“They’re the hardest people in the world to cold-call,” one frustrated marketing manager for a technology company told us not so long ago; “you can’t get through all the barriers that stand in the way of real decision makers – they just don’t want to talk to you. But it’s your job to get through to them, so how do you do it?”

That’s the age-old problem all marketing professionals have and there’s a new way of breaching the defences of C-level executives – personalised videos.

We tell clients that it’s actually the oldest trick in the book; get your face and voice on a screen in front of an important person... and use their name, and you’ve got their attention. But, surely, they tell me, that’s impractical. How do you create enough videos to cover a whole market?

It can be hard work, but in a targeted campaign that could yield a lot of value, it’s worth the effort.

Is this micro-marketing gone mad? Maybe, but companies like Kronos and Living Time have decided to try a little madness, and it seems to be working. “We really struggle to get through using tele- marketing to senior level execs,” says Kate Burge of Kronos, “but by sending a personalised video on a memory stick, we can by-pass some gatekeepers in a simple and effective way.”

The idea is simple.

We shoot a short video, make it look good and then attach a brief, personalised message at either end of it, and edit it so that it looks like one seamless whole. “The executive doesn’t know you’ve made a couple of hundred other videos, all he sees and hears is his own name” says Stuart Wilson of Living Time. “We scripted a strong message about our company, then made it relevant to each person and then did the opening and closing lines 215 times, addressing the person we were targeting AND their company by name.”

The response to our productions for Kronos and Living Time has been stunning: “We’ve got appointments we never thought we’d get,” says Kate Burge. “It got us face-to-face appointments with more than 80% of the CEOs/MDs we targeted,'' Stuart Wilson adds.

The videos were scripted, and then we shot and edited them. Once they were done they were loaded onto individualised USB memory sticks. When the sticks were inserted in a PC, a personalised interface popped up, inviting the intended recipient to watch their video. Our application enabled other videos, web links, and associated PDFs to be added to the stick. Giving our customers the freedom to tailor each message proved another hit.

They were sent direct to the target audience. Intrigued, the executives loaded the video and watched as they were addressed directly on screens as if the video had been made exclusively for them.

In our mind it’s a simple idea, but it’s important to understand that it takes careful thought to make it work. It’s a careful balance though of production value and quality... it mustn’t look too over produced. You would never go into your first meeting with a huge fanfare of music and glossy graphics!

This is the ultimate calling card – it speaks!

At SugarSnap we encourage our clients to think of video in a different way, and to take the medium into uncharted territory: Often you’re using tried and tested techniques but in new environments and contexts. The point is to be innovative and exciting so that the audience notice and remember you. It seems to be working for our clients.

If you would like to know more about our approach or our ideas and how they can help to make a difference in your business please get in touch.