How Webinars Drive Effective, Efficient Demand Generation

Webinar World’18 is almost upon us. On the agenda is the question that is foremost on every marketer’s mind -‘How to put the personal back in marketing,’ – with a focus on how to build context-based campaigns and deliver events that put the customer first and foster authentic engagement between the audience and the brand. In the run-up to the event, we spoke to martech thought leaders speaking at the event. Christine Jacobs Pribilski, Vice President, Marketing, IBM, spoke to us about how webinar marketing can drive ROI.

Tell us about your role at IBM Cloud and the marketing technologies that your team uses.   

As the worldwide leader of performance marketing for IBM Hybrid Cloud, my team and I bring subject matter expertise to our integrated marketing teams to drive more effective (conversion) and efficient (ROI) demand generation. From marketing automation and content personalization to webcasting and events across paid, owned, earned and shared channels, my team intersects the art and technology in marketing, using data every step of the way to test and learn.

What brings you to ON24 Webinar World 2018?

We have made incredible strides with our webinar program in the past year working with ON24, so I am delighted to share our learnings and success story in ‘casting’ with the attendees at Webinar World with the hope that other marketers can see what’s possible. In the same vein, I’m looking forward to learning how other B2B marketers have fueled their webinar programs so we can apply these to our own “casting” program. And of course, networking and meeting other fellow marketers who share a passion for marketing is always a highlight of any conference.

Why do you see webinars as a key component of a modern CMO’s martech stack?  

I am such a champion of webinars, or “casting”, as I like to call it. Casting has come such a long way with the intersection of martech, analytics and content marketing. Casting is not only a viable format to deliver relevant stories and content across the buyers’ journey but also a way to deliver multiple touches in a single event, accelerating prospects forward in their buying journey. In addition, casting platforms can now offer incredible behavioral insights to help marketers become more impactful on the next right step. Finally, casting is a great way to extend the reach of event content to drive net new prospects and once engaged, offer targeted casting series to keep them coming back where we can create upsell/cross-sell opportunities and, ultimately, drive overall advocacy.

How do modern webinar marketing campaigns justify the churn from automation tools for the email, social media, and the new-age Account-Based Marketing?

While marketing automation does add more steps and complexity to execution, the outcome of that, when done thoughtfully and strategically, is more authentic and customer-centric webcast campaigns. Since you are able to capture deeper behavioral insights, you are then able to create more meaningful and actionable experiences for the webcast attendee.

At IBM Cloud, how do you leverage data science and AI/ML capabilities to drive webinar marketing campaigns?

The opportunities with data science, AI and Machine Learning so incredibly exciting. Our platforms are constantly analyzing responses with built-in logic that feeds into our marketing automation system so our campaigns can nurture individuals not yet ready to purchase and progress those who are ready for a conversation with a lead development representative.

Specifically, Response Scoring is a system that allows us to prioritize how to handle digital leads for seller follow up. It’s an automated statistical model that simultaneously uses hundreds of variables to predict the likelihood that a lead passed to a seller will turn into a validated sales opportunity. IBM continues to add new features to facilitate the integrated deployment of IBM Campaign with Watson-enabled modules.

Thanks for chatting with us, Christine.

Marketing Playbook Recap: Bringing Life Back into Life Sciences Marketing

For a long while, the life sciences industry has not had the luxury of enjoying today’s digital transformation. Regulations, and the fear of running afoul of them, have limited the use of digital solutions. But the influence of digital tools, and the lifestyles they enable, is forcing the industry to change its approach.  For example, in-person meetings today are increasingly difficult to arrange. And, even when they are set up, the time a salesperson has to influence a prospect is growing shorter. Exacerbating this, are prospects who turn to online resources for self-education, a growing trend for younger healthcare practitioners. The longstanding practice of meeting, greeting and sealing the deal is coming to a close.

Data backs this up. Two-thirds of all drug launches fail to meet pre-launch sales expectations during the first year the product is in the market. According to McKinsey, approximately half of products achieve less than 50 percent of sales that were forecast a year before launch. A new strategy is necessary to meet growth expectations.

