Mark Heimberg
Director, Technical Strategy

Marketers are looking for substance: brand awareness, a targeted audience, and leads.
Why Marketers and H.G. Wells (Would) Love Webcasts
by Mark Heimberg
June 25th, 2008
This post is filed under the following categories:
Lead Generation, Metrics, Multimedia, Websites
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Okay, first the easy one. Granted H. G. Wells, author of The Time Machine and many other works, died in 1946, but were he alive today, I think webcasts would be right up his alley. Sure, the technology behind them would hold appeal to such a great scientific mind - streamed audio and video, synchronized slides, user and presenter interaction, all in a convenient web-based environment. But I suspect the timelessness of webcasts would be the real thrill for Mr. Wells.

In the 113 years since Herbert George (his real name) penned The Time Machine, we might not be any closer to true time travel, but webcasts bring us closer than we might be otherwise. No longer is an audience limited by time and space. Users can interact with on-demand webcast content asynchronously - any time, day or night - when their schedules permit.

Similarly, there are no geographic boundaries associated with webcasts. Unlike physical world seminars, users can be distributed across the globe, literally anywhere there is Internet access, obviating the need for travel time and expense. This will likely be as close to time travel as we get in my lifetime.

Marketers are a savvy and more demanding group than H.G. Wells, who would have been satisfied with the aforementioned webcast technical features. Marketers are looking for substance: brand awareness, a targeted audience, and leads. Webcasts don’t fall short here, either. In fact, webcasts are a powerful means of connecting people interested in a specific topic, and allow the audience to ask questions of the presenters - a mini community of users all concerned with a single topic.

Webcasts come in two types: expert webcasts and vendor webcasts. Expert webcasts are presented by an unbiased expert or panel who provides an in-depth, educational treatment of the topics and issues in their domain of expertise. These events can be sponsored by companies who provide product and service offerings in that same domain, so they can be positioned alongside this compelling content.

Vendor webcasts have all the same technical features as expert webcasts, but provide greater flexibility for the sponsoring company, as they are also responsible for presenting the content. This makes vendor webcasts ideal for product launches and customer and prospect education, and provides more vendor-centric focus.

Whether you choose to sponsor an expert webcast or step up to the mic in a vendor webcast, the results are powerful. Your company is positioned as a solutions provider, and everyone who attends is captured in a database and delivered to you as a lead for the duration of the live and on-demand event.

Branding, positioning, and leads coupled with robust a technology platform that shatters the confines of time and space. Webcasts deliver exactly what today’s metric-conscious marketers are looking for. While we have yet to alter the space-time continuum, I believe H. G. Wells would be as impressed as I am.

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