BtoB

Keeping tabs on our virtual world

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By now you know that webinars and virtual events are a fast-growing business. But the adoption rate of webinars by marketers is quite astounding. Media Business last month reported on the impressive growth in the number of webcasts that media companies are monetizing. Last year, BtoB reported that 46% of marketers surveyed said they would increase webinar expenditures this year. While we don't have firm spending numbers, it appears webcast expenditures in the b-to-b world have indeed continued along their explosive growth curve. ON24, a leading webinar platform provider, has seen a 30% increase in webinars this year, and a 50% increase in virtual trade shows. A recently completed survey by BtoB and United Business Media found 60% of marketers are currently using webinars or virtual events to communicate with customers and prospects. What makes them so popular with marketers is the ability to brand, educate and capture leads, all at the same time. Lead scoring, polling and social media can now be incorporated into webinars, and the results easily demonstrate ROI. Nowadays, whenever marketers spend money, they need to know what the results are. Webinars and virtual trade shows offer those metrics with little backend effort. Many media brands now offer more than one webinar a week (we do at BtoBonline.com), and this may be the single fastest growing media revenue stream for many media companies. You can call it lead-gen, but it's lead-gen and much more. Bob Felsenthal can be reached at bfelsenthal@crain.com.
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