Case Study: Turning Webinars Into Pipeline For A Global SaaS Company
- Global Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Company
- Industry: IT Services
- Company size: $1bn+ Annual Turnover. 10,000+ employees
- First engaged Webinar Experts in 2017 (to present)
- Region covered by Webinar Experts: EMEA
Turning webinars into pipeline in a global organisation, with multiple marketing programs across a range of multi-lingual teams
In 2017, this company had just started their journey of creating their own webinars with the goal of turning webinars into pipeline. The approach was well informed, with a Marketing team that had some experience of webinars before. The need for, and benefits of, running webinars was understood, but there was little formal structure and ownership of webinars within the EMEA Marketing team. Webinars were showing some initial results in engaging the target audience, but as a tactic webinars were treated as standalone alongside other marketing tactics. The point of systmatically turning webinars into pipeline had not yet been reached.
The Initial Solution
WebinarExperts worked with its customer to outline a structure that allowed for webinars to become a key part in an integrated marketing approach. This ‘always-on’ marketing model formed the basis for a more programmatic approach to running webinars, and ultimately turning webinars into pipeline.
In order for webinars to evolve from an ad hoc to a programmatic approach, three key steps were undertaken first:
The output from these three steps was the company’s first formal webinar program. It formed the blueprint from which to continuously improve and evolve the program and process steps, as new requirements became apparent.
Key success factors:
A number of factors formed the basis of successfully turning webinar into pipeline. Without these factors, the process of creating the program and ensuring it’s longevity would have been significantly diminished. These factors included:
- A clear understanding of the benefits and impact of webinars in the context of marketing (i.e. the initial buy-in)
- A clear vision of how webinars would fit into an integrated marketing strategy (i.e. avoiding a silo’d approach)
- Investment in creating a lasting approach with the help of WebinarExperts (i.e. an understanding that dedicated expertise outweighs the internal ability to achieve the desired outcome)
- 12-18 months initial aircover from the company’s Marketing leadership (i.e. the leadership buy-in allowing a process to be created, implemented, established, and proven)
At the heart of the long-term success of webinars within this company’s marketing strategy was the company’s continuous improvement mindset, supported by the key milestone results produced by the programmatic roll-out of their initial webinar output.
Based on the company’s matrix organisation, additional areas for other webinar programs were identified. This evolved a single webinar program to a multi-webinar-program structure. Each program followed the same model and process steps, with some adjustments for specific requirements. In parallel, the overall process evolved by introducing more webinar formats for specific audience segments, as well as continuously improving the program based on best practices.
Once the multi-program approach was established for webinars, the next step of evolution was to implement a centralised Webinar Service Desk. This approach allowed for central oversight of, and support for, multiple webinar programs while maintaining high levels of consistency and quality of output. This model formed the basis for greater scalability, while also maintaining process and output consistency, alongside the unchanged approach to continuous innovation.
As a direct result of the tactics and strategy described in this case study, detailed webinar analytics showed the following:
Within a year, WebinarExperts and their customer had established one of the company’s highest-performing marketing programs. The point of systematically turning webinars into pipeline had been reached. By year 2 it had grown from a standalone program to a fully aligned multi-program structure. And by the end of year 3, a Webinar Service Desk infrastructure had been established to serve marketing teams across the EMEA region based on a single central process, capable of scale and high-impact pipeline generation.
Key to the success of this approach were:
- The customer’s long-term mindset and commitment
- A continuous improvement approach that allowed for significant program evolution
- Strong stakeholder and leadership buy-in