We have often seen marketers confuse demand generation with lead generation. Although, lead generation is a significant part of demand generation, the two are not interchangeable. Demand generation is all about finding the right prospects and engaging with them through various touchpoints. It could include all inbound marketing tactics, blogging, social media marketing, email marketing, events, advertising, etc. The goal of demand generation is to reach the right audience and create awareness about your product or services. Generating leads is a subset and the outcome of this. Demand generation is a long-term process as it also involves nurturing of prospects and slowly increasing their knowledge about your offering while inching them towards the next step in the conversion funnel.
The biggest mistake marketers make is to consider that their demand generation tactics are meant solely for lead generation. And hence, the results of such campaigns are measured in “number of leads generated.” In order to achieve maximum leads, marketers conduct untargeted campaigns across channels, such as cold email marketing campaigns, and often find that the results are dismal. In today’s B2B world, such tactics are no longer effective. Here are the top five demand generation tactics that have worked and led to more effective lead generation:
The challenge faced by most B2B marketers while launching demand generation campaigns is defining whom to market to, and they usually end-up marketing to a much wider audience than needed. The problem is, if you are trying to reach a big audience at the same time, the message has to be the same for everyone as well. In the B2B marketing world, a general message will not cut it, as compared to the one that hits the pain points of the prospects. This requires market segmentation of the deepest level. Effective segmentation will lay the groundwork for successful demand generation.B2B demand generation process is quite complex and might span weeks to months. It is vital to reach the right people with the right message during that decision-making window. Getting prospect intelligence and segmenting them before beginning the demand generation campaign is essential. Today, B2B marketers need to focus their efforts on gathering intel like targeted company names, different level of decision-makers within those companies, complete details of the business, current technology stack in use, social media activities of targeted employees, recent awards achieved by the company, recent events in which the company participated, and so on. All these will pave the way for the next step and will give your sales and marketing team an ice-breaker and a way into the mind of the prospect.
- Content marketing
Once the segments are defined, the next step is to target them with relevant information that answers the challenges they are facing today and how your product or service can be helpful. The content could be in the form of emails, reports, case studies, whitepapers, videos, reviews, externally published articles, and so on. The key point is that the content should be created with a very specific audience segment in mind and then shared only with those who might have use of that knowledge. It’s the age of relevance where B2B decision-makers are starved of time.Content co-creation is a great way to produce some genuine yet marketing-ready content that your prospects might find useful. For instance, creating guidebooks, research-based papers or reports along with a renowned industry partner can be a great way to reach out to your B2B audience. Content syndication is another way to get credible content that your audience will find interesting. By producing thought-leadership content, you will build credibility in the minds of your audience which will make your demand generation campaign successful.
- Account-based marketing (ABM)
In the B2B marketing domain, account-based marketing is the key to generate better outcomes. In an ideal B2B scenario, there could be anywhere between 10-20 stakeholders involved in the decision-making process. As a technology solution provider, you have to reach out to as many of those stakeholders as possible and try to gain their trust. Hence, reaching out to just one or two people in a company is not enough. If you wish to generate awareness, interest and demand among the key business decision-makers, you have to go all out and engage with every one of them.ABM is an extremely targeted way of demand generation and requires focused efforts and persistence to dig deep and use all channels to identify as well as get vital insights about the key decision-makers. ABM helps in getting a clear picture of the targeted organizations that can be leveraged to generate customized content and more relevant sales pitches. The stakes are high in the B2B domain and hence ABM generates much better ROI as compared to other marketing activities.
- Webinars and events
Conducting online and offline events is definitely a great B2B demand generation tactic that is being employed vastly. But again, the content, relevance, and speaker credibility play a key role in getting the traction that you are looking for. Ensuring that the right audience participates in the event is another uphill task that marketers struggle with.Events allow a direct conversation with the right, captivated audience and if you can solve some of the business challenges through your services and answer their questions effectively, then your event would be a stellar success. You can even invite other presenters (customers, industry experts not directly related to your company) to drive greater authenticity. You need the same level of post event activity to genuinely follow-up with your prospects.Participating in popular industry events is also important to create brand awareness. But just being there is not enough. You need to find the prospects who would be attending the event and try to engage with them before the event and set an appointment for a face-to-face meeting. By being proactive, you can generate more genuine leads.
- Targeted telemarketing
The era of cold-calling is getting a cold-shoulder as B2B prospects are not interested in getting unsolicited calls where the caller is shooting arrows in the dark. Targeted telemarketing involves calling prospects with a fair knowledge of the current challenges and requirements of the company. It also means engaging with prospects who have come into contact with your company indirectly through your other marketing efforts.Targeted telemarketing is not a job for your sales team. It is best performed by a team of telemarketing experts who can smartly generate interest and awareness about your products or services. Relevant content pieces that can be shared with the prospects right after the call is also important for this activity to generate better results.
For B2B demand generation to be successful, all of the activities should work simultaneously and in tandem. CandorWorks can help you with the above demand generation tactics. Contact us to learn more.