Webinars Drive Lead Generation:

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1 50 Years of Growth, Innovation and Leadership Webinars Drive Lead Generation: Trada Uses ReadyTalk Web Conferencing for Thought Leadership, Qualified Leads A Frost & Sullivan Case Study www.

2 Frost & Sullivan Effective marketing should drive business by uncovering sales opportunities, qualifying the resulting leads, and cultivating relationships with influencers and decision-makers that turn leads into clients. In an increasingly global marketplace, in which customers can find vendors with a simple Internet search, companies must distinguish themselves to their prospects and clients with thought leadership and value-added services. Webinars can facilitate marketing initiatives, letting marketers meet with prospects and clients anywhere, anytime, in an Internet-based, real-time environment. The technology offers rich functionality, and recording and archiving capabilities ensure businesses can re-use webinar content again and again, leveraging their initial investment and increasing the number of leads they generate. As the first and only crowd-sourced online advertising marketplace, Trada is an Internet-savvy organization and it uses a bevy of next-generation marketing tools to get the word out and drive business. Web conferencing is a key element of Trada s marketing programs, since as a business-to-business company, Trada focuses on value-add lead generation. About 18 months ago, the three-year-old company started hosting webinars for lead generation campaigns using services from ReadyTalk. The marketing team s goal is to drive high-quality leads, allowing the sales team to follow up as appropriate. A big part of the marketing strategy is to position the company as a thought leader in the paid search market, educate people on how to use it, and offer best practices, says Anna Sawyer, marketing manager at Trada. We then work to encourage them to use Trada s marketplace for their online advertising, because Trada makes paid search and Facebook advertising very easy. But, she emphasizes, the webinars themselves contain little if any product information; the goal is to deliver value and a sense of community to attendees, so they associate the company with smart thinking and leading-edge technology. For instance, Trada is currently planning a seven-part webinar series on the value of crowdsourcing in general; search is only a part of that broader discussion. But the content is relevant and meaningful to the attendees, and Sawyer believes that content encourages them to attend and gives them a stronger feeling for Trada as a valuable and trust-worthy organization. If they get good ideas about the value of crowd-sourced online advertising from a webinar on the broader topic and if they want to learn more about Trada s services as a result well, so much the better. Sawyer plans webinars featuring Trada employees, as well as guest speakers from other organizations with a similar customer base and experts in the field. She says the webinars are conversational and fun. Our company is very young and energetic, and we let that bleed through, she says. So we try to keep content in that vein. The results so far have been positive. The company keeps the presentations to about 30 minutes, leaving the rest of the hour for Q&A with the audience. Sawyer who is responsible for all aspects of the webinars, from choosing the topics, to sending out invitations and managing the registration process, to moderating the 2

3 Webinars Drive Lead Generation live events and creating any relevant collateral like white papers started out doing one event a month. Because the webinars have been such a success, she is now hosting about six per month. We quickly saw that it s a really good way to nurture leads and create a lot of content across the organization, she says. Sawyer and her team take a self-described aggressive approach to marketing, using a variety of modern-day tools, including blogging and social media, as well as more traditional means like campaigns and the company s own paid searches. Webinars play a role in those efforts, of course, but they also allow her to use the content they generate as part of those other marketing initiatives. Doing webinars generates a lot of content, which we can then re-use by recording and archiving the webinars, she says. Not surprisingly, the company puts a lot of thought into how that content will fit into its own search-optimization efforts down the road, and it selects topics and deliverables accordingly. Sawyer notes that webinars are relatively cost effective, although they do require a lot of time to plan and produce. To ensure everything goes off without a hitch, Trada takes advantage of ReadyTalk s operator-assisted services. That way, if someone is having trouble hearing the speakers, or getting online, a ReadyTalk rep is there to handle the problem and get them back on track, says Sawyer. Sawyer sends invitations only to people who have already expressed interest in paid search, Facebook advertising, crowdsourcing or Trada itself, noting that the likelihood that a cold contact will register for or attend a webinar is slim. Even within those constraints, the company typically gets 500 to 600 registrants, so we re basically throwing them a party six times a month, which is a lot of people thinking about online advertising and Trada specifically, she says. By using ReadyTalk s open APIs, Sawyer can easily send specific, custom messages to invitees depending on whether they have registered for the event or have yet to do so. Previously, she says, she would have had to export the list of potential participants from the ReadyTalk system and then manually select those contacts who needed a reminder or some other message; now, the system does that automatically. Trada uses its marketing automation software to score leads; every time a prospect or customer takes an action, they get points and registering for or attending a webinar certainly counts as a valuable action. During the webinar itself, Sawyer and her staff monitor the chat window, answering questions and offering demos; anyone who asks for a demo is immediately identified as a hot lead, and the sales team has two hours after the event to follow up with that prospect. Certain questions and other actions will also generate points for a given prospect or customer. Trada can also download the chat logs from the webinars and then use them to give sales people context for future interactions with prospects. That s huge, says Sawyer, adding that knowing what questions people asked, and whether they had any other issues or concerns, really helps the sales team make a connection. 3

4 Frost & Sullivan Sawyer chose ReadyTalk because the company does a good job of personally managing her live events. Eliminating her fear of technical difficulties is well worth the small extra cost, she says, and it ensures all attendees have a smooth and professional experience; since the company spends a lot of time, energy and money driving registrants, Sawyer doesn t want to jeopardize the resulting opportunities with technical difficulties, access issues, and so on. She also likes the service s robust features, including the fact that it is so easy to record, archive and even edit the webinars for future use. And when Trada first started hosting the events, it wasn t yet using marketing-automation software, so at the time Sawyer liked being able to assign unique URLs for different campaigns, which let her track who was coming from where (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, , etc.). Sawyer says that for Trada, webinars are an integral part of their overall marketing strategy and without them, she can t imagine how she would reach so many people, with such rich content. Webinars support our brand, she says, and they generate great leads, too. 4

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