The Anatomy of a Strategic Demand Marketing Plan – Part 1: Intro to Demand Marketing

ANNUITAS CEO Adam Needles recently discussed what makes up a Strategic Demand Marketing Plan, one of the main offerings of what we do at ANNUITAS, in this eBook. Over the next several weeks, we will be breaking down that anatomy into bite sized blogs that dig into each aspect of a Strategic Demand Marketing Plan and then we’ll explain how we at ANNUITAS implement those plans. Stay tuned each week as we explore what strategic demand marketing really means, and showcase how it can truly provide lift to your opportunity pipeline. 

This week, we start with an intro to Demand Marketing. What is it exactly, and how does it fit into your current sales and marketing environment?

What is Demand Marketing?

Demand marketing is about more than just leads — i.e., it’s more than finding names of people for sellers to call. Demand marketing is about cultivating and educating prospects who are engaged, who are in an active buying process, and who are at the right place and time to talk to your sellers about their needs.

Here is the definition laid out in another, recent blog post:

“Demand Marketing is the discipline through which companies 1) orchestrate customer engagement and 2) provide lift to pipelines. It is a strategic component of a company’s overall go-to-market motion — complementary to and collaborative with a company’s sales and channel organization(s).”

This definition is broader than simply ‘lead generation’ or ‘demand generation.’ 

Building on this, strategic demand marketing is an approach to achieving this outcome in a sustainable, perpetual and high-performance way – by operationalizing go-to-market around customer journey.

Strategic demand marketing thus is the science of ‘orchestrating’ and ‘providing lift’ to pipelines via an outside-in, versus inside-out approach. Strategic demand marketing is about driving buyer dialogue based on the customer’s place in his/her buying journey. It’s about qualifying leads based on predictive factors and intent, and it’s about orchestrating marketing and sales touchpoints across multiple channels in support of education and qualification.

Strategic demand marketing contrasts with tactical demand marketing, which is too often defined by product push and interruptive campaigning and which more often than not is in the ‘wrong place’ at the ‘wrong time.’ We call these random acts of marketing.

Accenture notes that the perils of tactical demand marketing are real – hitting customers ‘wrong place, wrong time’ 82% of the time. “CMOs … report that of all the individuals they reach with their marketing messages, fewer than 18% are actually in the market for the product or service on offer,” says the report.

The secret sauce, though, of strategic demand marketing – and the baseline of our methodology at ANNUITAS – is this critical approach of operationalizing go-to-market around customer journey. 

The benefits of this approach are significant. Check out the numbers:

  • The average ANNUITAS client undergoing Demand Marketing Transformation starts at a lead-to-revenue conversion rate of 0.44% — growing to 0.99% in the first twelve months of their transformation program. Over the longer term, the average ANNUITAS client sees lead-to-revenue conversion rates reach 1.68%.

Quite simply, random acts of marketing require more investment and deliver less return; whereas, strategic demand marketing delivers sustainable, repeatable ROI to serve as an engine of growth.

The Problem

You have a growing gap in your opportunity pipeline. You need ‘lift.’ What do you do?

The first instinct for far too many marketing and sales leaders is to pivot and deploy stop-gap demand marketing tactics. It is likely that you ‘will’ close the near-term gap with this approach. Yet these immediate, random acts of marketing are unlikely to carry you into the next quarter, next half or even next year. The tremendous amount of time and energy spent on these efforts will wind up becoming a perpetual distraction, and the result is that you will continue to fail to develop future pipeline.

What your opportunity pipeline really needs to drive true lift over the longer-term is a sustainable, perpetual demand engine. Instead of random, tactical acts, you need an ongoing strategic demand marketing program that delivers sustained, predictable, and optimizable opportunities for your pipeline.

The Solution

How do you make this shift? You need a blueprint. Specifically, you need a Strategic Demand Marketing Plan

And you need it sooner rather than later if you’re going to both respond to the rapid shift to digital in the marketplace and build a solid foundation for go-to-market next year.

What goes into this blueprint?

This is at the core of the work we do here at ANNUITAS, so naturally our CEO thought it would be helpful to lay this out in detail – in effect, walking through “The Anatomy of a Strategic Demand Marketing Plan.”

What you will find in this blog series over the following weeks is us sharing our playbook — exactly as we do it for clients — and hopefully through this process it will help you begin to make the shift from tactical demand marketing to strategic demand marketing and build a firmer foundation for your go-to-market programs moving forward.

Read part two of a Strategic Demand Marketing Plan Approach: the Insight Phase.

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