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Demand generation strategies help B2B businesses develop awareness and interest amongst their target audience. It’s a methodology used by sales and marketing teams to build demand for a product/service at every step of the buyer journey.
If your demand generation strategy works, your sales and marketing teams will be on the same page, working in tandem.
Every tactic you implement will work towards a designated end goal. You’ll reduce wasted marketing spend, increase lead quality, and consistently hit your targets.
Demand generation strategies are only as great as the tools you implement.
Without the right CRM, email marketing tools, and analytics platform, it becomes challenging to yield optimal results for inbound marketing campaigns.
How do you build a successful demand generation strategy?
What Is The Demand Generation Funnel?
Marketing And Sales Teams Alignment
In many companies, marketing and sales teams work in silos. Your sales process is crucial to the success of your demand generation strategy.
Healthy, reliable demand generation requires a full lead nurturing strategy from first contact through decision and purchase.
Marketing teams should work alongside sales throughout the purchase journey, remaining in tune with buyer questions, concerns, and attitudes.
Marketing and sales will need to be fully aligned to continue a positive experience for leads and allow for demand growth.
The sales team should approach all interactions from the buyer’s perspective, focusing on their needs and goals and understanding their position in the sales process.
You can use your demand generation marketing as a way to keep leads moving through the sales process by maintaining the same level of quality content they are used to engaging with.
This will help them continue to feel comfortable with the brand and trust their reliability and expertise as they make sales decisions.
Marketers work tirelessly to attract leads and hand them off to salespeople who do their best to close the deal — but if the goals, lifecycle definitions, processes and technology stacks are misaligned between teams, it will eventually lead to unclosed deals.
Your buyer personas and ideal customer profile(s) will guide everything you do as marketers and sales reps.
It ensures you are giving the most personalized and positive experience possible to someone from the first moment they interact with your company to the end of their entire buying cycle.
What Is Demand Generation Marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute defines demand generation marketing as “the practice of creating demand for an organization’s product or services through marketing.”
A strong demand generation program builds brand awareness and authority, and produces thoughtful, engaging content that drives interest and cultivates leads.
Demand generation (or demand gen) is an essential part of a healthy business to business (B2B) sales and marketing strategy.
Pillars of A Demand Generation Strategy
An essential pillar of any effective demand generation strategy is consistent optimization fueled by cross-channel analysis, and effective reporting will facilitate more successful optimizations to each element of your overall demand generation program, and ultimately allow you to effectively attribute marketing’s contribution to revenue.
A demand generation program is essential to optimize your marketing funnel and increase your lead generation efforts.
Implement A Knowledge Base
While it is often associated with inbound marketing, paid advertising can be executed with an inbound approach.
Like blogging and SEO, it attracts visitors to your site by focusing on the keywords you know your buyers will be searching for.
What Is Gated Content?
Gated content consists of e-books, guides, white papers, videos or any other content that is worth downloading because it provides high value to your visitors and leads.
These materials are vital because they allow you to continue educating contacts through the buying process.
Besides filling out forms on gated content offers, you can also capture contacts’ information through chatbots, giving you another lead generation channel.
Chatbots are another channel to engage with prospects and customers who are visiting your website.
From lead generation, qualification, and customer support, chatbots both automated and live provide website visitors with the ability to answer their questions.
One hundred percent of business decision-makers use social media for work purposes.
Besides impacting lead gen activities, social networks may also influence your prospects’ vendor selection and buying decisions.
The most important part of a social media strategy should be to build rapport with your audience so that they can look to you as a thought leader and a problem solver, and to really build trust.
You should work to inspire your audience consistently. It’s easier than you think.
Content Marketing Strategy For Your Sales And Marketing Teams
Content is at the heart of everything you do to create demand for your product or service and attract the right buyers.
It starts with making sure you are creating content that truly speaks to the pain points and challenges of your buyer personas.
Seventy percent of buyers ranked “relevant content that speaks directly to our company” as “very important” in the Demand Gen 2020 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey, with 76% of respondents saying the winning vendor’s content had a significant impact on their buying decision.
Your content powers the inbound activities that attract and pull prospects into your sales funnel.
Content can include anything from blog posts, press releases, case studies, e-books, white papers, infographics, videos, emails, and so much more.
It’s a key element of a reliable demand gen strategy. Content makes your business a source of industry expertise.
Industry expertise helps build client trust, and lays the groundwork for important conversations about customer pain points and the solutions your business can offer.
The most important piece of a content marketing strategy is matching content with the prospect’s individual pain points, readiness to buy, content preferences, and where they’re at in their purchasing journey.
You should start by asking yourself and your sales team a few questions like:
Who are our ideal prospects and customers?
How do they go about making buying decisions?
What are their questions and their pain points?
What are some of their common objections?
You use answers to those questions to guide the content you create, making it more relevant to your audience.
A solid content marketing strategy that offers timely, helpful insights at each step of the purchase journey is the best way to build expertise.
You’re not going to get a contact to go from converting into a lead to becoming a customer without educating them further, especially if your company has a complex sales process or a long sales cycle.
By sending your contacts emails with valuable content and other resources, you can nurture them through the funnel.
At each stage, you can present the next logical step, helping them progress along their journey.
Video is ideal for attracting an audience and is a great way to quickly build trust by showcasing the personality of the brand or demonstrating how to use a product.
