Geetesh: Tell us more about yourself and your work.
Stas: I am COO of worldwide markets at KsanLab and responsible for defining and implementation of worldwide marketing and sales strategy of KsanLab’s products and services. KsanLab is an international interactive agency with specialization in multimedia tools for marketing, PR, IR and HR communication. At the moment we work on US, German, and Russian markets and have many world famous clients. As a COO, I participate in planning, business development, negotiations with clients and partners and project management.
Geetesh: How do you decide if PowerPoint is not suitable for a particular job – and then, which program do you normally use?
Stas: Well, the first time I understood that I need something different was on my previous job, when we needed an introduction movie and a document shell for a corporate CD business card. The introduction had to be a movie — not a video, but rather cartoon with music, animation and finally with an update-able guide of PowerPoint presentations written on the disc. PowerPoint’s animation capabilities are well geared for slide presentations with schemes and diagrams, but not for movies or cartoons, so we made a request for a Flash reel with support of an external XML file that contained links and descriptions of files stored on the CD.
KsanLab started as a small web design studio and later, reacting to market demands switched from static design to interactive multimedia products. Macromedia Flash is a de facto standard for multimedia information tools — it possesses all necessary capabilities for rich graphic design, animation, integration of various kinds of info (video, sound) and interactivity. Now it is used all around the world for development of product demos, internet games, banners, trainings, and so on. I want to highlight that it is not comparable with PowerPoint — it is always a question of selecting the right tool for your task. In some cases, Flash is a pure excess that will eat the time and money and in some cases a PowerPoint presentation will be just boring, and give you a back eye.
My article for MarketingProfs contains several criteria when you should switch to Flash (or other technology such as Apple QuickTime, Java, etc) from PowerPoint. I’ve chosen them basing on our expertise from projects we’ve done for our clients in the past. Those projects are mature ones — so we were able to analyze their impact and potential. In short, the cases when you need to consider multimedia are:
- When you need to impress. Flash gives you a great deal of opportunity to make your message look great and different from others.
- When you need to catch and keep attention of your audience. Sometimes information is too complicated or the audience is too passive to read and understand every single word. With multimedia you can show this using images and animations — of course this becomes much more comprehensible and interesting to see.
- Sometimes you have a lot to say. 80 slides — are you sure that everyone will get all of them? Instead, you can have something absolutely different, the series of dynamic reels with professional voice over. Note, that such presentation can be used even without your personal attendance.
- Multimedia presentations can put together pieces of information of different nature — video, audio, music, 3D, interactivity and animation, without losing of control of them.
- Very important topic is that with multimedia you can transfer not only information — you can transfer emotions. Multimedia product is capable to express your feelings, express the spirit of your company or product. This feature is used by virtual tours — the best way to present the beauty of resort or atmosphere of restaurant.
- When you need interactivity. Think about quizzes, trainings and games (educational or advertising).
In all cases, a multimedia product delivers on several goals simultaneously. For example, a virtual tour not only conveys lots of information, but also creates a great impression and attracts attention of customers.