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Down the Marketing Rabbit Hole

Due to creative interests, I’m afraid I carry that habit of trying to find meaning in everything, anything, which has a danger of irritating those other personalities who prefer a more pragmatic life.

At MWS Media we could potentially suffer from this condition, given our creative outlets, were it not for setting clear goals and structures in our marketing plans, and equally with client projects, collaborating with their ideas to produce effectively targeted video.

But if I were to go back to my habit, I’ve wanted to see if I can find business relevance in a story I’ve grown up with, and if there is advice and ideas there. I recently re-read Alice in Wonderland, and if I looked at it from a marketing and business perspective, which still seems odd to do, there were some unexpected parallels. (Admittedly, I was looking for them.) 

If there’s one thing Alice in Wonderland could possibly teach us if we ever tried to translate it into the world of business, it’s about perception, presumptions and dealing with different people.

Despite how outrageous and surreal these characters are in this story, there are aspects in all of them that could be seen to reflect certain types of marketers and the marketing strategy behind them.

What I’d like to think about for this post is how some of the quotes in the story can act as advice, and how some characters are identifiable to your work in marketing and developing business. I will explain each anecdote under the title Personality, or Perspective, just to make it clearer (or perhaps more pretentious.)

So imagine for a moment that Alice is both yourself and potential customer, and Wonderland embodies not just your business and brand, but the world around you too.

Personality: The Cheshire Cat

This is a certain type of marketing manager that provides both good and bad qualities. The good thing about being a Cheshire Cat marketer is you might offer industry knowledge and customer sympathy, giving your business that large smile that everyone else will now remember. However despite your efforts to reassure your audience (‘Oh, you can’t help that, we’re all mad here’) there is no real reason to believe or be guided by you because you stay completely out of the action. Be careful to lead by example, rather than staying up in your tree suggesting routes, leaving Alice more confused.

Personality: The Queen of Hearts

This kind of marketer or sales person has a good amount of success to prove their worth, they dominate others and shout the loudest so they can’t possibly be ignored. Whilst these qualities may guarantee your voice is heard, the major flaw in this character as a marketer is that you may lack foresight, cutting ‘heads’ off before you appreciate the potential benefits of that particular marketing ‘playing card’. You may only be able to grab short chunks of attention before your audience starts to drift, with no real plan of how to make the audience’s experience of your business durational. Always think ahead of how a customer or potential customer could engage with you over time.

Perspective: “Speak English!' said the Eaglet. “I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and I don't believe you do either!”

It’s very much that awkward moment of being called out in front of everyone, and on social media nowadays it is harder to cover up. If you’re not going to make enough effort to engage with your customers on a familiar level, and instead use technical terminology, then you stand the danger of baffling them into frustration, they won’t respond well and they will challenge your knowledge too.

Perspective: “I wish I hadn't cried so much!” said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out. “I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears!”

This could serve as a warning to those marketing managers out there who believe that their current plan is the only effective one for their business. This is especially dangerous if this marketing plan is more than 3 years old. The world is changing and people are experimenting with new and exciting ways to connect with people. Your old strategy, like Alice, is shrinking into a less effective way compared with new ones out there, and if all you can do is cry about it then you may have lost the followers you had and it’s too late to get them back.

Perspective: “If it had grown up, it would have made a dreadfully ugly child; but it makes rather a handsome pig, I think.”

I believe this is a good example of playing to your strengths. Marketing is all about bringing out the best qualities of your business and enjoying them. There’s no use pretending to be like any other business, otherwise you will just be as an ‘ugly child’, with no positive qualities that stand out. Yes, you might be a ‘pig’, but you’re the handsome kind of pig, and Alice preferred to see him that way, just as your customers want to see the best version of you.

Personality: The Mad Hatter

Perhaps the best marketer in the book, if a little risky, although he ruined it at the end. Throughout the tea-party, he engages Alice with questions, challenging her presumptions and also including her in the internal matters of the table. The first technique all three of them use is to stress the exclusivity of their party, and whilst most marketer’s aim is to invite, it’s essential to make any new follower or customer feel that they have joined something either exclusive or special, perhaps with access to other benefits. However, Alice leaves on account of the Hatter’s remark, “I don’t think – ““Then you shouldn’t talk.” which is important to avoid with any existing follower or customer. For one, don’t interrupt them if they are confused, and also don’t brush off their concern carelessly.

