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How we became a video marketing agency named Umault

It took me 9 years to figure out the difference between a video production company and a video marketing agency. I hope this 5 minute read saves you some time. You're welcome?!

Now in case you don't have five minutes, here's the difference between a production company and a creative agency:

A video production company makes a video based on someone else's idea. They are handed a concept from a creative agency or client, then add their creative spin and make the video. They are mostly implementors of the agency's or client's idea.

A creative agency develops the idea, script and storyboard. They rely on a production company to make the video.

Why did this take me 9 years to figure out?

Let's go back in time...

Starting a video production company

I launched the aptly named Guy Bauer Productions in 2010, smack dab in the middle of the Great Recession, despite having no professional experience or formal training in video production. My first project came through the freelance site guru.com and cost fifty dollars. I edited some dude’s puppy videos to music. After the client left me a five-star review and a nice writeup on the site, I had the start of my professional portfolio. From there, I landed a seventy-dollar job, then a hundred-dollar job, and so on. Cut to 2015, and we’re doing $100k+ projects for Fortune 500 companies, and we have ten full-time employees.

For years, I tried to figure out the roots of my company’s success. What was it about our videos that made people line up by the dozens? At the time, I thought it was because the video quality was great. But when I look back at that time, the actual technical quality (lighting/composition) left something to be desired. Other video production companies could make better-looking videos for a similar price. Was it that I was a great businessman? The name? Our logo?

What was it!?

Who handles the concepts: My not-such-a-discovery discovery

One day, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Our videos were creative. They were different. They told cohesive, heartfelt stories. Some made you laugh; some made you cry. And our clients were getting results. They were getting unsolicited emails with praise from customers. Or getting promotions. Or best yet, increased sales!

It was the ideas for the videos we were selling—not the video production itself. We were doing a lot more than making videos for our clients.

But since I was an amateur to the video business, I had no idea this was happening. I had just assumed it was the video production company's job to come up with an awesome idea. And because I didn't know the idea, or creative (as they call it in the business), was the real value driver for our clients, we didn't position ourselves as a creative agency. It really wasn't until I got into watching Mad Men when I thought to myself, "Huh, we kinda do what Don Draper does. And he works at an agency, not a production company!"

In 2018, we started a journey of re-thinking everything. We rethought our staff (which was made up of mostly amazing video production people), rethought our positioning, and rethought our name.

Video marketing agency: strategy and concept first

The problem with Guy Bauer Productions was that it was positioned as a video production company that could also come up with the ideas. We were discounting our main value proposition: the well-thought out video concept.

Umault is the polar opposite. It's a marketing agency that can also do the production. To some extent, we are doing what we've always done: taking our clients' goals and messages and distilling them into an entertaining video. But now we're putting the strategy and the concept first. Because without a clear story that ladders back to a clever strategy, you can spend all the money you want on production (see: the Star Wars prequels) and still fall flat.

So here we are. Our name is Umault. We're a hybrid of a creative agency and a production company with a dash of digital marketing. We're a video marketing agency. Our mission is to create the kind of videos that truly excite audiences. Videos that simplify complex messages into entertaining yet strategic spots, that look beautiful and deliver real results to our clients.

The way to get results in video marketing is to start with a strategy, then come up with an idea, make the video, and finally get it in front of the right audience.

Oh, and in case you're wondering about the name Umault, Umault is a play on the umlaut (you know, the ¨ mark). The umlaut is used over a vowel in German or Hungarian to draw attention to what would otherwise be overlooked. Umault does the same for our clients’ brands, products and services.

That's the story behind the formation of Umault. And no, we don't make $50 puppy videos anymore. Sorry. BUT if you have a software-defined storage solution and are struggling to close deals, tell us more!





Picture of Guy bauer, founder of umault

Guy has been making commercial videos for over 20 years and is the author of “Death to the Corporate Video: A Modern Approach that Works.” He started the agency in 2010 after a decade of working in TV, film and radio. He’s been losing hair and gaining weight ever since.

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