My last blog post (we won’t point out how long ago that was!) talked about how hosting a webinar is like crab fishing. The gist was: enough bait (marketing) and soak (lead time) and you’ll have enough crab (attendees).
But there’s one more aspect: what kind of crab is in your pot?
As attentive viewers of Deadliest Catch know, sometimes the guys go out fishing for red crab, sometimes opilios and sometimes other varieties. Even when they pull a pot full of crab it doesn’t mean their tanks will end up full of crab.
Each crab boat has a specific fishing permit. They can catch one specific type of crab. When they unload a pot, they need to sort through it, toss out small crabs, female crabs and crabs of different species.
What on earth does crab species have to do with webinars?
In my experience, a company putting on a webinar for lead generation is very focused on having a pot full of crab – i.e., as many webinar attendees as possible. 100 attendees is good. Hundreds are better.
This approach doesn’t factor in the bigger picture – are you catching the right kinds of crab in your crab pot? What is the cost of sorting crab? What are the penalties you pay for having the wrong type of crab in your tank?
Crab fishermen can’t bring back the wrong crabs. They get fined, and worse, valuable room in the tank is taken up by the wrong type of crab. Catching the wrong crabs cost them time and money, and can even mean more trips out to fish.
When a marketer focuses on the number of attendees (and sets that as a goal), they risk having the wrong type of attendees.
Part of the problem is the marketing-to-sales handoff. Marketing is responsible for generating those raw leads. Sales has to deal with them. Essentially, sales has to sort the crab pot, and it’s their problem if the catch is wrong.
I’m not advocating marketing get fined for generating the wrong leads. In fact, I’m a proponent of casting as wide a net as possible in order to have the right amount of catch (OK, I switched fishing approaches on you; sorry reader!). But I am advocating keeping one eye on the type of attendee (lead) you want.
In crab fishing, you can have full pot after full pot, without it leading to a full tank. In webinars, the same is true: you can generate hundreds of attendees for webinars without generating any real sales leads.
So, I urge you, don’t simply focus on the numbers. Webinar success is not how many but who.
After all, sorting crabs is back-breaking work.