Demand Generation – It’s Not That Easy

In reading many of the blogs and listening to some of the webinars and speeches that have been given about Demand Generation one would think that the path to Demand Generation is just a few simple steps away.  I once heard at a conference one of the speakers tell a room full of marketers “all you need is the desire to want to make it better, and you will.”  Really?

Is success in today’s ever changing B2B buying environment really just a matter of want to?  Is success on impacting pipeline and generating demand really just a few simple steps away?  Listening to some of the noise that is out there, it seems Demand Generation success can be bought via an infomercial where if you buy now, you will get an extra Shamwow® with your order.

Despite the information that is being peddled by some, all indications would say that what marketers are facing today is a pretty tough climb.  Take a look at the following:

According to the Duke Fuqua School of Business:

  • Only 35.7% of CMOs feel that they can prove the short-term impact of marketing spend quantitatively
  • Even fewer 28.6% – can prove the long-term impact on a quantitative basis

According to IBM:

  • 52% of CMOs state they are unprepared for the expected level of complexity over the next five years

According to Sirius Decisions:

  • 75% of marketing automation adopters claim they’re not receiving full value from it
  • Less than 10% of organizations are deploying marketing automation tools to address programs later in the buying cycle
  • 62% of marketing automation owners state that the use of technology did not equate to an increase in sales.

It is time to come to grips with reality and understand that given the ever-increasing complexity of B2B buyers and the pressures on B2B marketing and sales people, that success will not be achieved in a 7-Step Get Well Plan or a series of half-day workshops.  Success in today’s environment needs a purposeful and balanced approach to organizational transformation.

This kind of needed transformation starts with a “bottoms up approach” that drives effectual change – See Figure 1.  The change begins with an entry point or a pilot program focus on a line of business or specific audience segment.  Defining that audience – understanding the various roles involved in the buying process, the market conditions, their path through the buying process and content consumption patterns – this is just the beginning.  Once you have documented and have these buyer insights, the real work begins:

–          Developing the Content Marketing Architecture that aligns to each step in the buyer’s journey.  This includes developing content that can both educate and qualify

–          Implementing a Lead Management Framework to ensure leads are qualified and routed appropriately

–          Organizing marketing and sales in a way that aligns to the buyers purchase path rather than the siloed approach that exists today in many environments

–          Establishing technology and data governance that will enable the strategy – versus expecting the technology to be the tip of the spear in driving change

–          Establishing KPIs for program measurement and using that analysis to optimize the program

Figure 1:  ANNUITAS Demand Process Architecture
enage nurture convert for 3.27 post

This is the beginning of change, as the results of this program will greatly inform of the other organizational and strategic changes that need to occur.  However, this will supply a methodology and process, which can then be replicated across the business to help drive further change and approaches to Demand Generation.

The world of B2B marketing is hard enough, let’s not make it any harder by sugar coating it and stating that Demand Generation success can be found by following a step-by-step plan.  This kind of transformation is a process that will have success along the way, but does take time, a new approach and a new way of thinking.

Author: Carlos Hidalgo @cahidlago is CEO and Principal, ANNUITAS

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