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Case Study: Integrating Webcasting Into Marketing

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For at least one mainstream corporate marketing agency, webcasting has emerged as something more than a technical novelty and has become a vital tool for differentiating not only their products and services, but their customers’ as well.

At Cramer, an integrated marketing solutions provider in Norwood, Mass., executives at client organizations are discovering ways to implement web audio and video that make multimedia-enriched online events and presentations an important element of marketing campaigns for companies competing in a wide range of industries, from pharmaceuticals to consumer-branded goods.

The agency helps its clients with projects ranging from creating four-color brochures to designing and building tradeshow exhibit booths to producing large-scale client events for thousands of attendees. And, at Cramer, the firm is seeing webcasting emerge as a medium that can build upon the strengths of existing marketing campaigns while providing clients a fresh, innovative, and highly interactive means for conveying their message and differentiating their products and services in a highly competitive marketplace.

For instance, Cramer helps leading pharmaceutical company Serono to produce and manage live roadshow events and conduct traditional email marketing campaigns. But webcasts are also emerging as a tool that Cramer uses increasingly to connect patients with doctors who understand specific diseases and how drugs that are available today can help in their treatment, said Rob Everton, Cramer’s creative technology director and webcast manager.

"Webcasting is a key component of the Serono program because it allows patients to reach out to doctors and get their questions asked in real time in a forum that can be private, or in the case of live webcast events, to talk among a group of people that are going through the same thing they are," Everton said.

Cramer has been using webcasting tools to publish and manage a wide range of client projects incorporating online multimedia in outbound communications. The firm’s customers are some of the best-known names from industry sectors that include healthcare, software, financial services, electronics, and consumer products, and include companies such as Bayer, Comcast, Fleet, HP, Motorola, EMC, and Fidelity.

For a large accounting and professional services customer, Cramer runs a program every fall to produce a series of live webcasts about various technology issues for participants to interact with subject-matter experts on topics in which they have expressed an interest. The audience consists of customers, partners, and employees who are provided with a network of handheld PDAs they can use to communicate with the speakers and respond to polls during the webcast.

Some of Cramer’s customers are using webcasts to create an entirely new class of marketing assets. Bayer Diagnostics, for instance, was looking to launch a new blood analysis machine via live events to doctors, potential customers, and actual users of the machine. The firm used live webcasting to reach more than 70 locations all around the country, with anywhere from 10 to 50 people tuning in from each site. The webcasts turned out to be highly interactive and very informative for both customers and prospects who were able to ask doctors and end users about how the equipment was used in other facilities. Bayer also created an easily accessible archive of the large events, along with other content and resources on hematology and blood analysis, that all parties involved can turn to on a regular basis for useful and up-to-date information.

The program has turned out to be an excellent tool for Bayer for continuously generating new sales leads and providing compelling resource materials to a range of people that have an interest in the state-of-the-art for blood analysis machines and other equipment the firm offers.

Cramer now makes webcasting a regular part of marketing campaigns developed on behalf of its clients. Everton understands the importance of having a webcasting solution that integrates with their existing applications and leverages the significant investments that the firm has already made. The content-creation tools Cramer uses to develop and manage the webcasts it produces for dozens of clients every year allow them to fully customize the colors, fonts, graphics, and layout of their webcasts to match the overall look and branding of all the other marketing materials the firm produces for its integrated campaigns. It also allows them to have great technical flexibility to tie into back-end databases, lead-generation programs, and reporting systems, some of which are proprietary in-house solutions the firm has invested considerable time and resources to customize for their unique needs.

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