing social networking as a business benefit for their buyers (McKinsey, 2009). Marketing, as we know it today, will see its’ percent of activities devoted to social marketing increase past 50% over the next two years. What we are seeing is the rising importance of social marketing and social selling. The definitions as well as trajectory of social marketing and social selling are still in a progressive state however to ignore them can put your company in peril.

While the Fortune 500 may have started actively pursuing social networking technologies, we are still left to wonder how actively the Fortune 500 and other businesses are adjusting their views of buyers. These views of buyers ultimately affect the ability to plan. If your views of buyers have gone unchanged over the past few years and are still in the framework of buyers in companies making decisions via meetings internally with sales representatives, then most certainly this needs adjusting. More than likely, these views put your marketing and selling strategies in the framework of being highly dependent upon outbound activities that are intent on finding buyers. And almost by default, leadership’s role is left to constantly exhorting the troops to try harder, to push harder, and to find ways to make contact.

In terms of how an organization conducts strategic planning, it may be time for some revisions on how to plan for acquiring and retaining buyers. If your planning is not taking into account changing behaviors of buyers, then the organization will be in misstep with its buyers. Planning today should include a significant component devoted to understanding your social buyer persona and understanding the implications they may have on your business strategy and structure. There should also be a healthy realization that knowledge of buyers may be not up to date. Insight into the social buyer persona is even more important if your targeted segment happens to be one of those adopting social technologies at a fast rate.

An organization also must take care to putting themselves in a contradictory position. What do I mean? For many organizations, they rely on the sales force’s knowledge of buyers and then plan around that knowledge gleamed from call reports and sales automation systems. However, trending information clearly points to the fact that sales reps are having a hard time making contact with buyers and don’t get involved until much later in the buying cycle. Therefore, if planning is done solely on the input of sales knowledge, then this knowledge is certainly limited for there is a significant non-involvement factor in the buying cycle. I find it a contradiction when I hear an organization claim to know its buyers yet has a heavy reliance on field sales and little inbound and social marketing tactics in place.

In today’s social age, organizations that will put themselves on an evolutionary path that puts them in alignment with their new social buyer persona will have the best chance of succeeding in the future. I’m afraid that the “future” is much nearer then we think at the moment. This will require a shift in how a company goes about planning around its buyers. It starts with a dedicated commitment to understand exactly who their social buyer personas are and devoting strategy planning to this understanding.

For many companies today, it requires a shift in thinking of social networking technologies in terms of something that social buyers do to accepting the realization that it know defines who they are. If an organization doesn’t begin to put planning into place for their defined social buyer personas soon, when they eventually do – it may be too late.

To read the June Newsletter: Click Here

Volkswagen Launches New GTI With iPhone App


(Source: Digital Buzz) – Volkswagen have just launched one of the boldest digital campaigns of any car brand in recent times. And by bold I mean they not only launched it solely as a digital campaign – no TVC’s – no press – no radio – they launched it only to the iPhone, as a customised GTI racing game app.

So the launch of their flagship car rests on the games viral potential and the competition to accompany it! Just get the app and register to play, you’ll automatically go in the draw to win one of 6 new GTI’s in the next 6 weeks… And if you play every day, you’ll get bonus entries into the competition to boost your chances of winning.
It’s a risky strategy – they’ve simply licensed the app called “Real Racing” from Aussie developer Firemint (same guys who built flight control) that’s already been a hit on the iPhone for 6 months now, but have customised the game with complete GTIness! (if that’s even a word!).

Is that good or bad? People already love that game play, but would you download a GTI version just for a competition? Some will. Some won’t.

Would you have known that Volkswagen had launched a new GTI if I didn’t post this or you didn’t read it on some marketing blog online? Probably not, because I’m sure you’re not searching for new iPhone app racing games! Which, ofcourse, leads us to their target market, perhaps they are the iPhone app “racing” gaming type… But I can’t really see that with the price they are here in Australia!!??

However, VW get huge bonus PR points for being first in I’m sure. And hopefully that, with some good seeding for the competition will generate a serious new lead list for the brand, whilst saving them the $60 million they spent on the last GTI launch in 2006!

I think it’s a great step forward for the industry, both Automotive and Advertising to be bold enough to try something so different, particularly for such an important product. Hopefully it takes off and there are some serious downloads to get in the running for those free cars!

Providing they get good download numbers, the game play and frequent brand interaction will be far more effective in the long run than a typical bust of TV ads. People who like the game will continue playing into the future even after the competition closes, VW will have the stats to track that, and that’s where the branding gold mine lays hidden.

Read the June newsletter: click here

June Newsletter featuring White Paper on Cloud Computing, Affiliate Programs, Video Essentials and much more!


In carrying out the goal of this newsletter, this month I gathered what I think are very exiting articles from a number of people and sources that are truly plugged in to the ‘Net. From the news of Facebook tagging products on images to a great article on video Essentials, I believe that there is plenty of things we can learn about our space from these sources. I’ve also decided to include White Papers that cover a great deal of topics. Those are from the likes of Adobe, Comscore and speak of Cloud Computing, 2011 Spring Outlook and much more… I hope that you’ll enjoy.

click here to read the Newsletter

Video for ‘Net Success


In this month’s newsletter: “Video for ‘Net Success – Marketing & Measurement!” Video are growing with leaps and bounds as a marketing vehicle. However, are we using them optimally? Check out EnContext Video embedded ad system as well http://www.encontextmedia.com/newsletter/may-2011/Marketing_Newsletter.html – Also check out our own solution that features ads embedded on video frames at http://www.encontextadvertising.com/marketing/about_us.html