Wise Words

Why The Marketing World Is Awash With Webinars

Webinar blogimage Why The Marketing World Is Awash With WebinarsThose of us with Marketing or PR responsibilities, as a rule, consider ourselves plugged-in, aware, with it. Still, the communications strategies we engage for our organizations and our clients must not be exempt from the annual re-think. I did one, and here’s what I found:

Webinars have “arrived” as a mainstream B2B marketing tactic. Here is why I intend to rely on them more in 2014 for both my agency and for our clients.

After more than 40 years of crafting and implementing PR, advertising, fundraising and direct response programs, I contend that the actual thought process for delivering effective marketing communication is fairly timeless.

1. Know your audience.
2. Craft and send messages that get attention, outline an offer and make a call to action.
3. Evaluate feedback.
4. Adjust.
5. Repeat.

New marketing technologies are accelerating this cycle dramatically. Modern marketers can repeat these steps again and again in a very short time. So why does it seem like the same advances that now enable so much non-stop dialog also are making real information exchange ever more difficult? And why are so many of us turning to an information laden format like webinars to accomplish an essential step in the sales process?

According to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Webconferencing, webinars are like webcasts, but more collaborative, because they can deliver real-time, two-way audio and video between the host and remote participants. They are best compared to online workshops.

The high-speed internet connections and specialized software and hardware necessary to produce webinars have been available since the late-1990s. However, the cost has been high; until recently. More than 50 service providers now offer hosted conferencing services on a cost-per-user per-minute or monthly flat fee basis; and video cameras have never been cheaper.

So, webinars are affordable to produce, easy to promote, personalized, informative and spontaneous. By their very nature, they can accomplish several steps in the marketing process. No wonder they are they so popular for business-to-business product and services marketing in 2014.

People also have grown weary of the sound bite, one-way communication culture of business messaging. Even in a time of around-the-clock access to a smorgasbord of information options, they still feel “under-fed” in key interest areas.

Once prospective customers have developed an interest in a topic, they are ready for a three course meal in (but still without having to duel with an aggressive sales rep). Webinars can provide this “deep dive” into a topic, cost effectively, like nothing else in this category of marketing tactics (except, of course, getting people to attend a conference in person).

In a nutshell, Webinars provide a low-pressure way for qualified prospects to become informed enough to make a “yes” decision. What’s not to like?

 

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