Biotech R&D is built on data, and with missions like advancing cancer research and revolutionizing agricultural production, the stakes are high.
Benchling provides market-leading R&D software trusted by more than 200,000 scientists in Fortune 500 companies, startups, and academia.
We connected with the fast-growing company’s Head of Community and Customer Marketing, Maryann Ibrahim, and Marketing Manager in charge of global webinars, Josh Zhang, to find out how they’re leveraging the power of webinars to broaden brand reach, nurt
ure high-intent prospects, and increase account engagement.
Scientific R&D is incredibly complex, and with many scientists still using manual methods, product demos are the best way to get Benchling’s market familiar with the idea of using software to simplify the process.
The Benchling team knew they needed a way to get in front of existing customers beyond their annual in-person field events. That’s where webinars came in.
Maryann, Josh, and the team at Benchling now run three to four webinars per quarter between themselves and the product and sales teams. “If there’s a particular solution or application they want to showcase, we can answer that with a webinar or event,” explains Josh.
For the demand gen team, webinars play an important role in a broader quarterly or annual campaign theme, with several coordinated efforts across social media, email, the blog, and other channels all leading up to the quarterly webinar. “We like to think of a webinar as the cherry on top,” Josh says. “We build up a lot of interest going into the final product demo webinar.”
In addition to their campaign-driven webinars, the team has seen incredible success with its quarterly What’s New webinar series.
The customer engagement event shares all the latest Benchling updates and releases. Led in partnership with the field and product marketing teams, this single webinar series has generated a 30% return in users, and an increase in customer upsells.
And that’s not all. Since switching to Goldcast, the team has increased its attendance rate from 27% to 34% and generated $6.1 million in pipeline across 406 opportunities within 90 days of each webinar.
“For us, webinars are really there to increase account engagement and create interest that drives new or accelerated pipeline,” says Maryann. “We’re not a horizontal company. We know exactly who we’re going for, so for us, a webinar is a really great way to do that.”
So great, that webinars ranked in Benchling’s top three channels for account engagement last year.
But there was a learning curve. After trying a couple out-of-the-box webinar platforms, Maryann and Josh became determined to find something better — a platform that could help them go beyond the basic webinar and create the type of event attendees would actually want to join.
Maryann’s benchmark? “Maximum efficiency with minimal effort.” Fortunately, that’s when they found Goldcast.
Here are just some of the features that help the Benchling team recreate the feeling of a live in-person event.
“When you’re logging into a webinar that’s another Zoom meeting, it’s not really that different of an experience than what you’re already doing every day,” says Josh. “Using Goldcast is very unique. For lack of a better word, I would say it’s made webinars sexy again.”
For Benchling, it’s not just about nice-looking features—it’s about the experience they deliver to their prospects and attendees.
“Webinars are obviously very customer-facing. You want your attendees to have a great time. The experience Goldcast offers adds a lot to that,” explains Josh. He was thrilled when the team received multiple comments about how much attendees loved the fresh new look of Benchling’s events.
The way he sees it, webinars are an inherently high-intent endeavor. After all, it takes a lot of commitment for attendees to not only register, but also show up and engage.
That in itself is an excellent gauge of how interested a prospect may be. But when you also offer a stellar experience supported by engagement features like chat Q&A and a hand-raiser poll, events become a key catalyst for organic conversations.
“The natural next step is to connect them with a real person to get to know their needs and see how we can help,” he explains.
From the very top of the funnel, Maryann, Josh, and the team at Benchling are tapping into the power of webinars to demonstrate thought leadership, build product awareness, and gauge intent. All of which contribute to increased pipeline.
“The webinar experience is a great one-to-many channel,” says Maryann. “In-person events are expensive and can only be in a certain location. Webinars have been a really great way for us to take some of the things we’ve done in person and make them more accessible to everyone.”
As a demand gen leader with a global scope, she loves seeing all the different countries people are from as they enter the chat. And with a little help from the right partner, Benchling’s global growth is just getting started.
“The Goldcast team has always been right there. A partner like that is really important for a growing company like ours.”
Benchling's cloud technology is uniquely tailored, with a “scientist-first” ethos. Serving some of the world’s most advanced biopharmaceutical, biotech, and agritech organizations, the cutting-edge R&D software makes everyday innovation a reality for its users.