The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: How Video Will Change the Face of Marketing

June 19, 2016

This special B2B Beat guest post was contributed by Ashu Garg, General Partner, Foundation Capital. His previous post outlined why this is the decade of the CMO.

One year ago, we published MarTech and the Decade of the CMO, a whitepaper written with the aim of helping marketers navigate the complex terrain that is marketing today. In the paper, we enumerated the 5 Keys to the Decade of the CMO––organizing principles to help marketers identify the technologies that are re-shaping the ways in which we do business—and how to successfully harness those technologies in the coming years.  But the landscape is changing quickly. Taking into account shifts in marketing over just the past year, I now believe the framework needs an additional component: video. That’s why I’ve just released The 6th Key––because it’s the digital video revolution that will be the next defining moment in the decade of the CMO.

Our screens today are filled to the brim with video destinations: Netflix, Hulu, Periscope, YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook Live, Twitch, Amazon, Vive, Vessel, The Screening Room—the list of new platforms goes on and on. TV isn't dead yet, but as people increasingly turn their eyes to other screens and modalities, video will engage a new generation of consumers.

For today’s teenagers, watching video on their mobile phones is the norm. Nielsen reports that the amount of time Americans 18- to 24-years-old watch traditional TV has gone down by 38% in the past five years. And in the case of Generation Z (those born in 1995 or later), 70% prefer streaming over broadcast or cable.

Of course, it's no longer just a question of when viewers watch but also how and where. The rapid proliferation of video platforms—including the emergence of virtual reality—means that brands have a host of new, more engaging ways to connect with their customers. But it also means there is a huge opportunity for startups to write the rules of this new world order.

Increasingly, consumers of all ages are engaging with content beyond linear TV. With an array of new video platforms already in place, and more sure to emerge in the coming years, marketers will need to develop scalable, personalized video content in order to reach consumers. Add to that the fact that many of these platforms will be subscription driven and ad-free; conditions are such that new, innovative brand marketing solutions are a necessity, and for forward-thinking companies, they can't come soon enough.

Here are some of the challenges ahead for CMOs and marketers in the age of video.

New Content Creation Models Needed

Before brands can fully commit to a unified video content strategy, marketers will need new tools and talent that allow them to create personalized content affordably, and at scale, across a wide range of devices. Today this feels like a long way off, as perfecting every aspect of content creation from engaging mobile experiences to captivating Instagram photography, compelling videos on LinkedIn SlideShare, and clever Snapchat streams, requires something most companies don't currently offer—expertise across spectrum of completely unique creative pursuits.

Seamless, Centralized Distribution Required

Today, each platform is a silo. Purchasing ad space for The Voice across linear TV,, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube is essentially a manual process, making it both expensive and inefficient. To ensure brands are reaching customers in different ways and continually reinforcing their brand message, solutions are needed to enable programmatic ad buying at a level of scale and real-time optimization that is not possible today.

The struggle for today's marketers is real. Planning, buying, and measuring advertising effectively across the developing silos of video content — and tying together linear, digital, OTT, and social platforms — is an immensely complex challenge and will be so for the next three to five years. The MarTech industry needs to rise to this challenge and help marketers realize their cross-screen dream. — Brett Wilson, CEO/Founder, TubeMogul 

Tracking the Path to Purchase

In order to hone their video/VR content strategy, brands will need comprehensive, cross-channel profiles of their customers. Today, this profile is largely incomplete because online consumer behavior isn’t always accessible to marketers, and offline activity isn’t tied to a unified, accurate profile of a customer. To avoid the dreaded "Big Brother" moniker, it will also be crucial that they communicate and address user concerns over privacy and data security every step of the way.


Video-focused marketing is still in its infancy—the entire industry is still emerging. But in an ideal world, with technology support for content creation, distribution, and optimization, brands will be able to develop cross-platform, data-driven video strategies that blur the line between content and advertising.

Linear TV is dying. Long live video. And for those companies willing to take the lead, the coming era offers dazzling opportunity. Download the 6th Key to unlocking the Decade of the CMO.


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Photo: Martin Voltri