Chapter Nine: Meeting of the Minds

Step One: DISCOVERY

The Discovery phase is vitally important. That’s where we want to get our team and everyone in our client’s company on the same page. Sometimes, a client will want to skip this step and think, “Oh, I’m the decision maker. I can be in charge of discovery and lay the foundation for this project. Then, I’ll just keep checking in with the production team and we’ll produce this awesome video that I can show to my bosses and they’ll think I’m incredible.” That’s usually a blueprint for disaster.

Discovery is about defining who the key decision makers are and making sure they’re already at the table. Your company’s story is incredibly important; it’s what your employees tell potential clients or customers and it’s what your existing clients and customers tell other people. To build a solid foundation for your video project, you must have the right stakeholders at the table from the start.

If you’re a small company of twenty or thirty people and there’s a founder of the company, that founder better be at the table. If you’re a larger company, you want to make sure that your boss’s boss is aware of what’s going

on, so that you don’t get to the end of the process, having invested a considerable amount of time, energy, and money, and find out that while you told a great story in the video, it was the wrong one.

We have a survey that all of our clients take when we start. That survey becomes the reference document for the discovery process. It poses questions such as:

  • What would you like this video to explain?
  • What is your company’s elevator pitch?
  • Who is the target audience of your video?
  • What is the one key message that you would like each viewer to remember after watching this video?

For more information, feel free to check out www.switchvideo.com/book/discovery.

After it’s completed, we have a meeting with everyone and get some buy-in about the discovery survey. Then, we ask the client to take the resulting creative brief to his or her boss and get them to sign off on it—and we mean to literally sign the document. When people sign their name to something, they’re more likely to be invested in that project.

Just like any good relationship, we’re looking for good communication and a firm commitment. And when in doubt, a little chocolate never hurts, either.

Once we’ve finished the Discovery phase, we move on to step two.

In a keynote address at CES, YouTube’s Vice President of Global Content Robert Kyncl said that video would soon be 90% of Internet traffic. – Forbes (2012)

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