Build Awareness Around Your Brand
Creating brand awareness is the first step in the demand generation strategy and the key to doing it well is understanding your audience.
In today’s competitive sales and marketing landscape, brand awareness is critical for a consistent flow of high-quality leads.
You can’t expect them to want to know about you if you haven’t taken the time to understand who they are and why they might care about your company, products, or services.
Developing buyer personas is a great way to identify your ideal customers and what content aligns with their goals.
It’s also crucial to create a strong, consistent brand that makes it easy for your target audience to find you.
Develop Buyer Personas And Ideal Customer Profiles
Once you have a solid brand and know how you want people to think and feel about your company as a whole, you can start developing your buyer personas and ideal customer profiles.
This is all about understanding who is the best fit for your product or service both at the individual and company level.
Your buyer personas are a fictional representation of the customers who you will see the most value from your product or service.
Marketing teams should design target company personas based on high-value clients that are most likely to convert and/or grow.
Evaluate what business objectives and values these target accounts tend to share, as well as what major steps in their buying journey precede purchase.
Use the target personas to inform how you market to these leads, providing them with personalized content that directly addresses their unique pain points and questions.
Getting The Message Front And Center
A simpler way to quickly get your message in front of the right people is to find a partner who has already carved out the online audience you want.
For just about any product or service, a base of potential customers is waiting.
Third-party partners can get your company‘s products or services in front of the right buyers at the right point.
Sales Cycle Length
Measure the amount of time it takes for prospects to convert through each stage of your funnel.
If it takes too long for leads to become customers, you may consider exploring a different sales channel or streamlining steps to speed up your conversion process and ROI.
Reporting And Analysis To Funnel Gaps
Collecting leads isn’t enough. If you’re not using analytics and lead scoring to identify sales readiness, then you’ll miss opportunities to convert more leads.
There are automation tools that model, score, and nurture leads, such as Autopilot. Then to nurture, you can use email marketing tools, like Mailchimp.
At a minimum, this reporting should represent every lifecycle stage a prospect passes through with your company from the first touch to becoming a customer, with clear visibility into your conversion rates at every stage: visitors to leads, leads to opportunities, and opportunities to customers.
Measuring your funnel stages and conversion rates will take place in your CRM.
What Is Customer Lifetime Value?
This is the total amount the average customer spends over the total length of time they’re a customer.
If your demand gen strategies are working, your lifetime customer value should go up as it reflects how well your team is framing your service delivery to leads.
If you meet their expectations, they’ll stick around.
Calculate how much money the average customer will spend with your company throughout their lifetime.
If you discover that your CLV needs improvement, consider amping up your engagement tactics.
Campaign budgets may influence the team structure, with smaller brands having one or two specialists, and more established companies operating with an entire department.
A standard demand generation team may look like the following:
Paid Acquisition Manager
Social Media & PR Coordinator
Event and Campaign Manager
No matter the size of the team, you want to acclimate them to account-based marketing.
Through this approach, your marketing and sales teams will collaborate to identify, target, and convert leads with the highest potential.
Cost Per Acquisition
Your cost per acquisition tells you how much you spent to acquire a single paying customer from a specific demand generation campaign.
To calculate it, divide the total campaign costs by the number of customers acquired in the period where you spent that money.
Another measurement of CAC also takes into account the marketing headcount to manage and create these campaigns as well.
What Is Account-Based Marketing?
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a must-have for B2B businesses looking to increase demand.
When done right, ABM is a proven way to generate demand from decision-makers in your target accounts. A good ABM strategy starts with building a qualified target account list.
If the accounts you target are a great fit for your product/service, selling to them will be simple.
Have Your Sales Team Host And Attend Industry Events
Search for relevant events in your industry, and host a presentation, workshop, or roundtable session. You’ll build a relationship with attendees at scale.
Using and sharing your team’s knowledge of your industry and customer pain points is a perfect way to engage with anyone interested in your services.
You don’t need to attend the biggest industry expos for this to work, either. If you have regional events based on specific topics, it can work a treat.
Moving To A Digital World
The recent rapid shift from in-person to virtual business interactions means a sharper increased focus on digital marketing.
Even as businesses begin to return to safe, in-person interactions with customers and staff, it seems likely that increased digital interactions are here to stay.
Companies need to share their message online, but pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns can be difficult to manage alone.
Partnering with a third-party provider can allow your business to reach a curated, prescreened audience.
The key with all of these strategies is to know your audience inside and out. Understand what their needs are, and how to serve them.
The process often involves: building brand awareness by educating your audience and addressing their problem; inbound and outbound marketing to generate leads; converting leads to sales; positioning your product or service as the ideal solution to meet their problems, and continuing to engage your customers after the purchase.
Getting through to a potential customer with what you have to offer can only be effective with the right message.
Your sales and marketing efforts need to generate real demand for your products or services. Otherwise, it’s just wasted time and money.
There was a time when lead generation was a real feat. Sales-ready professionals would call prospects only to be let down time after time.
Those days are long gone. Closing deals with potential buyers start with a genuine connection one that lasts years.
It’s likely your qualified lead is on LinkedIn, the most popular professional social media platform globally.
Cloud Kennect gives you the power for B2B demand generation, networking, etc. How is this possible you may ask?
We’re talking up to 100 connection requests daily. Direct outreach has never been easier. So easy that anyone regardless of age, job title, etc. can do it.
Schedule a demo today and we’ll be happy to show you how our technology works!