An interesting conversation started on podcasts vs. webinars at the Church of the Customer Blog. Jackie Huba argues that companies should dump their webinars in favor of videocasts and podcasts.
She writes, “the self-serve nature of mobile media means people can listen to podcasts/videocasts when and where they want, not tied to a computer at a specific time.”
Which is better podcasts or webinars?
That’s a good point, but in the context of the complex sale, I disagree.
I do podcasting and they are no doubt more “buzz” worthy than webinars are today.
Still, if your target audience is more visual or needs to see what your sharing then what?
Focus on the buying journey
People want different information, in different ways, and at different times during their buying process. The choices they’ll make will depend on their role, their exact need, and the time frame they have to solve that need.
Key question: Do you truly understand the buying process of your customer?
Your way of selling and marketing must conform to the customer’s buying process, driven by a clear understanding of needs and the impact of those needs on both that company and its customers. Every potential customer will have a slightly different buying process.
I have found it helpful to look at the potential customer’s buying process on the basis of modalities it employs at each buying step. To that end, I’ve developed a model that hypothetically shows the correlation between steps in a prospect’s buying process and the sales effort together with tactics that might be of interest at each stage.
(Click image to enlarge)
If you want help on mapping out your customer’s buying process, you can check out this post: 4 Steps to Do Lead Nurturing That Helps More Customers Buy
You may also like:
How Podcasts Impact B2B Purchase Decisions
New Research: Customer Empathy and How to Solve Buying Problems
Putting Empathy in Account Based Marketing
Gartner Research: Boost Your Growth From Existing Customers
I fully support your comments about the Buying Cycle. As very experienced sales professional, I now provide a Buying Process Consultancy Service. The difference in the performance of a business owner when they understand the process a person is going through when buying their product or service is marked. It really is a very important skill in growing a business yet is rarely discussed.
Also dont forget that you can expose your message to more people via podcasts and webcasts by submitting to itunes and other directories. This can be a real force multiplier since you can make one perfect message in your podcast or webcast and then archive it for the directories to link to.
yes, both the podcast and the webinar address different needs – both are important to offer in a multi-faceted approach in selling. Great topic!
Great discussion thread. I have touched on some of these same issues in my Webinar Blog and I just added a long new entry specifically on the topic. My contention is that podcasts are not an effective medium for lead acquisition and that they are fundamentally different from webinars, which are better suited to the task. Yes, raising percentage attendance is difficult for a webinar, but that doesn’t mean that because you can just post a podcast and let people download it at their convenience, it magically becomes a better lead generation tool. You can record webinars and make them available for time-shift viewing if you want. They’ll still be less effective than the live webinar and a different animal than an information-dispensing podcast.
Interesting read. We are experimenting with podcasting now, but never thought it would replace webcasts entirely. I agree with your assessment that podcasts should be because of it’s “buzzworthy” appeal. It will be interesting to see how the B2B world embraces this in the coming years.
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