Sometimes Older Is Wiser

By Heather Baldwin

It seems that almost every day some new presentation technology is rolled out with claims that it will transform your presentation into a powerful, memorable piece of communication that will cause customers to rush to do business with you. But often older technologies are a better fit for your message, says Greg Smith, CEO of Alkemedia Productions, a Denver-based digital media marketing company. Before rushing to load your presentation onto the Internet or another high-tech distribution media, Smith advises you consider some lower-tech options.

As examples, Smith recounts his experience with two companies that tried using the Internet to distribute their sales presentations. Both met with little success until they transferred their presentations onto the humble videocassette. One was a company that makes scheduling software for limousine and other transportation services. The company’s founder felt that because the Internet was the latest high-tech way for prospects to view presentations, he needed to put his presentation on the Web and send prospects there to view it. But it turned out the hundreds of owner/operators he was trying to reach had limited access to the Internet. They were out driving and waiting for customers in vehicles without Web access. All those limos had VCRs, however. After Smith helped the scheduling software company transfer its presentation to a VCR tape – which drivers could watch while waiting for clients – the phones started ringing.

Another company, the medical imaging software division of a large medical supply company, put its presentation on the Internet in an effort to cut down on the number of in-person initial client visits. The problem was the presentation included high-resolution graphics and even with high bandwidth connections it took prospects several minutes to download and view the images. As a result, many prospects requested an in-person visit anyway. When the division transferred the presentation to videocassette – and later loaded three or four presentations onto a DVD – they finally found the savings they were looking for. Last year, the division brought in more than $300 million in sales and cut $20,000 in transportation costs from initial in-person presentations.

“Simple is sometimes the best way to go,” says Smith. “Often it’s a better fit to use older technologies for delivering messages instead of trying to make messages fit new technologies.”

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