The great digital shift didn’t start in March. Though the world before then seems hard to remember, consumers were already in the process of shifting shopping habits toward digital before then, while workers were already leveraging the digital world to work from home. Cash was already on the decline, and digital banking was already on the rise.
But as Guy Atzmon, senior vice president of product and creative at SundaySky, told PYMNTS in a recent discussion, COVID-19 rapidly accelerated that digital shift — pushing a host of holdout customers who had been slow to start making the change jumping into the great digital shift head first.
“In some ways, the audiences that might’ve been a bit more reluctant to transform to digital before the pandemic are now catching up to younger demographics [and] maybe more sophisticated demographics,” Atzmon said. “Those reluctant groups are now jumping on the bandwagon as well and adopting these digital behaviors.”
That influx of users new to digital paths and processes has created pressure in the market for brands to leverage video content. After all, Atzmon said that video content done correctly is demonstrably more effective than just slipping some text in front of the customer.
He said it’s not just about showing the customer something, but about showing them the thing they need to make a transaction, understand a product or service or access the help they require. SundaySky focuses on doing just that by helping firms leverage data to better target video content to consumers.
Personalization Is Key
But Atzmon said that to really work, video can’t just be curated from the outside. It actually works best when it’s tailored toward personalization. He said properly leveraged video will both boost a brand’s reputation and stickiness, as well as demonstrably add to revenue.
Atzmon said content of any kind is only as good as it is relevant to its viewers. He said that’s why the first critical step in curating video properly is making sure it’s properly targeted to the consumer meant to watch it.
But that’s just a starting point. Beyond conveying a message that’s relevant to what consumers need to see at that point in time, video content is also best when it’s so personalized that it speaks directly to them — in some cases, literally.
Atzmon said well-designed videos can include an individual consumer’s name, account status, rewards, etc. “We [can] use data within the video itself to help even further explain things — like their bill, their statement, their benefits — that can actually give examples from their real life,” he said.
“Offering up information with personalized examples really helps drive the point home and creates a much better context for information to the viewer,” Atzmon said.
Moreover, such personalization allows video to capitalize on one of its primary advantages when compared to text or even photos. Atzmon said viewing it tends to create a stronger, durable emotional reaction in consumers, who respond more fully to moving images.
He said it’s a much more humanized approach to conveying information — and one most likely to hold a consumer’s interest over time. And Atzmon said it’s also going to be a much more necessary approach to reach customers going forward, as digitization is likely to remain even after the pandemic ends.
The Digital Future
Some things will go back to the way they were when COVID-19 goes away. Some services are complex enough and certain purchases require enough discussion that consumers will rightfully drift back to performing them in person.
But Atzmon said lots of what consumers did before won’t ever return to the way it was. After all, many consumers have learned that it’s more convenient to have groceries delivered or conduct 80 to 90 percent of their banking transactions online or via mobile.
And once they’ve tried something new and learned it’s better than the old way of doing it, odds are that consumers won’t go back to their former methods out of nostalgia. Atzmon said that’s why video is becoming an increasingly critical channel way to reach consumers.
It’s a story best told in the numbers. When banking customers see videos about card products that better explain the features, card spending ticks up on average by 30 percent, he said.
And when potential customers watch videos, they’re 15 percent more likely to actually open new banking accounts. Or consider the fact that when a customer watches a video during the shopping process, the person tends to complete the purchase 70 percent to 80 percent of the time.
And perhaps more critically, video done well boosts brand loyalty, Atzmon said. He added that in a world that’s re-forming around newly forged digital channels, finding ways to keep consumers coming back is going to be an incredibly important new core competency.
“When you’ve got a video and it says [the customer’s] name, it speaks to you,” Atzmon said. “It really gives that human connection and that brand affinity. It shows that the brand cares about the viewer and they’re connected to them.”