My company CRM Essentials has begun doing a series of "CRM 101" workshops at Georgia Tech's Minority Business Enterprise Center. We go over some basics, talk about the business case for CRM, look at the impact of mobility, and let the class do some exercises in apps like Salesboom.com. But for us we try to go where the attendees want to, and so we end up spending a lot of time discussing the importance of leveraging corporate websites to automate lead generation and qualification. Search engine optimization and marketing is of growing interest, and because of that we also get into the importance of optimizing web pages with content tuned to search phrases.
Because of the growing prevalence of high speed Internet access and broadband wireless, we explain the importance of delivering rich content beyond the typical powerpoints, white papers and case studies. Think of all the stuff we get from the Internet for fun like music from iTunes, videos from YouTube and all sorts of other things, and it becomes pretty obvious that we like to consume information any all sorts of formats. And it's because the pipe has made it possible to quickly download multi-megabytes of content. So if we download things for our personal life, doesn't seem logical that we'll also download stuff for business as well? So we encourage folks in the class to look at podcasting as a viable strategy for businesses to use to drive business. Especially those in the technology industry. And according to one new study, now's the time to get going.
Knowledgestorm and Universal McCann just released a survey of 3,900 B2B technology buyers last month that says they are using blogging, podcasting, wikis, RSS and other new technologies to consume information used to buy products and services. Here are a few key points:
- 53% of those surveyed have downloaded or listened to a podcast at least once, with 41% claiming to have listened to podcasts on more than one occasion
- 65% said they listen to podcasts for BOTH personal AND business interest
- 60% of respondents said info on business or technology topics currently delivered as traditional white papers or analyst reports would be more interesting as podcasts. And 55% of them would be more likely to consume white papers if they were delivered in this manner
- 27% said podcasts already influence work-related purchase decisions
Now these numbers sound good, but when you take into account that we're still in the early adoption stages for podcasting, you really can understand how big of an impact podcasting and the other new marketing technologies will have in the not too distant future. These technologies are every bit a part of CRM as the traditional areas of SFA, MA and CSS. So all I can say to those in the class who were not too sure if podcasting was really for business.....I TOLD YOU SO!!!!! So get ready for my podcast starting in September.