Business growth, webinars and the Netflix effect
Does a successful business really need a good marketing strategy? Interestingly, many of our clients tell us that sales and marketing is a weakness in their companies. But it’s only a weakness because they don’t do much of it. To win new business, many simply rely on the three Rs – repeat business, referral and recommendations. Which means their work comes to them, so putting any sort of budget behind a sophisticated marketing programme doesn’t make commercial sense.
What if you’re looking at the next stage: to grow and scale your business, maybe with a company sale later down the line? You need to get the word out, and then a “multi-channel” marketing strategy becomes a key weapon, raising your brand in the wider marketplace, targeting potential new clients online, at events, in print, via social media.
If you’re engaged in any kind of marketing currently, you’ll be aware that the landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years, driven by technology. It’s no longer enough to have one brochure, or a few flyers. Today, you need a full marketing mix, a blend of different resources, driven by content that ‘speaks’ to your customers. In short: stuff that is of use to them, rather than just talks about you.
Hints and tips on business webinars
This is where the webinar fits in – the subject of this week’s fascinating, informative two-day Webinar World conference at London’s Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, and hosted by leading platform provider ON24. The webinar is, in the words of one presenter, “the intersection of engagement and scale”. In non-marketing speak, that means it can be both personable and personal (like a friendly chat) but it can go out to as many people as possible, wherever they are in the world, and be watched again and again.
In the words of ON24 Content Marketing VP Mark Bornstein, “webinars transform your content”. He would of course say that, but the statistics are powerful. According to ON24’s benchmark report, the average viewing time for a webinar is a lengthy 56 minutes. The Netflix effect on viewing habits (whereby consumers ‘binge-watch” multiple episodes at one sitting) is also impacting here. You don’t have to watch webinars live, but can instead watch them on your terms, in your own time. On-demand viewings are rising dramatically, now accounting for 35% of all views.
Cost is often an issue with marketing strategies, but you don’t need to spend mega-bucks to get started. In one presentation, Autotrader’s Insight Director Nick King revealed his early efforts were made with a £35 camera bought from Amazon. If, like Nick, you need to start reaching out to customers in Aberdeen, Aldershot and Aberdare in the same week, then an informative, helpful webinar represents a hefty saving on time, not to mention petrol.
It was gratifying to see a snippet from one of BCMS’ past efforts used in ON24’s promotional video, and the Webinar World conference offered hints, tips and pointers on best practice, elements that we’ll certainly be putting into practice to improve our future webinars. Forgive the plug, but for the binge-watchers among you, there are now 13 episodes of the BCMS webinar now available on demand. They typically feature past clients, experts from partner organisations and across BCMS in the UK and North America, and seek to cover key topics in detail, from negotiation and motives for sale to earn-outs and business valuation.
In short: stuff that is of use to you, rather than just shouts about us!