And finally...

Perspective: “…which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”

If, as a marketer or sales person, you want to monitor your success, this is the question you need to ask yourself frequently. You should have a clear idea of what you want to stand out in your business, how you want to connect with your customers or followers, and how you want to be seen on the outside, and the route you take should inform this success.

Alice only wanted to get somewhere, whereas if she’d had a good idea, she may have found a clearer path.



Categories: General




Luckily, most of the marketing managers or marketing agencies I have come across are eager to take a creative approach to their business, and explore various avenues as to how their company can be active and seen by the outside world. It’s gone far beyond an advert in the paper and your name in a directory.

At MWS we do the same, we may use our skills in video for our own marketing purposes, but we also produce blogs, whitepapers, put on events, do networking, use social media and email out monthly newsletters.The choices are expanding and it’s only going to broaden.

So, naturally the main pressure of a marketing agency or manager is to invest their available budget in the most effective strategy. Which of these avenues is going to make money, and which can I prove is going to be a long-term success?

Video is undoubtedly a more costly form of marketing than writing a blog or producing whitepapers. Although we all spend a fair amount of time watching videos/TV programs/films, it can be difficult for people in business to have faith in how video can enhance success. But I would like to explore the root cause of this and perhaps introduce some new perspectives on how video is long-lasting and effective.

The root cause I would like to think about is this misconception: People tend to see video as the end product. It is seen as a tool to justify to business and potential customers that they have ticked another box of marketing. If it’s on the website its work is done.

Video is not just a product, it’s a solution. Whilst video is something you commission to make and we can give you, it’s so much more about what you do with this video that will show you the real benefits. Being on the website isn’t enough. It’s almost the same as buying a car, it may have all the necessary features and look good, but if you’re only going to keep it parked on your driveway it isn’t going to take you places, even though it can.

So where can video take you?

Your car can take you to your friends close by and your local shop, just as video can be sent to your existing customers or current providers. These are people who know you, understand some of your work, and also you may receive encouraging and positive comments about your video, just like the new car will get noticed. It’s another way to engage with them and find out how their business is going, perhaps get feedback, perhaps arrange a meeting. In risk of sounding slightly cringe-worthy, it’s “taking them for a drive”.

For slightly longer and unfamiliar journeys, video has a place to interact on a more engaging level alongside your other strategies. Approaching someone you haven’t met before with a video is that window into your company’s personality, and fits in nicely with the other sales approaches. The phone call gives your business a voice, the email, blog, and whitepaper shows your business’s thoughts and ideas, the video shows the image and personality, and the website is the platform. These are all great tools to give a potential client as close an idea as possible of who you are and what you do.

Similarly, within the potential marketing routes, video can be part of other forms. You can embed a video in an email, in a blog, on your website and social media, project it as part of an event, shown on an phone or tablet in meetings... Just as the great new car is noticed by strangers in other locations, people take an interest in the look of it, perhaps want to find out more about it. They might want what it’s showing off too.

A lot of content marketing experts are emphasizing the importance of being customer-focused rather that inward facing. Whilst video can be an external or internal solution for any business, internal for instance being training or company news, the external video is necessary for this potential customer to feel that you have approached them at many angles, and as multi-sensory as you can.

Don’t let your video rest on your website and age. Keep it active through as many channels as possible, think about what you can share about your business, maybe update past videos. Just make sure your video is going places! The more active it is, the more the success of the message will far outweigh the initial investment.



Categories: General


The 10 Best Resources To Get You Making Great Video


There are lots of statistics, charts and infographics we keep seeing floating around on the web listing insufficient budgets, a lack of in house resources and the struggle to create compelling content as the top barriers to companies making video. Here at MWS Media we find this pretty upsetting as we really do believe in the power of video. I have therefore decided to create my blog post this week with the intention of trying to break some of those barriers down!

