Mark Bornstein, Vice President, Content Marketing, ON24, discussed the benefits of engagement-driven marketing during his presentation to Argyle's CMO membership at the 2016 Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Forum: Spotlight on Financial Services in Boston on Sept 15. In his presentation, Bornstein highlighted the correlation between customer data and engagement, along with how marketers can use webinars as a successful channel.
Currently, customer data and engagement represent two separate initiatives for many businesses. Bornstein pointed out that customer data and engagement are linked, and companies that evaluate these metrics in conjunction with one another may be better equipped to connect with customers.
"We need to be more data-driven, but we also need to be more engagement-driven," Bornstein said. "How do we circle the square with these two concepts of data and engagement?"
According to Bornstein, financial services companies once were "personalized businesses." But today, these companies have struggled to deliver personalized experiences due to the digital evolution.
Now, there is a broad assortment of channels that marketers must be able to leverage to connect with consumers. Marketers also must focus on finding ways to deliver engaging content that drives customer partnerships.
"When you think about content in the digital age, you're producing a ton of content," Bornstein noted. "In the old days, we'd put newsletters in your mailbox. Now, we send them out through emails … that we're inundating our prospects with all the time."
In the past, many marketers would deploy segmentation techniques to better understand a business' target audience as well.
"It's a real challenge for us to keep pushing content – even if it's great content – out if we can't learn from the interaction that we're having with the prospect or client."
The use of segmentation, however, rarely provides substantial customer data that marketers can use to find the best ways to foster long-term partnerships with customers.
"It's a real challenge for us to keep pushing content – even if it's great content – out if we can't learn from the interaction that we're having with the prospect or client," Bornstein pointed out.
With an engagement-based model, marketers can deliver content that is relevant to customers and provides consistent value.
"Content needs to exist in real-time," Bornstein noted. "Every engagement possible should measure a [prospect's or client's] investment-readiness."
Webinars represent "the perfect engagement tool," Bornstein said, because they enable marketers to connect with consumers quickly and effortlessly.
"As buyers become self-educated … they look at webinars as one of the primary sources – the trusted sources – of information."
The modern webinar serves as a lead generation and nurturing tool unlike any other, as it enables marketers to get in front of a captive audience for up to one hour. Plus, a webinar empowers consumers and prospects to learn about a business and its products and services at their convenience.
"As buyers become self-educated … they look at webinars as one of the primary sources – the trusted sources – of information," Bornstein stated. "That’s why [consumers and prospects] are staying with a webinar for such a long time."
Typically, an engagement-driven webinar includes:
- Fully Branded Content – A webinar enables marketers to provide consumers and prospects with a wide array of fully branded content.
- Deeply Interactive Experience – During a webinar, marketers can provide an interactive experience, one that encourages consumers and prospects to connect with a business as well as each other.
- Multimedia-Based Format – Marketers can deploy audio clips, pictures, videos and other media throughout a webinar to deliver a one-of-a-kind experience.
- Social Capabilities – Facebook, Twitter and other social networks are readily available, and marketers can use social media to interact with consumers and prospects throughout a webinar.
- Multiple Content Touches in a Single Engagement – With a webinar, marketers can supply a large range of content that highlights a company's mission, products and services and more.
Ultimately, a webinar may offer the perfect blend of data- and engagement-driven marketing. This online presentation provides marketers with the ability to share information with consumers and prospects in a fun, engaging online setting. Meanwhile, consumers are able to share their feedback with a business and learn about a business and its products and services during a webinar, too.
"A webinar is not only an opportunity to give a presentation but also to present a very lovely menu of other types of content," Bornstein said. "You can have downloadable content. You can have reports and papers. You can have links to videos. … And you can present a menu of content and let people take advantage of one of the most important tools for marketers – self-selection."
The use of webinars may provide marketers with a wealth of data that illustrates how a consumer or prospect connected with a company. As a result, webinars offer marketers a valuable opportunity – to learn about a consumer or prospect and offer personalized support to them based on their interactions with a company during these online events.
"At the end of a webinar, we're not just looking at the registration data to figure out where our best leads are," Bornstein said. "Now, we're looking at behavioral data."
As Vice President of Content Marketing for ON24, Mark manages content strategy and marketing communications in support of webcasting and virtual event solutions. Mark brings over 20 years of content marketing, account management and communications experience with leading technology firms, including: Cisco, GE Access and Compatible Systems.