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NetMarketing Breakfast speakers spotlight video

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Chicago—Reflecting the embrace of online video by b-to-b marketers, all three speakers at BtoB’s NetMarketing Breakfast today spoke about how they are using video as a part of their strategy.

“[Marketing] is coming back to personality and live education,” said Al Maag, chief communications officer at technology distributor Avnet Inc. Two months ago, the company launched a video portal, Avnet OnDemand (www.avnetondemand.com), showcasing videos from some of its 300 equipment suppliers, which subsidize the platform by paying $500 for each 30 minutes of video.

The portal, which Maag said was the first in the industry, differs from YouTube in its ability to give marketers more detailed information about viewers. Viewers can also click links for more information or to buy products.

Optimistic about the video portal’s potential, Maag said he plans to “act like a publisher” and try a variety of video formats, including, perhaps, a live QVC-type show.

Another marketer using video is global insurance broker Aon. Angela Sanders, director of U.S. marketing operations at Aon Risk Services, said the company has accelerated its video initiatives after experiencing a 40% decline in attendance at a recent trade show.

Aon has used video to develop an online library of client testimonials called the Client Focus Series. A measure of the success of the program is that customers are now approaching Aon asking to be featured in testimonials, Sanders said.

The morning’s third panelist, Lisel Cherry, associate director of marketing services at futures and options exchange CME Group, said that company uses video for educational webinars. Cherry stressed the importance of consistency across all channels to convey the right message.

“If you don’t hit me with the same message over different channels, I’m not going to get what you’re trying to say,” she said.

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