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By Randy Mitchell In the early days of filmmaking, an acronym was born that has come to represent the new standard for making B2B videos.   Hollywood legend claims that a prominent German director wanted to shoot certain scenes without any audio. He kept barking out, “Mit out sound!” to his puzzled crew. The frustrated camera assistant struggled to translate the command, until he finally gave in and wrote the abbreviation “MOS” on the slate. The cameras rolled without sound, and the term has become part of the production vocabulary ever since.   MOS has also come to define the most common video viewing experience. Today, up to 92% of social media videos are played

By Randy Mitchell   “I hate social because my customers hate social. They’re engineers. They deal in facts, not fluff.” - Industrial Product Director   “Social media is a popularity contest. We don’t need likes. We need leads.” - Entertainment Services Company Owner   “Our products are SaaS. That’s a big investment. We sell to the C-Suite and they are not on Twitter.” - Technology Marketing Manager   “Social is for branding. Social is for buzz. Social is not for B2B.” - Food Ingredients Regional Sales Director   Sound familiar?   If you believe social media is a waste for your B2B marketing mix, you’re not alone. Many B2B decision makers are devout social haters because they think it’s not substantial, serious and it doesn’t drive

By Randy Mitchell   Editor’s note: This is the first article in an occasional series covering the turbulent world of social media for businesses. We’re calling this series The Social Sandbox. This time we dig in to the shifting perceptions of LinkedIn.   The vitriol is pulsating from the comments. A highly vocal section of the social community is up in arms and they are storming the castle from all sides.   “What happened to my LinkedIn?” “I thought this was the PROFESSIONAL network.” “When did LinkedIn become Facebook?” “I hope Elon Musk buys this network and shuts it down.” “If anyone wants me, I’ll be on GlassDoor.” “#LinkedOUT”   Why is LinkedIn under fire from the people who used to cherish it as

By Randy Mitchell   Every spring, my pushy Aunt Captious corners me with the same question: “Do you have any Super Bowl commercials in the works, hotshot?”   Every spring, I sheepishly give the same answer: “Well, no. You see, I work at a B2B agency, and our clients don’t waste millions of dollars on a single commercial. But we do create a lot of great videos for them.”   “Videos?” she laughs. “Who cares about videos?”   That usually ends the conversation, and I slip quickly away. But just once, I want to boldly proclaim: “Listen Auntie dear, the last multimillion dollar spot I worked on took eleven months to produce. And when it was finished, it

By Randy Mitchell If you were a student in my marketing class back in 2009, I am deeply sorry. Like a fool I stood in front of you and babbled on about strategy, concepting, workflows, tactics and the emerging role of social. And somewhere in that caffeinated wall of words, I devoted 30 seconds to the creative brief. Wait, what?  It may provide little consolation now, but please know that I have learned my lesson. Over and over again. The creative brief is a topic that everyone wants to discuss in depth. In fact, it has become a focal point in every class I teach, from MBA level marketing down to creative basics. We debate the creative

By Randy Mitchell   The place: Prehistoric Los Angeles   The event: The very first marketing meeting   A small group of Paleoindians is gathered around a rock. They are locked in a heated debate over a timeless marketing question: “What should our tagline be?”   The meeting drags on and on. It’s an epic decision and consensus seems eons away.   Before they realize it, the meeting’s momentum begins to fossilize. Literally. Our intrepid marketing ancestors have been entirely engulfed by thick, black goo.   I cannot confirm that this actually happened in ancient La Brea. However, I have empirical evidence to prove that the tagline tar pit is real.   Agencies and clients frequently disappear into the primordial ooze of trying to

By Randy Mitchell   You’re a reasonable marketing professional: smart, productive, and you have great taste in blogs.   You work for a reasonable company: they have important programs, big plans, and they were wise enough to hire you.   So, when your company’s leadership team makes the all-important decision to bring in a marketing firm, it’s only reasonable to expect the agency’s best work.   But will that expectation truly materialize? Far too often the answer is no, particularly when it comes to B2B marketing.   The relationship starts well enough. Everyone seems to connect, and the agency promises a quick ramp up and real progress. “They actually get it,” growls the company’s tough CEO, and everyone is smiling.   Then

By Randy Mitchell   For many years, my title included the word “producer.” I quickly learned that the unwritten rule for any successful B2B video producer was “be prepared.”   When you are prepared in advance for any eventuality, the production should be seamless. The cast, crew, creatives and client will all appreciate the extra effort. You might even come in under budget. In short, you will feel like a hero, and deservedly so.   However, if there are any unresolved issues going into production, your B2B video could quickly spiral out of control and infuriate everyone involved. And the budget will balloon with every revision and retake.   How do you avoid that scenario? Ask the right

By Randy Mitchell   Boomm works with many diverse technology companies.   Some are clients others are partners. They come from multiple practice areas, including data management and marketing automation. And they range in size from startups to industry leaders.   However, despite their many nuanced differences, these technology companies have one trait in common. They all dream about getting their platforms into the Gartner Magic Quadrant.   If you’re not familiar with the Gartner Magic Quadrant, let me do my best to give you a creative person’s rudimentary definition. The Quadrant provides a graphical representation of where companies and their tools rank on a simple Cartesian grid. The Quadrant is influenced by key criteria such as “ability to

By Randy Mitchell   The question still haunts me.   It was the 4A’s annual Career Day, an event that brought hundreds of aspiring advertising professionals into Chicago.   I was on the portfolio panel with three other agency creatives. Surrounding us was a wall of eager college seniors, all ready to shove their portfolios into our chests. (Remember physical portfolios? They could do some serious damage.)   Just before the eagerly anticipated Portfolio Review, the floor was opened for questions from the students. Most of the inquiries were directly related to finding a job: where to look, who to contact, what to say, what to show in the portfolio.   Then, a quiet student from Indiana University asked us