In many B2B organizations the term “Demand Generation” is used as a synonym for “Lead Generation”. While they still call their marketing activities as Demand Generation, what they are doing is a glossy version of Lead Generation or Demand Capture.
It is not because they do not understand the value of Demand Generation, its just the ROI on this methodology is not immediate. So marketing teams who are under constant pressure to produce results month over month or quarter over quarter in terms of revenue contribution give into quick wins even though it comes at a cost to keep up. Demand Generation is a long game, if done well this can produce results no other aspects can produce and the ROI is unmatched.
There are number of articles out there that give you various ways to approach Demand Generation from their own perspective. In this article, we are trying to help you understand what NOT to do so that you can experiment freely without falling into obvious and deadly traps that you either spoil the efforts or even make you abandon the approach prematurely.
Lets dig in!
Lets start off by understanding….
What is Demand Generation and Why is it important for businesses today?
In simpler terms, Demand generation is the process of creating demand for a product or service. It’s an important part of the sales and marketing process, and it’s something that all businesses should be doing in order to succeed. Demand generation takes a lot more energy because you are trying to educate your potential customer, influencers, current clients in a non-pushy manner. You are likely to share stories in various formats like articles, podcasts, teaming up with co-existing ecosystems to help your TAM understand the value you are trying to generate by solving their pain points.
Unlike run of the mill content, this type of content is created from various angles. It can come from your Product team, it can come from your Sales team, it can come from your Current customers who cannot live without your solution 🙂 (isn’t that a cool state to be in…win-win for both)
So as you see this kind of content does not hit the gold standard of what “content gurus” are preaching but your Target audience would definitely enjoy. That is our sole objective with this approach.
When your potential customer face such issue now or in the future then should come to you by default. They should see you as the only source of un-biased solution provider.
Now, how does this affect your pipeline?
There are a number of reasons why demand generation is so important for businesses today. First, it allows you to reach more potential customers and expand your market. Second, demand generation helps you build relationships with potential customers and create a connection with them. Third, demand generation can help you generate leads and sales. And fourth, demand generation can help you improve your brand awareness and reputation.
7 Obvious traps that will impact your Demand Generation
Whether you are at the beginning of your journey or already implementing, keep a look out for these traps. These mistakes can often be fatal to the success of your demand generation efforts, current progress, cloud your future plans or even lead to abandoning this path.
In this we are not going to mention few out of control aspects like lack of enough budget or right talents that can still put brakes to your demand generation activities despite your team doing a great job. We are going to dive deeper into strategy related issues and tracking metrics.
Here are top 7 mistakes that businesses make when it comes to demand generation:
- Not having a clear understanding of timeline required to start seeing desired results
- Not having a clear target market or buyer persona
- Not having a clear value proposition
- Not having a clear call to action…this is absolutely critical based on the stage and content type
- Not having a clear plan or strategy…to tie things together and cross promote
- Not measuring or tracking results.. not just the final numbers but leading metrics as well
- Not having the right tools and resources.. this is not super important (if you have top 6 covered you can still do without this for your pilot. You will need this only to scale)
How to avoid these mistakes and generate demand successfully
Above mentioned traps can be avoided with a little bit of planning and setting up a core team who can enable a proper cross team communication.
Timeline, Team and Budget
Before starting off on your demand generation journey, make sure you have buy-in from your management and you have discussed a budget project for the proposed timeline with a high level of budget breakdown and how cash outflow is carried out month over month.
This will establish a good relationship with the finance team as well.
Define the Marketing and Buyer Persona
You can use hubspot’s buyer persona generator to guide you on how to define your Buyer personas (it can be multiple…decision makers, influencers (tier 1, tier 2)
Understand your potential customers from all angles. Get to know their pain points, their interests, their patterns of content consumptions, portals they hang at, communities they are involved in etc.
This can help you to a great extent when it comes to content re-purposing and content syndication.
Create compelling Value proposition
Now that you know your buyer persona, creating a good value proposition is relatively easy. You have an understanding of their primary pain point and the revenue bracket they fall under.
You can always refine the value proposition once you have more in-person conversations with them. Use factors like the avg timeline required for decision making, who would be the right influencers and decision makers to assist your sales team accelerate deal progression.
Appropriate Call for Action
You might think “Book a Demo” is a good call for action. But the truth is far from it. Depending on the kind of content piece you have created and the customer journey you have target, the call for action changes. It cannot always be a Book a Demo. Designing right call for action will enable your potential prospects to progress through your funnel with ease.
E.g., If your are a Martech SaaS company who developed a Customer insights product and your article talks about the common problems faced by marketers while targeting, you cannot ask them to Buy your product right away. Instead best course of action would be to direct them to a relevant case study when you have shown them enough proofs on how you solved that problem previous. If you have a client VOC on that particular page, they would be sold on your solution too. Having a Call for action from there to your pricing page would be a great flow. From there you can ask folks to book a demo etc.
By doing this, you practically walk them through your USPs, Proof of concept, Pricing and the only thing that is left now if check out the product themselves or talk to an expert.
Your Sales team would be delighted to get on a call with such prospect.
Right Strategy and Planning
Even though we positioned this in the 4th place, Strategy and Planning usually tops the charts in terms of priority. To execute demand generation activities successfully, you need to have a good plan in place.
The strategy should tie the goals and metrics together with activity and timeline. If your organization has defined OKRs then this part becomes a little easier. If not, setup up a meeting with the management and understand the org priorities. Trickle down respective OKRs to demand generation as a function. This will clear out all vanity metrics and you can focus only on the north star.
With north star in mind you can define activities that will contribute to it and also support activities that lead to the main activity.
Here are some north star metrics you could consider:
- % of contributed revenue
- No. of SQL generated
- Time taken to close the deal (% decreased to understand pipeline acceleration)
- % increase in Deal size
- Account penetration
Here are some activities you could consider:
- No. of folks engaging with you from a particular ICP
- No. of folks interacting with your content from Target Market
- No. of mentions on social
These are just quick examples, based on the sort of activity you are trying to do, the metrics can change. Make sure those metrics are an indication of people showing interesting in your product/service/solution/approach.
Need help putting things together?
We specialize in helping companies with their demand generation strategy. We deliver specific activities that go well with your demand generation needs like Content Development, Webinars etc. We always aim for hypergrowth.
You can reach out to us using our contact us page.
We can set up a 30 mins session to go through initial finding on the current situation and what would you like to achieve.
Have a great day!