Sales and Marketing Software

Live and On-Demand Webinars have Different Drivers (Part 1 of 2)

By Bob Johnson, VP & Principal Analyst

Vendors and agencies believe in the power of webinars and for good reason. IDG Connect research of over 300 buying team members shows four out of five enterprise buying team members use a live or on-demand webinar at some point in the decision process.  But there is a widespread challenge to reduce the significant drop off from those who register to those who attend.

The number of webinars attended (live) or previewed (on-demand) shows dramatic consumption differences. Decision makers (DM) touch an average of seven webinars or online events during the decision process which can extend up to over five months. For them, webinars provide a high level trend or best practice focus giving a more strategic view aligned with their overall role. Meanwhile, recommender/influencers attend an average of three events. Looking at a more tactical level, many webinars might not be at the technical level they require/desire to review and recommend.

Are you missing a key audience with your webinars by staying at an industry, trend or topline issue level?  Consider the buying team dynamics specific to your offering. Who you must influence requires specifics that are relevant. Decision makers want to confirm the overall issue while influencers/recommenders need detailed insight necessary in a given buying stage. Consider having technical webinars, business impact oriented webinars and those that speak to building the business case and financial considerations.

Buyers split their attendance between live and on-demand (53% versus 47%). The major advantages of live events they see are to ask questions or hear questions from their peers.  Your webinar will increase attendance if as part of registration buyers are able to submit questions in advance for consideration. In such cases you need to commit to answering the question either during or post-event.

The primary driver for viewing on-demand is buyers feel they can more quickly identify relevant information, but often this is a non-truth. A scan of webinars shows that greater than fifty percent still fail to offer any chapterization of the event content into segments that on-demand viewers can use to identify important areas and search for the most relevant insight. Here are some suggestions to impact both live and on-demand webinars.

  1. Solicit questions in advance to focus the discussion topic. In your reminder emails tout the number of questions already posed and that before, during or after the event centers around answering the most critical questions.
  2. Make sure that questions are either covered or addressed post-event for each individual.
  3. Post the questions and answers as part of the on-demand package. Any on-demand webinar should have a Q&A section that either separates out or writes out the key highlights for easy review.
  4. Chapterize your webinar content. No need to put the front end contextual wrapper in front of each chapter during the live event but make sure you pause speaking long enough so some voice-overs and section slides can be added after the fact.


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Bob Johnson

VP & Principal Analyst, IDG Connect

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