When you have bigger marketing videos, advertisements or large campaigns in mind we would recommend that you plan ahead budget-wise to make sure you can afford the kind of quality production you want to create and then use a production company who have all the resources, crew and equipment to help you make that happen, without drawing on your company resources. (And no we're not just saying that for our benefit!).

HOWEVER as much as we do believe in letting production houses work their magic on larger scale projects, there’s nothing stopping any business from making their own in house video. Tutorials, behind the scenes, event videos, staff introductions, micro videos … there are lots of types videos that can be made to help promote your business but don’t take up big ol’ chunks of your budget.

To tool your marketing team up for making your next in house video we’d recommend these 10 resources:

Vimeo Video School

Want to learn the basics of choosing a camera, shooting and editing? Then Vimeo Video School is a great place to start. There are lots of other lessons available by the Vimeo staff team and you only have to search what you’re looking for to find tutorials made by the Vimeo community too.

Vidyard Video Hub

This Video Production 101 series on Vidyards video hub is another great kicking off point. Currently there are 5 episodes in the series covering the video camera, the importance of audio, lighting 101, shot composition and video editing. At around 3 mins each what are you waiting for? Hit the link, have a watch and let your brain suck it all up.


The Wista Learning centre is a great little hub for all things video marketing. It’s got videos  covering video production, video strategy and video marketing. There’s also a great guide on audience retention and the blog is a great way to keep up with all things video marketing.

Reel SEO

The online marketing guide and it’s YouTube channel is another great fountain of knowledge for all things video marketing. From video tutorials to industry news, a glossary to ebooks; Reel SEO has it all. We would thoroughly recommend taking a look through the site and signing up to their mailing list. The Video Production Tips playlist on their YouTube channel is again another great place to start picking up production know-how. There are 50 videos right there for you to add to your playlist!

DSLR Shooter

Want to keep up with all things production? Read reviews and find out which is the best gear? Hear from industry professionals and watch comprehensive tutorials? DSLR Shooter is the site to be on. As the name suggests, it is better suited to your team if they are going to be using DSLR’s but it’s still jam packed with great advice and tips to make your videos the best they can be.

No Film School

Similar to DSLR Shooter, No Film School contains great tips, tutorials, DIY and budget advice, industry news and inspirational ideas. You can also swap some details for it’s free ebook The DSLR Cinematograpy Guide which I personally swear by! Go download it now!


An additional helpful reservoir of information is Brainshark. Brainshark contains video marketing inspiration, content creation and SEO tips, distribution advice, tricks, guidelines and more. It also has other great tools like ebooks and a video marketing university that you can sign up for free with a few details.


The best camera you have is the one you have with you. Ever heard that little gem? Well it’s true and nowadays with the tech packed into your skinny, pocket sized phone you can shoot great video. Photojojo is a great store filled with brilliant kit for helping you to turn your phone into a video making powerhouse and without destroying your marketing budget. Micro Video really is the easiest video you could be making for your business and you make it on your phone! Therefore we’ve also included the links to two of Photojojo’s blog posts on Instagram video. Check them out and have a play!


Mashable is a ridiculous source all of the news, information and resources happening in the world, but we haven’t actually included it for that … We’ve including two of mashables guides on how to make Vines, another type of micro video. The first link is to a video on some creative ideas to get you going and the second is a comprehensive guide on Vine culture and how to make one! Happy Vine making!

MWS Media

Now for our shameless plug! There happens to be a members area on our website where you can sign up for exclusive access to video production guides, templates, tutorials and more… We also post regular tips and advice on our social media channels so you could always follow us on there … In all seriousness though, we really are always here for any questions or queries. Just pick our brains!

In Conclusion

Well I hope that this all helps to give you the know-how to start making great in house video for your business! Even if you just use this knowledge so you feel more confident when approaching video production houses and understand what you want and how that is achieved.

We’d love to hear what you think and how you’ve found the resources. As always ask us any questions or leave us any comments below or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Categories: General