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Webcasting Heyday Has Passed

The heyday of webcasting as a marketing tool has likely come and gone already. This prediction comes just as webcasts caught on in 2003. A mere flash in the pan, so to speak.

So reports Sam Whitmore, editor of Media Survey [1], in his column appearing on Forbes.com.

He is referring to TV-like webcasts used as online infomercials to generate marketing leads — not other kinds of webcasts.

His prediction goes against some of the market wisdom out there. For instance, he reports the results of a survey by Boston-based Bitpipe, forecasting that “tech marketers’ use of Webcasts will rise 25% in 2004, the highest jump among any form of direct marketing measured in the survey.”

Yet, he says that webcasts won’t make it because they are costly to produce and not a very efficient way of generating leads for vendors. Moreoever, he believes that from a viewer’s standpoint, webcasts are not popular because they are just plain dull. And your name gets put into a marketing database with all the ongoing downsides that brings.

For all the small tech startups out there trying to make a go of it by offering webcast services, as well as large companies looking for targeted ways to market products online, Whitmore’s contrarian prediction is something to consider. What does he predict will be a better online direct-marketing tool? He says to watch pay-per-click advertising in 2004 — and all the innovations expected to come there.