Automating Local Video: A Conversation With TurnHere

Earlier this week, I had the chance to meet with local video production house TurnHere and take a peek under the hood. The company is working on an advertiser facing production management platform that will help it scale up to increased business levels, which is already happening through Yellow Pages reselling efforts.

One of the benefits of TurnHere’s model has always been that its outsourced network of videographers makes on-site video production highly scalable. But with scaled-up production, there can still be a bottleneck in all the other parts of the process, such as follow-up communication and account management for a growing number of SMB advertisers.

So this new platform will let SMBs log on and have access to a full dashboard of options for seeing their video when it is done, suggesting edits, and working with TurnHere’s post-production and account management teams.

“The only way to make it scale is to be templatized,” says John McWeeny, TurnHere senior VP of business development. “But of course everyone wants customization, so you have to create something that is both.”

The platform has lots of customization options that let advertisers view their video and then give feedback on seven main factors that TurnHere knows to make up the bulk of video editing. These include name spellings, change of soundtrack or visuals and other things for which advertisers can type freeform notes.

The company still has an inbound call center for account management, but the thought is that this lets it take care of the majority of client interaction in a more efficient way. This also brings the company closer to the highly automated processes of other video vendors such as Spot Runner (which recently became more like TurnHere by acquiring GlobeShooter and its network of videographers).

McWeeny compares automating the majority of client interaction to how Amazon works: “In total, I’ve spent over $1,000 at Amazon, but I’ve never talked with an Amazon employee.”

The benefit here also involves a more efficient follow behind account management system that lets the Yellow Pages sales rep focus on making the sale. It also importantly lets SMBs that are busy running operations deal with their video advertising when it’s convenient for them.

“This keeps the concept of low touch alive,” says Director of Marketing Morgan Brown. “It’s is something they can do it at 11 p.m. at night or whenever they have the time to do it.”

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