Ed Mazza has recently published a paper about Marketing 3D (download here: Marketing 3D Version 2) We have interviewed him exclusively for 3DContentBlog.com
Please introduce yourself and your background in 3D.
Ed Mazza is a marketing and communications consultant with experience in marketing and communications planning, product marketing, training, strategic and tactical marketing. This experience includes a wide variety of products and services including 3D consumer and business products, digital signage advertising, Smart Grid for electric water and gas utilities, cloud computing and telecommunications.
Why did you write this report?
I have written the paper “Marketing 3D – Moving 3D to the Mainstream” and others in this series of marketing 3D products because I perceive a need to arm the overall 3D industry with the tools necessary to bring 3D to the public. When I first worked in the 3D industry as a Director of Marketing for an autostereoscopic display company, I fell into the trap that many before me and since have fallen into: This technology is so cool that people will be drawn to it. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Even though 3D has been around for many years, it has a perception problem, a PR problem if you will.
Due to past negative perceptions of 3D and 3D as a fad and also the overwhelming 3D press touting the dangers and death of 3D, the acceptance of 3D by the public is going to take a different approach than your typical marketing effort. It is going to take an industry wide demand generation program. It is going to take convincing the public, one segment at a time, that 3D does add to the viewing experience and not just for jump out of the screen effects that in some cases do not even match with the story.
What is the future of 3D in your view?
3D and other advanced visual technologies have a great potential to change the way we view any visual content. 3D visual technologies add yet another tool to the arsenal of story tellers, no matter who they are or what story they are telling, another tool to tell their story. Just as moving pictures, sound, and color added to the way we tell stories, 3D provides yet another tool to immerse the target audience in the story or message. 3D also provides a new and unique and exciting viewing experience for the general public.
I believe that 3D has a bright future and together with the other advanced imaging technologies such as 4k and 8k, 3D can finally make the break from the reoccurring fad that comes around every decade or so to a generally accepted viewing experience. I also believe that in the end, glasses or no glasses will not be a barrier to public acceptance of 3D in the home market. The end user can choose the right technology that fits their desired viewing experience.
How would you handle all the ‘3D is Dead’ press? Won’t any PR attempt bring the negative press to the forefront?
It seems that negative press will always be there. With the current situation, the press not includes not only your standard online and print media, but also includes many bloggers with an incredible following. Many in the media seem to crave an opportunity to find fault and to be the one who can say in the end that “I told you so.” Negative press is not necessarily a bad thing. Negative press gives the opportunity to not only respond with the real story along with proof points but also to change the conversation. For example, Apple has become quite good at handling negative press. With the latest release of the IPhone 6 and IPhone 6Plus, many in the press jumped at the chance to criticize the new larger sized products. They especially pointed out and relayed the rumor that the larger phone can bend. I saw many stories of people walking into stores and bending the phone. Apple jumped on this and in fact changed the conversation to the advantages of the larger phone. In the end apple iPhone 6 sales reached a record 10 million iPhones in just three days
For 3D let’s change the conversation. Let’s talk about advances in the user experience. Let’s talk about what we have learned about the technology and where it is going. Do not get into a argument with someone who is not going to change their mind. Let’s change who we are talking with. Let’s use other press, other editors, and other channels such as blogs and social media to get out our message. Another method would be to use reverse SEO. Put out as many messages, articles, and press releases with positive messages targeted to the public that will in turn push down the bad press in the search engine listings.
How would one control the message to the public with so many equipment and content vendors with skin in the game?
This is the difficult but no impossible part of a successful demand generation program. However, a consistent message to the general public along with consistent responses to editors, bloggers, and social media is imperative to circumvent the negativity that is bound to happen. The best way to avoid the inconsistencies that are bound to happen with so many different individuals and companies involved is to have an industry wide organization take the lead in a comprehensive demand generation and response program specifically geared toward 3D. This organization would have to have buy-in or membership including the top equipment and content vendors.