So, what strategy works? The answer is a digital solution that both appease the need for HCPs to self-educate and for life science marketers measure interest and engagement while staying compliant.

Last week, I had the good fortune to host a short webinar called Marketing Playbook: How to up Your Game in Life Science Marketing. In it, I discussed how life science marketers can take advantage of the ongoing digital revolution to better target, connect and communicate with prospects and HCPs through webinars.

To summarize: webinars boosts your organization’s content by distributing it through a centralized system that scales with your target audience. Webinars can do this because they invite prospects into a captive environment, one requiring registration and a base level of interactivity. ON24 webinars, in particular, do more because they help organizations to disseminate additional content — from white papers and studies to video demonstrations and surveys — from within a single platform while measuring an audience member’s engagement through data points on every digital interaction. It’s content, context and data put together in one place.

And that’s an increasingly important perspective to have as more connections are made online. In fact, according to a Manhattan Research study, HCPs have increased their use of digital communications programs by 63 percent over the past two years. It will be increasingly important to push a digital effort on new drugs, new products and new procedures through a medium current and future HCPs will actually use. Additionally, with the right approach, practitioners can also leverage new digital mediums to unite and extend the reach of their content, allowing organizations to use, refine and repurpose content across the entirety of a product’s lifecycle.    

Just as important is pushing these messages while remaining compliant with regulations. Because content, attendees and messages are recorded through a single gateway, meeting compliance requirements with ON24 webinars is easy. In fact, organizations can push continuing medical education (CME) credits through ON24 webinars — and offer certifications as well — all while being tracked for reporting purposes. These education and certification efforts can also be easily extended to global sales training, as well.

Because ON24 tracks all interactions within a webinar, organizations can easily identify which messages resonate with target audiences. This helps marketers to repurpose or integrate engaging messages with key audiences across the buying and education cycles. In fact, webinar-generated data can be used to inform sales, allowing them to refine and target their sales efforts based on the behavior and interest of prospects within an event.

There are several advantages to using ON24 webinars in your marketing efforts. The main one, however, is a webinar’s unique ability to reach prospects on-demand while measuring their interest and engagement with your content. It uses your content to drive connections while distributing it in a way your audience wants to read it. Data is at the heart of the pharmaceutical industry and drug development. It’s about time that data played a bigger role for life science marketers.

 

Webinar World 2018: Reality Checking ABM and Getting Real Results

If there’s an acronym on the tip of every B2B marketer’s tongue, it’s ABM. Account-Based Management isn’t a new concept by any means, but it is experiencing one hell of a revival. Why? Because marketers now have better tools and better methodologies to make ABM campaigns work.

So, how can today’s marketers get their ABM campaign off the ground? What pitfalls should they look out for? What tools and methods work best? We’ve assembled some of the top ABM experts to discuss at Webinar World 2018.

Join us on Wednesday, March 7 at 10:15 a.m. as panelists Kim Davis, Editor-in-Chief, DMN, marketing thought leaders’ Karen Steele, CMO, LeanData and David Lewis, founder and CEO, DemandGen International discuss what real ABM programs look like and share key lessons they’ve learned as they launched their own ABM programs.  

We’re less than a week away from Webinar World 2018! If you haven’t, register today before it’s too late. Can’t attend? Keep an eye out on Twitter for the hashtag #WebinarWorld for the latest from the conference floor!

How Webinars Bring Personal Back Into Marketing

This Q&A with Matt Heinz was originally published on MarTechSeries.com. For more information on Webinar World 2018, please visit our landing page

Webinar World’18 is almost upon us. On the agenda is the question that is foremost on every marketer’s mind -‘How to put the personal back in marketing,’ – with a focus on how to build context-based campaigns and deliver events that put the customer first and foster authentic engagement between the audience and the brand. In the run-up to the event, we spoke to martech thought leaders speaking at the event. Matt Heinz, President, Heinz Marketing is one of them! And, Matt spoke to us about content and how marketers could leverage context to drive ROI.

 What do you believe should be the top priority for marketers today?

Two words: Revenue responsibility.

