B2B Demand Generation Best Practices
What is the best marketing strategy for success in 2023? How can companies optimize demand generation for B2B marketing in today’s budget-minded environment?
First, let’s make sure we understand the difference between demand generation and lead generation. Demand generation is about raising brand awareness and creating demand for your product. Lead generation focuses on conversion rates; nurturing your engaged target audience into MQLs. Ideally, demand generation will create high-quality leads that can be sent to your Sales team for follow-up.
So where should your marketing team start for a demand generation strategy that will result in qualified leads for your sales teams?
Start, as they say, from the beginning. Look at your product-market fit. Do you have a product that solves a pain point, which people will pay to use? If the answer is yes, move on to your ICP (ideal customer profile). Where is your target audience hanging out? What type of content are they looking at?
Analyze your sales funnel and customize your marketing efforts to reach your personas at the appropriate moment in the sales cycle. Who is looking at what and when; why are they looking? Make sure your marketing campaign accurately captures what generates the most ROI and best leads at each stage. Having a predictable and scalable solution to your target personas’ problems and needs, when they need them, will ensure your demand generation campaigns make sense and money.
Set up a lead scoring system so your inbound marketing efforts are finely honed. Don’t waste time and effort on bad fits. Measure your success with performance metrics: track your KPIs, conversion cost, funnel time and spend results.
Once you have your plan in place, you need to establish your voice with value and trust. To do this, your brand has to be on point and consistent. Don’t silo your SEO and account-based marketing efforts. Align your sales and marketing teams on the mission statement and make that mission obvious to potential customers and decision-makers. Household names didn’t gain brand recognition by changing their own personas constantly!
To gain value and trust, focus on quality over quantity. Your demand generation campaign should be smart, lean and effective - the same should go for your content creation. Quality, original content marketing will differentiate your brand. Take the time and effort to create a high-value asset, but make that asset work for you in more ways than one. If you host a webinar or podcast, capture hot clips and distribute them across social media (one influencer is all it takes to go viral sometimes). Create a call to action (CTAs) to access white papers and case studies from the webinar, but post them on your website as well. You can gate access to these high-value assets but don’t make it too complicated.
Remember that new leads and new customers won’t always be immediate. B2B lead generation relies on both long and short-term plays. Lead generation campaigns to nurture leads are still effective. Automated drip and re-marketing campaigns can keep your brand top of mind when a buyer persona is ready to make a decision.
Ultimately, your demand gen strategy should confront your target accounts starting at the top of the funnel all the way down. If you take the time to do your research and execute a smart demand generation campaign, you will see results that impact your bottom line tremendously.