What’s All This About IRMC?

A catchy acronym is popping up among elite marketers. Stand in a room with marketing bigshots and power bloggers long enough, and you’ll likely hear it thrown around. The acronym is “IRMC,”* and up until recently we at the Web Video Marketing Council really didn’t have much of an idea as to what it meant. So we went searching.

As it happens, IRMC stands for “Intelligent Rich Media Collateral,” and it is a term that apparently describes a very small subset of rich media-based marketing materials. The term, which appears to have been coined by our friends at Flimp Media (at least theirs is the earliest occurrence of the phrase that we can find), has perked ears across business verticals not for its worthiness as a buzzword, but for the concept it describes.

According to a forthcoming white paper from Flimp (a portion of which we obtained by… well, begging incessantly), IRMC has several distinctive features which separate it from all other rich media collateral:

  1. Interactivity – In order for rich media materials to become IRMC, they must encourage interaction. Note that this is different from engagement; rich media content (especially video) is demonstrably more engaging than static media – you already knew that – but when video content stands alone, it is rarely interactive. To be interactive, a video must have a call to action that can be acted out by the viewer in the surrounding content. In other words, IRMC must have buttons for video viewers to click either in-video à la YouTube, or outside the video if it is embedded in a website or landing page.
  2. Web Distribution – IRMC must be distributed online. We at the WVMC don’t need to rehash the value of Web marketing (it’s in our name), but IRMC takes the concept one step further. In order for rich media content to become IRMC, it must be distributable through almost any online channel. This includes social media networks, email, RSS feeds, blogs and websites, among others. IRMC is not, therefore, simply an email message or a vlog post – it is a dynamic piece of collateral that can be either of those things (or both), but it can also be anything else you want it to be.
  3. Individualized Measurability – In the near future, there may be hundreds of Web analytics programs available to businesses as the proliferation of Web marketing and advertising continues. The third IRMC requirement anticipates this need for detailed metrics such as viewer response rates, engagement, time spent on-site, specific data relating to video playback, etc. But IRMC requires one more thing of its rich media: that it identify viewers. This means that for every visitor to the site – not just visitors who fill out a form, but every visitor – the marketer who created the collateral will be able to discern not only the viewer statistics, but the viewer’s contact information, as well. As far as the WVMC can tell, this contact info will most likely come in the form of an email address. Then again, the minds who created the concept of IRMC seem to be a bit more prescient than we.

When all three of these items are present in a rich media campaign, it becomes Intelligent Rich Media Collateral.

This is fascinating stuff; no wonder IRMC has people buzzing. Imagine the implications of individualized measurability alone: if a video goes viral and reaches half a million views, you’ve got half a million sales leads. Granted, it’s not likely that half a million people really have any kind of purchase intent, but with analytics like those required by IRMC, a salesperson should have a relatively easy time combing out the leeches.

We at WVMC are excited by the concept of IRMC, and we love its implications for Web video marketing. We wait with bated breath for the release of Flimp’s white paper. And of course, as soon as it is released, we’ll let you know where to find it.


*Editor’s Note: The original text and title of this post referred to “IDC,” which stood for “Intelligent Digital Collateral.” We have since been informed by Flimp Media that this term is not the term that will be present in the final draft of the aforementioned white paper, and will be replaced by the term “IRMC” or “Intelligent Rich Media Collateral.”

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