Over the last 12 months, in working with many of our clients, we have seen Webinars become one of the most effective ways of implementing the ‘Thought Leadership’ lead generation strategy. This method, of nurturing prospects over the medium- to-long-term, gains mind share and ultimately creates Demand Generation.
Demand Generation encompasses the entire sales cycle: lead generation; lead qualification; lead nurturing; lead management; and customer retention.
This Thought Leadership process is particularly relevant in the case of the complex sale. Read my Best Practice How To Guide for more information: “Thought Leadership lead generation programmes”. You can think of thought leadership lead generation as a process of micro-conversions – have a look at my MindMap chart which graphically explains the process.
Prospects are fed up with hype, pushy sales people and manipulative marketing. So, what’s the solution? I’ve carefully selected a "Thought Leadership" marketing communications toolkit, and this article outlines my ideas to use this toolkit to help you gain this mind share or “Thought Leadership to win the complex sale”.
The key is to reach people as early in their buying process as possible. That’s where you have the biggest influence. It’s not effective to wait until they are narrowing their shortlist. What most companies lack is thought-leading content that addresses the needs of people who are in the early stages of their buying cycle.
Almost every company has, at least, some decent content to be used for prospects that are in the later stages of their buying process. Typically, this content includes: brochures; case studies; success stories; sell sheets; etc.
Today’s marketing organisations face a growing number of lead generation challenges. How to ‘improve lead generation quality’ and ‘more effectively engage buyers’ are common concerns.
Webinars are one of the most effective tools in the communications toolkit as they provide a unique way to communicate more effectively with widespread customers, prospects and partners. They are particularly relevant as prospects’ time is becoming more valuable in today’s high-pressure business environment and travel costs are escalating.
Using audio and interactive chat technologies and, where relevant, streaming video, Webinars enable informative and stimulating presentations at a fraction of the cost associated with face-to-face meetings and presentations.
For marketers, Webinars are growing into a proven lead-generation vehicle. You can cost-effectively communicate in-depth messages and interact with a targeted, highly qualified audience in real time.
The data gathered through registration, polling, and feedback surveys can build a powerful audience profile.
Marketers can use this intelligence to measure the effectiveness of the campaign, build strong relationships and supply your sales channel with high quality leads.
This guide outlines Best Practice in how to effectively plan your event, create compelling content and attract your target audience.
Here are some of the questions your potential customers may be asking right now:
Is your company credible and solid?
Is there another company that is better than yours?
Will your solution really work for them?
Budget – can I afford it?
Vision – will buying from you make a difference?
Is it going to be successful? - is it worth doing?
Can I trust you and your company?
Your potential customers are looking for companies that they can trust who are experts in their field and not simply commodity vendors. Thought Leadership will draw customers to your door and avoid the question “how much is your product or service?”
eMarket2’s Thought Leadership programmes are designed to address such marketing issues. The solution is a fundamental part of a comprehensive lead generation process.
eMarket2 are pioneers in sales lead generation for the complex sale, using Webinar campaigns and Web-based programs. Our unique multi-step process integrates marketing and sales efforts to increase reach, maximise marketing ROI, shorten sales cycles and boost top-line revenues.
We have developed successful lead-generation campaigns and strategies for B2B organisations in many different industries, including technology, finance, science, health care, telecoms, insurance and publishing.
Sales lead generation for the complex sale is at the core of everything we do. Our new Lead-Generation Webinars marketing programs are built on an integrated framework that promotes thought leadership - not just a sales pitch - to help you engage sales prospects through a strategic, multi-touch campaign. Our Sales Productivity tools help your team stay productive and efficient.
Our goals for your sales and marketing team: high-quality leads in the buying queue, a foundation for profitable, long-term relationships between you and your customers; and excellent return on your marketing investment.
"Webinars are growing into a proven lead generation vehicle..."
"Sales lead generation for the complex sale is at the core of everything we do..."
When deciding to produce a Webinar for lead generation, the following critical questions must be asked and answered first:
Why are you planning a Webinar?
Who is the target audience?
What is the desired outcome of the event?
What metrics will determine success?
When is the best day and time?
How do you develop the most effective Webinar?
SO, WHY ARE YOU PLANNING A WEBINAR?
While the most common answer is to gather sales leads, the context of where this event works in your over-all business strategy is crucial. Are you supporting a new product launch? Providing in-depth training for a new or existing product or service? Helping position your company as a major player in a particular market? Many companies also use Webinars to measure their brand awareness.
Whatever your objective, content developers, presenters and all third-party partners (from media providers, designers, and your Webinar service provider) must be aware of your purpose from the beginning. Each party should perform his or her tasks with that goal in mind. Embed specific metrics within each process so you will be able to prioritise leads and measure success on clearly pre-defined and realistic goals.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
A typical first-time Webinar will take approximately 5-6 weeks from initial planning, to promotion and production to the event date. As you get more familiar with the process you may be able to cut the time to 4-5 weeks though we recommend a minimum of three weeks promotion.
Following is a typical timeline and outline of key deliverables based on working days before the event:
30-35 working days
Develop compelling topic and description
Plan media promotion
Webinar kick-off call
Provide title and description, company logo/branding graphics (.jpg or .gif)
Submit presenter(s) information: Name, title, biography, photo (.jpg or .gif)
Determine target audience selections and custom registration questions
Determine if there will be any polls, incentives, a Q&A session
"A typical first-time webinar takes approximately 5-6 weeks to pull together..."