Justin Curtis, interactive creative director, Maiden Lane

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What are the key trends you're seeing in marketers' use of online multimedia?

Curtis: An increased use of video content is definitely at the forefront of what marketers are currently focusing on. Technologies such as Rovion—which embeds live video of a person talking directly to the user—are starting to gain traction. We're also seeing expanded rich media offerings from companies such as PointRoll and Eyeblaster. I can barely remember the last time we pitched new business without including some sort of video component. I have seen some very interesting video testimonials that take an almost editorial approach to a customer's business. I believe this can be very effective for helping potential customers envision how they might use the product. This ties in very well with an aggressive push to build an online community for customers. The more a company can provide in the way of other consumers, the better.

What are some dos and don'ts for using multimedia?

Curtis: It's still very important to be sensitive to your user base. Don't assume that your target has the latest installation of Flash, QuickTime or some other, obscure full-screen video playback codec that promises to be the next big thing. If it's not easy to view your content, few users will take the time to upgrade, install or whatever else it takes to get at your content.

What can b-to-b marketers learn from b-to-c marketers?

Curtis: B-to-c marketers are very consistent in how they present their brands. Oftentimes, this is lost in the b-to-b world when a company is trying to target a specific market segment. Your brand positioning can be maintained across all media. It has become much easier to create custom skins for video content and, even if this is out of reach, content can be tightly woven into the look and feel of your site with minimal effort. Every initiative, online and offline, needs to be looked at as a logical extension of your brand.

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