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Webinars (also known as e-seminars, webcasts and teleclasses) extend the marketing repertoire, enabling businesses to reach potential customers using a presentation with audio instead of visuals or content alone.

Webinars have drawbacks, however, because people have different learning styles. Some of us learn through visuals, some learn through audio and some learn through tactile experience. Webinars neglect people with hearing loss or no sound on their computers (unless the webinars are conducted by phone). Yet, they do provide an interactive forum that is similar to a live presentation, without the time or costs associated with traveling to the event.

Given the pros and cons, how successful is this marketing approach? Are webinars worth the effort? What works and doesn't work when using webinars for marketing?

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This Week's Dilemma

Adding webinars to the marketing pool

I am attempting to use webinars as a marketing tool in my computer networking company. I have more questions than answers about using this technique for marketing. In your experience, how beneficial are webinars in increasing sales? How much time and effort do you put into the presentations? What are the advantages and disadvantages of webinars? How do you determine whether or not a webinar makes a good addition to the marketing pool?

—Jamie, marketing manager

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Hank Stroll (Hank@InternetVIZ.com) is publisher at InternetVIZ, a custom publisher of 24 B2B e-newsletters reaching 490,000 business executives.