Podcasts vs. Webinars: Which is Better?

    January 25, 2006

An interesting conversation started on podcasts vs. webinars at the Church of the Customer Blog.

Jackie Huba argues that companies should dump their webinars in favor of videocasts and podcasts. She writes, “the self-serve nature of mobile media means people can listen to podcasts/videocasts when and where they want, not tied to a computer at a specific time.”

That’s a good point, but in the context of the complex sale, I respectfully disagree. I use podcasts and they are no doubt more “buzz” worthy than webinars. Still, if your target audience lacks a portable MP3 player, they are tethered to their computer anyway right?

People want different information, in different ways, and at different times during their buying process. The choices they’ll make will depend on their role, their exact need, and the time frame they have to solve that need.

Key question: Do you truly understand your potential customers buying process?

Your way of selling and marketing must conform to the customer’s buying process, driven by a clear understanding of needs and the impact of those needs on both that company and its customers. Every potential customer will have a slightly different buying process.

I have found it helpful to look at the potential customer’s buying process on the basis of modalities it employs at each buying step. To that end, I’ve developed a model that hypothetically shows the correlation between steps in a prospect’s buying process and the sales effort together with tactics that might be of interest at each stage. (Click image to enlarge)

If you want help on mapping out your customers buying process, a great source is Kristin Zhivago’s book Rivers of Revenue. I cite her process on in my upcoming book. She gets it better than anyone I know.

Brian Carroll is the CEO of InTouch Inc. InTouch is a 50-person company focused on delivering effective lead generation solutions for “the complex sale.”

Brian authors the very interesting B2B Lead Generation Blog which focuses on B2B lead generation, sales leads, and marketing for the complex sale.