Webster Makes Webinar Official

Merriam-Webster conducted their annual update of their dictionary. Now on their 11th addition, Webster has added the word webinar to their pages.

According to John Morse,Merriam-Webster's president and publisher, webinar is "one more example of the
significant ongoing trend for electronic technologies to add words to the language."

We have always preferred the term web seminar at ReadyTalk but it looks like webinar is here to stay. Regardless, it is certainly a testament to the impact web conferencing (and webinars) has had upon our business culture over the last several years.

[tags]webinar, web seminar, web conferencing, Mirriam-Webster [/tags]

The Next Big Thing

Every company in every industry is looking for the “next big thing” to gain an edge over competition or increase sales. Developers that created Guitar Hero and other video game companies are under a tremendous amount of stress to create new ideas … and deliver quickly. The target audience these games have no shortage of opinions. With new technology in our faces daily, people expect more out of products and services. Add in what Hollywood shows in movies, and soon enough, people believe they should be able to be beamed from place to place.

It is no different in the web conferencing industry.

So how does a company stay ahead of the competition?

Talk to Current Customers
At ReadyTalk, we have gone to great lengths to engage in conversations with our current customers. While we think we know how customers are using ReadyTalk, there is insight that can be provided by interacting with them.

Read What Your Customers Are Reading
To be able to understand what your customers’ want, find out where they are getting their information from. Whether it be industry magazines, blogs, or conferences, having this insight will allow you to understand their point of view and speak their language.

Talk to Competitors
Call their sales team and ask what makes their product the best choice. Try the competitors’ solution and see what works really well and try to expand on it. Using a product similar to yours may spark a new idea or way to enhance the customer experience.

Continuously brainstorm new ideas. Have more conversations. Deliver. Repeat.

Should the Content Medium Impact the Lead Score?

As you can tell, I have been thinking about content creation a great deal over the past couple of weeks. We are still in the process of implementing marketing automation software and I am getting excited about the prospect of being able to properly nurture, track and score our prospects. The other day, I shared with you my framework for our content creation plan.

Today, I wanted to talk about something else that I have been thinking about: namely, allowing the content medium to impact the lead score. Take this example: Two prospects come to our website. The first prospect downloads a whitepaper entitled, "Creating A Successful Web Seminar Series" and the second prospect signs up for our web seminar entitled the same. Which prospect is closer to a purchase decision? Which prospect can be considered a hotter lead?

I would argue that the participant in the web seminar is most likely closer to a purchase decision. A seminar is not anonymous and by nature is more committing. Researchers wishing to stay anonymous download whitepapers and read blog posts. Researchers approaching a purchase decision will be more willing to engage and lift the veil of anonymity.

Does your company distinguish between content mediums when scoring their leads?

[tags]B2B, lead scoring, lead nurturing [/tags]

A Method for the Madness

As I had mentioned in my last posting, my partner in crime and fellow web seminar guru Jessica Kahn and I have been brainstorming as to how we can revamp or rev-up our web seminar series. So, how might one go about "renovating" the norm in order to gain more appeal, yet retain a reputation of reliability? Sometimes even the slightest changes can make people weary, however, it can also be the slightest change that can catalyze an audience and funnel in a fresh crowd as well. That's one of our current (and on going) objectives here on the marketing team – a goal that I'm sure is shared by the majority of marketing teams in any industry.

A web seminar can be used for various marketing initiatives such as nurturing, lead generation, and education. Here at ReadyTalk we've geared the majority of our series toward the educational aspect, however, we would like to now put more emphasis on the lead generation side of things. Why? There is a lot of time and effort that goes into planning, coordinating, scheduling, and promoting a web seminar and ultimately it would be great to get as much of a return as we take to make it worth while for our audiences.

We want it to not only compliment our services but also be a trusted resource for our audiences to use in their day to day business practices. Like I said, it's coming up with the "it" factor that will catalyze our audience in their current undertakings and in turn, potentially come back full circle simply by word of mouth and promote our undertaking. What is it that launches this cycle? How can we spice it up? Who do we target? What is the "it" we are seeking and more importantly – what makes "it" stick? I don't believe it comes down to a specific detail, but rather a bundle of small ones that will provide the best outcome. It’s a lot of brain-storming, a lot of feedback from attendees and input from other employees, and again – a lot of trial and error. We are learning as we go and improving with every adjustment.

Free July Web Seminar: Surviving and Thriving in Organizational Change

In July, ReadyTalk is offering four complimentary web seminars on some timely and important topics. We are starting off the month with Surviving and Thriving in Organizational Change, a topic that seems to especially resonate with people. I have a number of friends who are switching careers, taking time off, were recently laid off or are experiencing the typical volatility of many working environments. They'd appreciate some guidance on handling this uncertainty and instability and I hope you find value here as well. This web seminar is on July 9th at 2pm EST and is free to attend. Please join us.