Huh? What does "top of mind" mean? It's important, and it's very often overlooked.
In the outrageously competitive world of consumer advertising, most ads are not designed to produce an immediate action on the part of the consumer. How often do you see a cereal commercial and find yourself seized by an overwhelming urge to jump in the car, drive to your neighborhood grocery store, and buy a box of the cereal? Sure, it's POSSIBLE (particularly if you have been artificially enhancing your mellow while listening to Pink Floyd albums)… But in most cases, the ad produces no response whatsoever. Nor does it produce any action the next 12 times you ignore it. Then two weeks later, you find yourself in the store and remember you are low on cereal. "Hmmm… Might as well try this one that I heard about. It's supposed to taste good without being all jacked up with extra sugar. Worth a shot."
Now, how did you know it was supposed to taste good? Where did you get the information that it was low on sugar? Why did you even notice it on the shelf? You had been repeatedly supplied with key value propositions and product identification cues. Even though you didn't pay much attention to those commercials, they proved informative and made the product packaging more familiar and noticeable. When you were ready to buy, the advertised cereal was "top of mind."
In the world of B-to-B marketing and sales, this approach is commonly discarded. Every contact with a prospect or customer is designed to elicit an immediate action response. Even "content marketing" campaigns typically end with a call to action and a sales inducement. There's a place for that… I'm not telling you to stop providing strong CTAs. But in many cases you can gain extra leverage by sprinkling in some purely "altruistic" communications. Don't ask for anything in return. Don't finish with a request. Just provide repeated information drops that keep your offering "top of mind." Then when the prospect is eventually ready to make a decision, they think of you first.
Webinars, web meetings, and webcasts can be a wonderful way to deliver this "softer, gentler" kind of information sharing. As part of your customer nurturing process, why not hold a series of regularly scheduled short webinars? Each one can give a little bit of useful information without any of the surrounding marketing introduction, sales positioning, or set up and background that you would build into an introductory lead generation webinar. You assume that attendees have already heard the basic pitch. They know who you are and what your offering does. So you respect their time and just give them a little sumthin' extra. Because you're nice people.
Examples might include a spotlight on a feature of the week. Or a short case study looking at an interesting customer use example. Or news about recent pricing changes. Or limited time special offers and discounts. Or new version availability. Or changes to management. Or information about third-party integrations. Or options and add-ons that can be applied.
It gives sales representatives a justification and reason to reach out and stay in contact with their prospect lists without having to say "Just wanted to see if you're ready to make an order yet." The salesperson can invite the prospect to get additional information purely for their own benefit. The webinars can also be used to encourage upsells and additional usage from existing customers who have made an initial purchase.
Webinars can also be used as source material for sales and marketing touches to stay top of mind. Let's say you give a standard one-hour pitch-centric lead generation webinar to the public. Look for a short nugget of value that you can extract and use on its own. Maybe a definition of a technical term. Or a customer testimonial. Keep it short… 30-60 seconds works great. Produce that one small snippet as a video clip and provide it to your sales team to send out to their contact lists. The salespeople can be seen as offering value and doing the leg work of stripping away all the inessential surrounding material to give the prospect something that is worth a bit of time and a bit of attention.
Don't overlook the value of staying top of mind both before and after an initial sale. The form that will take is highly dependent on the way your product is structured and on the way you manage the customer relationship lifecycle. It will almost certainly NOT be the same as advertising breakfast cereals! But with a little introspection, I'll bet you can find a way to add additional touchpoints and improve goodwill and perception of value among your target populations.