It’s critical that marketers think of their primary objective as revenue-producing metrics – sales pipeline creation, closed deals, renewals and customer lifetime value. This doesn’t change what marketers do, but it certainly helps them prioritize the right strategies and tactics.

You’re speaking on the topic, content that converts. What do you think are the biggest missed opportunities for content to impact revenue? 

Too often, content is created to earn clicks and likes without focusing on your target buyer’s journey.

Simply focusing on content that earns their attention, helps them loosen their status quos and ultimately commit to change based on their outcomes – that content will mobilize and catalyze your prospects into active buying cycles. That is content that converts.

How tech-savvy are your own Marketing, Sales, and Branding teams? How do you rate them on a scale of 1-10? How do you inspire them to work with technology?

I often tell people I’m not just the president of the Hair Club for Men, I’m also a client (for the millennials reading this, that was an infamous line in a hair restoration TV ad and I’m… oh, nevermind). I’d say our marketing and sales teams are quite tech savvy, but like most companies, we have tons of room to improve.

I’d give our marketing an 8, our sales a 7 and our branding a 5. We focus a ton on our sales pipeline and a bit less on our branding.

Technology is in our DNA so there’s less we need to do internally to inspire its use to achieve our goals.

How do you think young Marketing and Sales professionals should train themselves to master MarTech skills?

Know that technology is not your strategy. It’s one of the last things you should think about after knowing your objectives, audience, and strategy.

Technology supports, automates and accelerates your strategy when implemented well. That said, you simply won’t be able to create a consistent, predictable and scalable marketing and sales pipeline without mastering the ever-increasingly complex marketing technology landscape moving forward as a B2B marketer.

Are contemporary marketing technologies pushing the boundaries of present-day brand engagement and customer experience?

I see it as the other way around. In an increasingly distracted and skeptical world, we need to focus on better and more unique customer experiences. When our channels are even more diversified, a consistent and integrated brand experience stands out and becomes a competitive advantage. I think those needs are pushing the boundaries of what’s needed from the technology to keep up and implement.

What are the dynamic elements driving your B2B content engagement model? What tools and strategies do you use to create effective B2B content for events and webinars? 

We have a complex martech stack that supports our content efforts – everything from content creation to curation, amplification, influencer leverage, as well as ensuring the right content gets to prospects and customers at each stage of the buying journey.

Our content strategy is increasingly channel-diverse – including Sales Pipeline Radio, regular webinars, and videos, as well as daily social engagement and reciprocation.

Do you see Sales and Marketing Technologies unifying or evolving together to deliver higher ROI?

Yes absolutely.

It’s critical that Sales Technology and Marketing Technology completely integrate moving forward. One team, one budget, one strategy. Anything less and you’re leaving room for your competitors to bypass you sooner vs later.

What webinar best practices would you recommend for 2018?

Focus on engagement, personality, interactivity, and frequency. Perfect is the enemy of the good.

Create more content, shorter content, more “imperfect’ content that’s easier to watch, listen to and share.

Thanks for chatting with us, Matt.

Up Your B2B Game With People-to-People Marketing

Marketers don’t market to businesses, they market to people. But most marketers don’t know how to establish the trust they need to build to market to people.

To edify our growing and increasingly automated field, Joe Hyland, CMO of ON24, sat down to chat with Justin Gray, Founder and CEO of LeadMD, to discuss new marketing trends and their expectations for 2018.

And there’s a lot to expect! For example, Hyland anticipates a movement towards personalized, almost one-to-one marketing at scale in response to the industry swing to automation. The fuel for this movement? Engagement, data and the art of persuasion. Check out the video below, or head on over to LeadMD, to learn more:

Interested in hearing more? Great! Come hear Joe Hyland and other world-class marketers speak at Webinar World 2018. But hurry, we’re only two weeks away! Click here for more information.

Webinar World 2018: Plotting Out a Superior B2B Buyer’s Journey with Cheri Keith

How can you get more engagement from your webinars? Learn tips, tricks and tactics that make webinars work at Webinar World 2019.

Marketers talk a good game about customer-centricity, but can they actually live up to it in a digital era? Of course, they can. All they have to do is know what makes their personas tick.

