This is a very relevant question. It is asked a lot. The pitch deck (aka marketing deck) is an industry staple. Their use is established and required. The exchange of a deck is almost ceremonial in nature. Formal conversations can’t really begin until this exchange occurs. The request for a pitch deck is an industry enigma, the meaning lost somewhere between, I have no interest in this conversation, and I am sincerely thinking about giving you $500 million.
The role marketing decks play in the allocation process is well understood. They are intended to provide a thorough overview of an investment opportunity, the rationale behind why the opportunity is strong, and the experience and track record of the team. Ideally, they provide just enough information for one to determine if he or she is interested in conducting further diligence. If done well they are interesting, informative, and compelling.
Videos fulfill a very different role in the marketing process. They aren’t meant to replace a marketing deck, more so, complement the marketing deck. A video is intended to capture the conviction, passion, and charisma of a given team. Most importantly, a video allows a team or individual the ability to articulate their story to the best of their abilities. There are no interruptions and unlimited opportunities to continuously refine one’s delivery until it is as good as it is going to get.
A video doesn’t perfectly replicate the human to human experience, but it does a pretty damn good job. It allows a team to put their best foot forward, screen after screen after screen. Any of the subtleties that fall off when moving from in-person interaction to video is more than made up for by the speed, quantity and quality of introductions that can be achieved. A video can be in 1000 places at once. Related analytics also happen to be on the of the best ways to profile investor interest.
To answer the leading question… neither. Marketing decks and videos accomplish very different things. A deck ticks the boxes that need to be ticked. A video delivers information in a faster more engaging form. Choosing one over the other would be a mistake. Best hit them both.