Are you considering adding webinars to your manufacturing marketing mix? There are a few things your boss wants to know about webinars if you want his buy-in. As an innovative, modern manufacturing marketer, you're the best person to fill him in on the potential power of webinars as a lead generating, revenue machine.
Here's what your boss wants to know:
WIIFM? As humans, we naturally want to know the answer to the fundamental question 'what's in it for me.' We all hate to admit that we're a little self-centered, but we know it's true deep down in our caveman brains and hearts. Your boss is no different. As with any marketing project you propose, he wants to know how it will affect him, his career, his compensation, his free time, his reputation, etc. As far as webinars go, he wants to know how webinars further the company mission and business goals. If the goal is growth, he wants to know how webinars affect growth. If the goal is to generate leads, for example, he wants to know how webinars will drive more leads. Tell him that webinars do drive growth and they do drive more leads into the sales funnel as long as the webinar is executed well. Read this post for more insight into what makes a webinar useful as opposed to lame.
How will webinars affect business performance? Part of your boss' job is to allocate limited resources to various marketing personnel and activities. Naturally, he wants to get maximum return from his marketing budget. Tell him that webinars will feed the sales pipeline and accelerate the buying process for prospective customers stuck in the sales funnel. By educating the target audience, your company will get top-of-mind awareness (TOMA) and credibility in the minds of the people who will one day purchase what the firm is selling. TOMA + credibility grows the top line organically by taking market share from the competition. Tell him you can show precise numbers from the webinar activity that prove or disprove your hypothesis that webinars drive revenue.
How do we make it happen with limited resources? Lead generation webinars do take a significant chunk of resources up front. However, once the upfront work is done and the team is past the learning curve, much of the webinar process can be automated. It may require using a freelance webinar consultant or reassigning 1 or 2 people from less efficient marketing activities to the webinar project. The bigger challenge will be lining up and getting time from subject matter experts. The good news is that you can build a process around webinars and become very efficient at creating, executing and leveraging webinars for more leads, awareness, and sales.
Why don't we talk about the product? This one can be a tough sell for a manufacturing marketer trained to live and die by the product. It's important to tell him that engagement with the target audience is 10x to 20x more efficient with educational webinars as compared to product based webinars. If he pushes back, propose a pilot webinar that will prove or disprove your case. Most senior marketers are open to a pilot test because they can say they are innovative marketers and the risk is pretty low.
- Why did you wait so long to tell me about webinars? This is the question you might get after proving your point. If you follow webinar best practices, you will get hundreds or even thousands of prospective customers to register and attend the webinar. If you have the proper technology in place, you can prove the webinar contribution to new opportunities and closed business. If your boss can attend his next leadership meeting and present the results of his new webinar initiative as having contributed 20% to last month's sales, you're the winner!
How many times has your boss asked you to "think out of the box"? How many times has he asked for innovation and creativity? This is your chance. Answer these five questions before your boss asks, and you're the next marketing hero at your manufacturing firm!