Several decades ago companies wishing to reach clients used to organize educational seminars in conference halls. Nowadays, in the age of Web 2.0 technologies, such seminars have given place to internet solutions. It is not only an effective and extremely comfortable way of communication but it also helps to save time and resources as well as provides a more personal approach to every client’s needs. Agne Jonauskaite, the Director of New Client Development at Locatory.com, has introduced a new generation method of communication with clients from all over the world – webinars.
Agne, what do your daily activities at Locatory.com involve?
I am the director of new client development. My major tasks include not only attracting new clients but also ensuring that airlines, spare parts suppliers, manufacturers and MROs would have no difficulties while using the specialized aviation internet platform and conducting their sales operations. As a director of new client development I work hard towards connecting both buyers and sellers on one platform where they can solve AOG situations as well as tackle everyday spare parts sales issues.
What marketing methods do you commonly apply?
Our product is internet-based so all our operations heavily rely on information technologies – whether it would be attracting new clients or communicating with the existing ones. We live in the age of information technologies; therefore we reach our target audience and market our products via the internet. Our communication and marketing team takes care of promoting the company across the most popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Xing, Vkontakte, Google+, Slideshare, etc. Then there are also the already famous videos with Captain Locatory – these capturing videos are especially attractive to modern people who value the audiovisual format of information.
We also promote Locatory.com and address our clients during international conferences and exhibitions. However, the major IT tool remains our internet seminars. It is an exceptionally convenient and highly effective way to introduce our products and services (and the project in general) in no more than 15 minutes thus saving the highly valuable and costly time of our clients.
Could you please elaborate on what the ‘webinar’ really is and how you apply this tool in the working process?
Webinars are commonly known as seminars via the internet. It is a virtual live presentation of a particular product which can be viewed by people living in different parts of the world. There are no limits on the number of people who can participate – we have conducted seminars for a single person as well as 100 at a time – it really depends on the clients’ needs.
In the course of a webinar people on the other side of the computer screen can observe all my actions that I demonstrate on my computer as well as get involved with asking live questions, participating in discussions, sorting all encountered problems and finding all possible solutions there and then. Such way of communication has received a wide recognition among our clients.
Live versus Virtual – can they live under one roof?
Yes and no – there is no single right answer to this question. Some people prefer live interaction as they can observe human emotions, gestures and reactions.
After all, the XXI century has been named the era of information technologies – the attitude that ‘if you are not present on the internet, you do not exist at all’ is partially right. Webinars are very effective due to constantly increasing speed of life and lack of time. They are also highly attractive as they do not require huge financial resources – neither on behalf of organisers nor participants. Arranging a live meeting would take at least half of the day, depending on the distance between a company and a client. It is probably no news to any of you, but time in the aviation industry is eminently expensive. By embracing information technologies we can serve our customers without them having to leave their working desks and drop everything just to attend the meeting. An ordinary virtual meeting takes only 15 minutes – those 15 minutes may save our clients several days of valuable time.
What kinds of topics and practice areas work best for webinars? Are they effective for b2b communication in the emerging markets?
I started practising internet seminars as an effective way to communicate with clients in May, last year. Currently we offer three types of webinars: public, specialized (for a particular client only) and instructional. Public internet seminars are held every Thursday and are open to everyone who is interested and has registered to participate on our website. These webinars are dedicated to introducing the project and Locatory.com products in general. The second type of internet seminars is organized for a particular client, sales/procurement team or a decision making unit. This way, our clients do not have to waste time on long travels and can receive all the information they need in just 15 minutes. During instructional webinars we provide training and consulting sessions on the most effective ways of using our platform. These are especially relevant to our clients in the emerging markets who can learn to navigate the platform without having to make long and expensive journeys. Today I can already count more than 600 webinars I have conducted so far.
What challenges are you faced with regarding webinars?
Communicating with clients from all over the world might seem more difficult than it actually is. Many people point to the time differences; however, our team can conduct an internet seminar 24/7. If they have 12pm in California, here, in Eastern Europe we have 1am – no problem! Our team can conduct a webinar any time most suitable for the client. I personally have conducted webinars at 2 o’clock in the morning as well as at midnight and 6am. The client is what matters the most. Sometimes we are faced with problems regarding certain policies and rules that our client companies enforce in their offices, such as restrictions of using Skype, limited JAVA access, etc. However, with our strong focus on clients we always look for the best ways of solving all problems and consider all our clients’ needs. Language barrier is also never an issue – the Locatory.com team speaks 7 most commonly used languages in the world, which is especially highly appreciated by clients in the emerging markets.