Easy, right? Well, the digital world has a way of making things difficult.

To help you to refine your personas and map out your buyer’s journey, Cheri Keith, Senior Research Analyst at SiriusDecisions, is going to deliver her General Session discussion, Engaging Modern B-to-B Buyers: Creating a Marketing Mix that Resonates, at Webinar World 2018 on Tuesday, March 6.

With more than a decade of marketing experience at her fingertips, Cheri Keith knows how to pin down the elements of an effective marketing campaign. She’ll share what the critical drivers are for business-to-business purchase decisions, how you can refine buyer’s journey maps and how you can identify and verify the factors that impact these decisions.

So how can you attend? Simple. Register for Webinar World 2018 today and make your way to the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, California, from March 5-7. Not registered? All you have to do is click here.

What’s behind marketing’s transformation? More engagement, better insights, greater impact.

All of us marketers know by now: data is the most important thing to have but the most difficult thing to get right.

Why so important? Because data is what’s enabling marketers to find the leads ready for a sales conversation, give sales an understanding of what that prospect wants to talk about and help marketers tie their actions to revenue.

Why so challenging? Because most data comes from superficial, automated interactions, and doesn’t help sales do anything other than have a phone number to cold call.

At ON24, we’ve built our platform to solve this problem — provide marketers with a tool to engage their prospects and customers, and then turn that engagement into insights their sales team can use. Every webinar generates more than 40 data points per attendee… multiply that over a webinar series or over a lifetime, and you’ve got a much better picture of the human behind the screen.

This past year, over 13 million people logged onto the ON24 network to watch, listen and interact with the 2,000 businesses we’re proud to call customers. That engagement adds up to a pretty jaw-dropping number — one billion minutes. When you think about the average time spent with an email (3 seconds) or on a website (3 minutes), it’s clear people value webinar experiences and are willing to spend a significant amount of time engaging with them.

What were attendees doing for a billion minutes? Well, they were constantly interacting to the tune of 17 million resources downloaded, 12 million polls answered, 1.5 million questions asked and 1.3 million surveys completed. More than 70 percent of marketers prioritizing lead quality over quantity, and these are the kinds of data points that help meet that goal.

Marketers’ insatiable need for more engaging experiences and better insights is why we believe 2017 was ON24’s best performing year yet. After all, our own marketing team is relying on a webinar-driven marketing strategy to solve the data problem. With those insights, we’ve doubled our pipeline, expanded deals and improved customer retention. This year, we’ll lean even more into our webinar strategy to keep getting the personal insights that are accelerating deals.

If you want to learn more about how to take your webinar campaigns to the next level, join us and hundreds of other marketers at Webinar World in San Francisco on March 5 – 7. Hope to see you there!

Marketing Playbook Recap: How Asset Managers Can Up Their Digital Game

Last week, I hosted a  little webinar called Marketing Playbook: How Asset Managers Can Up their Digital Game. In it, I outlined how asset management teams can deliver engaging, almost one-to-one conversations with their prospects and investors through scalable digital channels — all while staying compliant. I wanted to take the time today to recap a few of the major talking points for asset management marketing today and to let you know that you can re-watch the whole webinar on-demand right here.

Without further ado, let’s review a few key points.   

Digital transformation

To point out the obvious, the asset management space has changed in the past few years thanks to digital transformation. The biggest change has been to how clients interact with portfolio managers and sales teams. To summarize: they don’t. Today’s clients prefer to self-educate with on-demand and easily accessible resources online. This movement towards self-education and research means fund managers need to equip clients and prospects with relevant, timely content when and where they want it.

Still, digital transformation hasn’t changed the core objectives — fostering relationships, establishing trust and imparting knowledge. Instead, it’s shifted those objectives into overdrive, requiring sales teams to learn and adapt to new digital distribution models and work more closely with their marketing teams to get data on which advisors to target.

Knowing your advisors

Part of that adaptation means knowing your advisor base. This is an issue for most asset management marketers. According to a recent Merkel survey, only 15 percent of leading asset management marketers say they communicate with their advisor base through personalized, engagement-driven messages. Exactly zero percent of respondents say feel they’re doing an “excellent” job of using data to improve the advisor experience.

