SM: What are some of your key learnings from this journey so far?
SS: The journey has been very interesting. More technology start-ups didn’t survive the dot-com bust. We were able to weather the downturn and adapt to the environment. We adjusted the management team, adjusted the focus on applications and with a bit of luck, we’ve been able to flourish over the past few years.
Another important learning, which is part of Marketing 101 or Product 101, is how we, as a company, can develop close relationships with our customers. In a category like ours, in which people were initially concerned about the complexities of audio and video but it’s now an important part of the future, we had to constantly hear from customers about the types of applications that they want. We want to know what they’re thinking about, as this is the only way that we can adapt our offerings to support them.
For example, lead generation webinars didn’t exist. And now, nearly 50% of the webinars we host are for lead generation purposes. New applications are always evolving. We stay close to our customers to understand their needs and to develop new applications that address these needs.
In the end, the biggest learning is to keep adapting.
SM: For my readers who have been paying attention to the Enterprise 3.0 framework enhancements, note that Webinars have become a very important tool for TeleWebSales (TWS).
In fact, there are some interesting variations that Sharat explained to me during the course of this discussion. Banner Casting Live and On-demand are two interesting spins on Lead Generation Webinars that we are starting to see now in the evolution of rich media marketing.
In Banner Casting Live, a banner ad on a publisher’s site (say, New York Times) becomes the channel for an online webinar. It’s at a scheduled time, and the advertiser needs to budget a lot of media buy – both for marketing the webinar, as well as a 30-45 minute media buy for the entire duration of the webinar.
Banner Casting On-Demand is less expensive, in which case, you click on a banner ad, and go straight into a webinar.
As you experiment with TeleWebSales, these are certainly interesting ways to generate leads for your products and services.