• Chris Brits - CEO, EBnet

Multi-media video tops printed material

It is said that video is the new print.

Innovation and improvements in technology have made mobile devices more available and accessible to the masses. Having a smart phone or mobile device nowadays is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity in today’s advanced society.

With these improvements in technology however also comes a generational decline in attention spans for most people but most notably in Millenials (also known as Gen Y: Born 1977 – 1995) and Gen Z ( also known as iGen, or Centennials: Born after 1996).

We now live in a data driven society. If people can watch a video to learn about a topic in 30 seconds rather than read an article with the same information in 2 minutes, then the average user will watch the video. Video is naturally engaging and, in an age of information overload, it’s vital to offer content that is easy to digest; if not, consumers will simply move on. Video is effective. If a picture paints 1,000 words then one minute of video is worth much, much more.

The retirement industry has long relied on printed (now mostly digital) benefit statements provided to employees as members of retirement funds to inform them of their benefits. Costly member roadshows with presentations by consultants or perhaps the Principal Officer have also been used to inform members of how their fund works. These are however often ill attended by members, either through apathy, lack of interest, work pressure or an employer that has difficulty in interrupting workflow to allow for long sessions.

Fund newsletters and information booklets have also been used by many in an attempt to educate members. However, often with low levels of literacy existing in sections of the workforce, these are not always that effective.

Using video technology can overcome many of these issues and it can be a relatively inexpensive solution. In addition, it can be done in several languages to cater for South African demographics.

Employers and Funds should investigate adding a multi-media component to their communication programme and make use of technology that is already in the hands of most people.