Most B2B Enterprises have trouble shifting from a tactical approach to a strategic one, and many CMOs struggle with differentiating between brand marketing and strategic demand marketing. A clear, defined demand marketing strategy is what changes marketing from a cost center to a revenue center.
The Buyer Is Not Interested in Your Funnel
Buyers do not buy in a linear 1,2,3 step program. No buyer ever thinks of himself or herself as a “Marketing Qualified Lead” or “Sales Accepted Lead” – or even “Top of Funnel or Bottom of Funnel.” Map out how your buyers approach their purchases and you will be able to produce the appropriate content for each stage. Check out the B2B Content Marketing Playbook.
It Takes Time
Developing strategic, buyer-centric demand marketing programs is not an overnight endeavor. It takes time to develop buyer insights, understand their purchase path and create compelling content. There is a big difference between doing it right versus “right now.” Check out Planning for Future Growth: Implementing Perpetual Demand Generation Before it is an Emergency.
It is Not Either/Or
Strategic Demand Marketing is not a question of inbound vs. outbound. It is how inbound and outbound can be integrated to have the best conversation possible with Buyers and customers. There is no single tactic that is as effective as an overall demand marketing strategy that incorporates multiple tactics moving towards your Revenue goals.
Which is more valuable, a content offer with 100 downloads and 10 sourced opportunities or one with 10,000 downloads and 1 sourced opportunity? And more importantly, can you even identify which content sourced opportunities?
It’s About the Money
Strategic Demand Marketing is focused on driving sustainable revenue and maximizing customer lifetime value. It is not about “net new” leads … or likes, retweets, opens, clicks or web impressions. Strategic Demand Marketing asks which is more valuable: a content offer with 100 downloads and 10 sourced opportunities or one with 10,000 downloads and 1 sourced opportunity? And more importantly, can you even identify which content sourced opportunities?
It Does Not Stop
Effective demand marketing does not stop once you acquire the customer. Demand marketing programs need to be designed to focus on cross-sell, up-sell and retention of your current customers. It can be much easier and less costly to sell to an existing customer than it is to land a new one.
Sales is a Must
Demand does not stop with marketing. True Strategic Demand includes enabling and educating sales to continue the dialogue with the buyer. The idea of “passing a lead over” does not apply, and your KPIs shouldn’t end when sales accepts the lead. Check out our Sales and Marketing Alignment Audit: How to Know When Sales and Marketing are Misaligned.
It’s Not About You
Effective demand marketing is not talking about products, demos or your company—it is speaking to the buyer’s pain points and challenges with educational and interesting content they actually want to read. Save the product pitches…the buyers will let you know when they are ready to hear it. Check out Random Acts of Marketing – The Hidden Costs of Tactical, Campaign-based Marketing.
You Can’t Get There With Technology
No matter what kind of marketing automation platform or email system is installed, technology is no replacement for a defined demand marketing strategy. It can enable the strategy, but without that it will only automate a short-term, tactical approach. Check out Marketing Technology and its Role in Demand Generation Strategy.
Content First, Tactics Second
The message is more important than the tactic used to deliver it. Content developed for a demand marketing program must align to the buyer’s pain points, the buying journey, and have a common theme.
It is Strategic and Perpetual
Strategic demand is predictable, perpetual and scalable. It is an end- to-end program designed to connect with the buyers through the Engagement, Nurture and Conversion stages of their buying process. The best tactics fail when they don’t serve a well-defined strategy.
Bonus Tip: Consider the Account
While it is interesting if an individual from a target account downloads a white paper or attends a webinar, a wider but more shallow engagement across an account is often more indicative of a buying scenario. Consider account-level engagement in your lead qualification criteria, as B2B sells to accounts and quite often the only thing the buying committee has in common is that they all work for the same company. Check out Four Problems with Account-Based Marketing.
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