Five Things B2B Marketers Can Do to Improve Demand Generation Performance

Tactical Tips for Improving Demand Generation

With the rapid change in the B2B marketing landscape, many marketing organizations are struggling to adapt.  Countless studies show that overall marketing performance is lacking despite the increase in budgets, expansion of departments and an increase in technology or methodologies like Account-Based Marketing.  Significant change takes time, but there are things marketing departments can do immediately to help improve Demand Generation performance and become a more strategic contributor to their businesses.

Understand That Creating Demand Takes Time

If the CMO and the C-Suite think that a demand generation overhaul can be completed and show results in 90 days, their expectations are unrealistic. Transforming demand generation is not an overnight (or even a one-quarter) quick fix. CMOs and other executives can enable their teams and drive longer-term value if they properly align expectations and understand that the changes that need to occur will take time, but are worth the effort.
See also: A Phased Approach to Accelerating the Impact of ANNUITAS Perpetual Demand Generation®

Create Less Content

According to Content Marketing Institute, the last five years have seen the majority of organizations increase both the amount of content created and amount of budget spent on content creation. However, the ability for organizations to show the value of that content has been decreasing over the last three years according to the same study. Organizations should look to pull the foot off the content production pedal and think more strategically about producing content that aligns to the various stakeholders (personas) involved in the purchase process and develop perpetual programs that are relevant to a buyer to Engage, Nurture and Convert.
See also: B2B Content Marketing Playbook

Marketers need to first think through the strategy they are looking to implement to drive better overall buyer and customer engagement, and then look at the enabling technologies they will need.

Say No to Shiny New Objects

There is absolutely no question that there is some amazing technology available to marketers … from content management, to marketing automation, to social and predictive analytics tools, to account-based marketing platforms. While most organizations are purchasing technology in hopes of driving better overall results, they are doomed to fail because technology itself is not (nor never will be) a strategy.

Marketers need to first think through the strategy they are looking to implement to drive better overall buyer and customer engagement, and then look at the enabling technologies they will need.

Strategy first.

See also: Four Problems With Account-Based Marketing OR Marketing Technology and its Role in Demand Generation Strategy

Invest in Skills Development and Training

In the latest ANNUITAS Demand Generation study, more than 50% of organizations said their marketing personnel was only somewhat effective or not at all effective when it came to demand generation. The skills gap within B2B marketing organizations continues to grow and is becoming a serious obstacle to companies be able to advance their ability to market effectively. While organizations spend a considerable amount of money on enabling their sales force, very little is done for marketing.

Changes in buyer behavior and increase in complexity of the B2B buying cycle are driving a need for marketers with skills that can match up to an informed, educated and information-obsessed buyer.  Not spending on skills development for marketers means you are not equipping them to do their jobs effectively.

See also: Four Characteristics Your Demand Generation Partner Needs to Have

Have More Fun

While the scope of marketing responsibility seems to be growing, B2B marketing professionals need to understand the opportunity for us to truly change the profession. The prospect of this should excite, rather than intimidate or exhaust us. It is rare to find yourself on the ground floor of a movement like the one that is happening in B2B marketing, with rapid advances in technology empowering strategies and tactics that were unthinkable just ten years ago.

Embrace change, and make the investments and adjustments necessary in your organization to reap the rewards of this B2B marketing evolution.

Most B2B Enterprises have trouble shifting from a tactical approach to a strategic one. A clear, defined Demand Generation strategy is what changes Marketing from a Cost Center to a Revenue Center. Let’s Connect.

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