It’s time to reinvent webinars for marketers

By Belal Atiyyah

It’s 2019 and we are still operating webinars with software from fifteen years ago. Say “webinar” to a marketer and they start showing PTSD symptoms. The main reason for this has been been a lack of customer focus from meeting/conferencing software providers who have built products to meet the needs of every single person in the enterprise – from the HR teams training new hires to sales team presenting their solution to the world – and using online meeting software for a very different kind of communication – webcasting. We’ve jammed all users through the same web conferencing platforms, forced audiences to download software in order to join a presentation, and forced presenters to be A/V technical specialists to change A/V and screensharing controls on the fly. By trying to meet everyone’s needs, webinar software providers have missed an opportunity to meet the essential needs of the essential user – the sales and marketing team.

We add ourselves to the group of webinar providers who have missed the mark in this space. In many ways, we moved the industry forward. We pioneered moving to WebRTC and HTML5 to remove software downloading and patented webinar automation technology to simulate a live webinar. However, like many others, we focused on way too many features to meet the needs of way too many users. While we have been lucky to attract and retain loyal customers like Amazon and Hubspot, we ended up with a feature-rich product that missed the mark for our most important customer persona – the marketer. Now we built a product around the user to focus on the user experience.

This realization forced us to go back to the drawing board and rethink webcasting all together. Speaking with dozens of marketers, we realized two things:

Marketers LOVE storytelling, building narratives, and engaging with their audience and they also HATE webinar platforms.

Why? The inability to pre-load content into one easy flow (hence our name!), and assign presenter rights/controls to different users for different modules has caused most marketers to stick to basic features of their webinar – screenshare plus audio. We heard it over and over — “I simply don’t want to break anything in the middle of our webinar.” Webinars are a marketer’s worst nightmare.

Most marketers are underwhelmed with the marketing capabilities of their platform. They needed better webinar lead tracking, analytics, A/B testing different flows, and full certainty that a webinar could manage small or large audience and not crash. And while the web-conferencing space is saturated with small and large solution providers, very few companies are delivering the right solution for this segment – arguably the most important decision maker in webinar hosting!

The webinar needs to be re-invented and we are building Flow to do just that.

We want to provide every marketer with an opportunity to focus on their message and their audience and not the technical tools of their webinar. To do this, we set off to build a platform that would let you treat your webinar like a TV director treats a show – having all aspects prepared ahead of time and ready for showtime. This will empower marketers to deliver branded, immersive, engaging experiences with their audience and be able to capture meaningful data from a highly engaged audience in order to finetune their strategies and tactics.

Today, we are announcing the release of our first Flow product. We built a number of features. Here are some of the ones we are most proud of:

  • Storyboard: a completely different way to build, organize, and reuse webinars. Storyboard allows you to prepare your entire narrative before showtime. Drag and drop content modules, select the order/Flow of your presentation, and set presenter controls for each module.
  • Modern UI: A platform powered with WebRTC and HTML5 to eliminate software downloading all together and allow the presenter to create and deliver their story.
  • Recording: once you’ve perfected your webcast, you can record it and save it for future use.
  • Webcast automation: Create a simulated live experience that feels live to all attendees in order to scale your reach, engagement, and customization with a larger audience
  • Security & Scalability: powered by the AWS backbone in our back-end, customers can rest assured that their data is secure and our platform can manage their events no matter the size.
  • Integrations: we integrate with all the CRM and marketing automation platforms that marketers can about most – like Hubspot, Marketo and Salesforce.

We look forward to working with you to refine the platform and more importantly, the experience as global clients’ needs evolve.

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