Request for proposalWalk into any business and shout “Who wants to help me with this request for proposal?” and you’ll quickly find yourself in an empty room. While writing one of these babies is a time-consuming process, a request for proposal (RFP) gives you the opportunity to outline your requirements for implementing a new piece of software or service, and ensure you get the best value for your investment.

There are many RFP templates available to help procure the right Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) for your needs, however, most of these templates are missing a key ingredient – the ability to track video viewing history per site visitor and use this engagement data for enhanced lead scoring and nurturing. Frankly, this is not surprising since most MAP solutions don’t provide out-of-the-box or native functionality to track and report on video viewership. But that’s no reason not to ask for it, especially if online video is becoming an increasingly important part of your content mix. The solutions exist so you need to make sure your MAP can integrate with a video marketing platform.

Here are some tips to make sure you’re getting a Marketing Automation Platform that will not only fit your current video marketing needs, but also scale as you produce more and more amazing content.

Why video should be part of the MAP consideration

Video tracking is essentialIf you’ve been reading this blog, you’re no stranger to why we believe video is important. The facts speak for themselves: even at a senior level, 75% of executives watch work-related videos on business websites at least once per week, and Demand Metric has found that close to 70% of B2B marketers are using video in their content mix. There’s no question that video is effective for engaging your online audience – the bigger question is whether your Marketing Automation Platform can give you the insights you need to act on your prospect’s interaction with video content.

Because you can collect so much video engagement data and consolidate the data with your MAP, you need to make sure your RFP for a marketing automation platform has video involved so you can not only track how site visitors interact with video content, but also so that each video they watch contributes to a higher, more accurate lead score per lead.

How to get started

Start with an RFP templateFirst off, find yourself a good RFP template, and tailor it to your company’s needs. Marketo has an excellent template that covers almost all of the bases, and you can find it as an Excel file here. They also have a helpful Slideshare. Alternatively HubSpot has put together a whitepaper on how to ensure your RFP matches your needs, but it’s a bit more high-level.

While these templates are great, they don’t mention video outright, or are limited to YouTube. Because video is so critical (and you’ll want to embed it in your landing pages), you need to define what your MAP will need and look at how video fits into your current marketing goals.

Let’s say your company uses the following video assets in your marketing and sales efforts:

  • Product explainer videos (short, ungated content offering your prospects insight into your video)
  • Customer testimonial videos (3-4 minute interviews with your existing clients that assess how your product solved their problem)
  • Recorded Webinars (longer content offering a deep-dive into the larger problems your company tackles)

In your RFP, be sure to outline the different ways your videos are being used. Marketo uses the following question to assess the platform’s ability to handle YouTube content:

Is the marketing user able to embed YouTube videos into landing pages with social sharing functionality and pre-populated sharing messages?

This is a great consideration, but you can go beyond it. Let’s build on this sample format to make sure your RFP includes all of the important considerations involved as part of a balanced video marketing strategy.

3 Questions You Gotta ask!

1. Can you track prospect’s video viewing history?
With something like high-level product explainer videos, you don’t want to include any barriers blocking prospects from engaging. In other words, high-level videos shouldn’t be gated, but the should definitely be tracked (i.e. you need to know who’s watching and for how long). A great way of ensuring this video engagement data is covered by your MAP is to ask:

Is the marketing user able to track when prospect has started and completed a video, and can this data be used to trigger sales alerts, score leads, and nurture?

This kind of question ensures that your MAP is equipped to track which prospects have viewed your video assets, and their individual attention span per video. This data is super important because if you segment all of the leads with a high attention span for each video, you’ll not only see which topics leads are interested in (based on their viewing history), but the volume of content watched can be a great indicator of purchase intent.

2. Can you gate videos for lead generation?
Is video gating an option?Moving on to longer-form video content, customer testimonials are a great way to share how you solve specific customer problems, but you may want to get more information from your viewers before giving them access to your content. For this, you’ll want to make sure that your MAP has the power to collect this kind of information with an email gate, for example:

Is the marketing user able to gate specific video assets, and collect lead information before the prospect views the video? Can this information be used to create leads automatically?

If you can add an email gate or form collection before a prospect views your video, then you can capture targeted lead information right when your prospect is most engaged. Combine this power with the ability to set triggers when a prospect views your video content, and your marketing team can now pass the most qualified leads directly to sales.

Finally, the really long content:

3. Can you score leads based on the amount of video content consumed?
When a user signs up for a webinar, they have to give you some contact information to access the discussion, and your recorded webinars should be no different. Even if you are collecting contact information before a viewer watches your recorded webinar, what happens if your viewer doesn’t complete the video? Drop-off rates for content over 5 minutes vary wildly, so you’ll want to make sure your MAP has the ability to see how much of a video your prospect has watched. Here’s what to include in your RFP:

Does the platform track how much video content a prospect has consumed, and can this information be used to nurture, segment and score leads?

This ensures that a lead who abandons a 40 minute webinar just 10 minutes in is differentiated from someone who watched a full 30 minutes. One of these leads should be priority, and your MAP should be able to tell the difference!

Getting what you want

Every company uses video differently, so you’ll need to analyze how you currently use video, and how you are planning to ramp up your efforts in the future. Because video is such a hit with customers, it’s likely going to be a huge part of your content strategy going forward, so it’s a good idea to ensure your Marketing Automation Platform is setup to track video assets from the start.

Not every Marketing Automation Platform will offer the functionality listed above out-of-the-box, but that’s why they work with integration partners to close the gap. If you’re serious about video, make sure your Marketing Automation Platform has your back.

There’s nothing worse than finding the perfect system that matches almost all of your needs, only to have it fail you at a crucial time. Your RFP for Marketing Automation should be able to scale with the creativity of your team, and if you ask the right questions, you won’t find any surprises when it comes time to ramp up your video marketing and video sales enablement campaigns.

Jon Spenceley