Those numbers hide a more troubling trend. What they suggest is that asset management marketers aren’t collecting data on their advisors, clients and more. In the new digital marketplace, data is king and must inform every aspect of marketing communications. You simply can’t craft personalized experiences today without knowing your audience base. You can’t know your audience base without data.

Making the webinar connection

So here’s where webinars fit into all this. Webinars, and especially webinar platforms like ON24, are powerful tools marketers can use to disseminate a range of content in a personal manner. Depending on the platform, you can gather actionable insights on your audience, so your team can gather assets easier.

It’s one of the few technologies that can disseminate compliant and personalized data quickly and on a digital scale. Executed well, a webinar program can create active environments for guided content consumption that audiences can consume live, on-demand or both. Additionally, webinars can simplify compliance with centralized, gated messages and muted lines.

Now, simplifying content access is great, especially for areas, like asset management, that depend on a lot of information to capture clients. At ON24, however, we’ve found that leading marketers at asset management companies go beyond simply delivering content — they engage their audience with interactive polls, knowledgeable hosts and subject matter experts, live Q&A forums and a whole lot more.  We’ve even seen customers use data from surveys, polls, and Q&As can to improve product offerings.

There’s a reason for this. The more engaging and interactive you make your content, the more connections you can make to raise your AUM. What’s more is the fact that your organization can gain insights into high-value and interested prospects as they consume your content. You can also boost investor trust through thought leadership events, or build a knowledge center for financial advisors to earn CE credits. We’ve found that companies like Fidelity, State Street and Capital Group are moving to webinars for these reasons and more.

The days of having sales doing the heavy lifting to win business on its own, from awareness and education to investment and purchase, are over. With webinars, marketing can now play a sizable role in informing and guiding the customer, prospect, investor and advisor’s journey. And they can do this while gathering data on what interests an audience. ‘

Digital transformation has changed a lot of things and not always for the better. Quality webinars, however, can deliver a lot of value with relatively little effort. In fact, if you’d like to see one in action, simply click on this link and watch last week’s discussion at your leisure.

Webinar World 2018: Captivate your audience with Alex Blumberg

Marketers crave engagement. Not only that, but they crave engagement they can measure, reproduce and build on. The reason for this impulse is easy to understand. Once you engage someone, you capture their attention and, provided you have a good story to tell, you continue a conversation with them as time wears on and, hopefully, persuade them to become customers.

Alex Blumberg knows engagement. It’s not because he’s a co-founder of Gimlet Media (which recently raised an astounding $15 million in funds), or its CEO, but because producing engaging content is simply in his nature. After all, he’s spent his career talking to people as a radio journalist for National Public Radio’s award-winning series, This American Life. His work at NPR eventually earned him the George Polk Award in Radio Reporting for his production, The Giant Pool of Money, which covered the lead-up to the subprime mortgage crisis in 2008. He’s been busy ever since.

So what’s the secret to his success? Well, beyond hard work, it’s knowing what sticks with listeners, readers, viewers and the whole range of media consumers. For Blumberg, the theory is that audio sticks and engages. That theory has proven to be especially true, as recent analytics have found that podcasts, one of the most popular mediums today, keeps listeners engaged for roughly “90 percent of a given episode,” according to WIRED. Not only that, but those engagements can last upwards of an hour — ads included.

So how can marketers tap into this level of engagement? Thankfully, come early March, Alex will share what he knows about making things stick at Webinar World 2018: Engagement in the Digital World.

That’s right, Alex Blumberg will explain how B2B marketers can engage and convert modern buyers with powerful storytelling and engaging content. It’s a boundless opportunity to learn the art of captivation from one of its modern masters.

So how can you tune in? Simple. Register for Webinar World 2018 today and make your way to the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, California, from March 5-7 to catch him. And, while there, check out our whole curriculum on how to deliver, measure and perfect engaging webinars for your marketing efforts and boost your customer satisfaction. All you have to do is click here.