Mastering B2B Demand Generation: The Key to Driving Business Growth
To state the obvious, demand generation is critical in driving business growth and revenue. Among business leaders, including Marketing and Sales leaders, demand generation should be a frequent topic to ensure that the strategies that have been developed are resonating within a competitive marketplace.
By definition, demand generation is focused on establishing a long-term relationship with potential customers. It involves building brand awareness as to how your product or service addresses a customer’s issue or opportunity while also delivering with the intent of adding value at each stage of the customer’s journey to foster trust and loyalty.
Understanding demand generation
While the concept of demand generation isn’t new, the subject has gained traction due to the changing dynamics of consumer behavior and the evolving digital landscape. Consumers are more empowered with information and have greater control over the buying process than ever before.
Proof of this is the fact that B2B buyers are already 57-70% through their buying process before interacting with a salesperson––because 81% of B2C retail shoppers conduct online research before buying. As such, businesses need to proactively create demand and insert their product or service into the discussions, strategies, and investments that the targeted customer is looking to buy.
Demand generation is the ongoing marketing and sales processes required to create awareness and garner interest leveraging a variety of strategies and tactics, and ultimately, driving demand and revenue for a product or service. With the rise of data analytics and marketing automation, marketers have access to more tools and insights to optimize their demand generation efforts.
The three pillars of demand generation: Attract, Convert, Close
Said simplistically, the goal of the overall demand generation process is to Attract, Convert and Close.
Based on each specific stage, there are certain initiatives that align to each step:
Attract is focused on filling the funnel using digital and content assets that address the customer issue or opportunity. For example, a specific tactic here is optimizing your website for search.
Convert is defined as warming the prospect towards sales acceptance. A few specific tactics for this stage are email nurturing and digital media retargeting.
And Close, the final stage, can be defined as overcoming final objections to reach a signed contract or purchase. Tactics for this phase are to leverage case studies or reviews, and/or influencer marketing.
Essential elements for an effective demand generation strategy
The following are some key elements to be aware of that drive the effectiveness of your overall results:
TARGET: It’s critical to define your target audience based on the buyer’s persona, including attributes, influencers or information sources, decision criteria, triggering event, perceived barriers, etc. Understanding your audience helps tailor your messaging and select appropriate marketing channels, or how best to communicate the value that you offer.
PLAN: Implement a quarterly or trimester plan based on general themes. Some examples might be a specific new product or service, or an improved customer experience. Having a quarterly or trimester focus ignites your marketing and sales resources around a specific timeline.
CONTENT: Create valuable and relevant content that educates the target market and addresses the customer’s issue or opportunity as well as highlighting your expertise. Content can be created in various forms such as blog posts, videos, multi-media or digital assets, whitepapers, case studies, etc. Ultimately, this content is used to attract and engage prospective customers but also to continue to reinforce the value relationship with existing customers.
AUTOMATE: Implement marketing automation tools to streamline and automate various aspects of your campaign, such as lead nurturing, email workflows, personalized messaging, and tracking customer interactions. This is a form of AI that really streamlines the marketing process.
ALIGN: Foster collaboration and communication between and within your Sales and Marketing teams, ensuring alignment with lead definitions, qualification criteria, and the overall campaign strategy. This helps to optimize conversion rates while also creating a “one team” aspect, as Marketing and Sales working together will drive the highest return on investment.
TRACK: Continuously monitor and measure the performance of your campaigns or strategies. Track key metrics such as website traffic, conversion rates, lead quality, and sales revenue. Use this data to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven optimizations.
TEST AND LEARN: Leverage agile methodology focused on your performance tracking and optimization with a mindset focused on “test and learn.” Be open-minded as to what is working and what is not working, and pivot to invest in those tactics that are generating qualified leads and, ultimately, revenue.
The continuous cycle of demand generation
By implementing a demand generation campaign strategy, businesses can effectively generate interest, build brand awareness, and drive customer demand which ultimately contributes to increased sales and revenue. However, this is not a “one-and-done” thing. Your demand generation strategy is an ongoing strategic initiative that requires constant attention to ensure continued results.
Remember: effective demand generation is a journey, not a destination. It requires continual refinement, testing, and learning. As marketers, it’s our responsibility to keep evolving our strategies to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers and the dynamics of the market.
So rather than asking, “Is my company’s demand generation strategy optimized?”, perhaps the better question to ponder is, “How can we further improve and innovate our demand generation strategy to drive more growth?” This mindset fosters a culture of constant progression, ensuring your business stays relevant, competitive, and successful in the long run.
Ready to refine your demand generation strategy? We can help. Contact us today for a personalized consultation, and let’s work together to drive more growth for your business.