For most executives, Demand Generation is not a new concept. Forward-thinking companies have been using it for years, shifting their focus from lead generation to a more holistic marketing approach that creates demand, generates pipeline opportunities and revenue, and establishes long-term customer relationships. However, research shows that while many companies are adopting Demand Generation tactics, most feel their programs fall short, and look for assistance from a Demand Generation Agency to improve performance.
Case in point: A survey from DemandGen Report found that 82% of B2B marketers are “not very confident” or only “somewhat confident” in the effectiveness of their Demand Generation campaigns.1 That leaves a mere 18% that believe their programs will be successful.
Defining Effective Demand Generation
What defines an effective Demand Generation program? If measured by results, it is a program that drives meaningful business outcomes—predictable revenue, customer lifetime value, and sustainable ROI. The real question, then, is how can a company get those types of results from its Demand Generation program?
Many companies are unsure about their ability to generate demand because they lack the experience or expertise to do so. Demand Generation is anything but marketing as usual. Unfortunately, data shows most companies continue to invest in traditional, tactical marketing activities that produce poor sales outcomes and have little to no staying power.2 For companies like this, the key is to team up with a marketing partner that understands the full scope of what it means to create sustainable, perpetual demand.
A firm with the right blend of skills can reach customers and potential customers with the right message at just the right time, generating interest and providing sales opportunities that produce real, bottom-line results.
Finding a good partner can be challenging, but it is possible when you know what to look for—and what to avoid. Whether you are new to Demand Generation or trying to build a more successful program, choosing the right partner starts with making sure they embody the qualities necessary for success. Read on to discover the four characteristics of an effective Demand Generation partner.
- Focuses on Strategic Demand
The first priority should be making sure your partner is focused on building strategic, perpetual, sustainable demand versus short-lived tactical campaigns. Singular, hyper-targeted marketing promotions create an inconsistent, unpredictable flow of leads that can’t be counted on to drive pipeline opportunities and revenue. These types of “push” programs don’t take the time to engage buyers, nor do they reach buyers when they are ready to purchase. As a result, they often fail or fizzle out quickly after the initial responses come in. Demand Generation, however, is strategic—not tactical—and aligns to the customer’s lifecycle. An effective partner will take a perpetual approach to demand marketing—one that is more buyer-pull, inbound, always-on, and highly sustainable. Like any strategic endeavor, Demand Generation should focus on long-term returns, not short-term gains.
- Drives Demand that is Buyer-Centric
The second priority—and the way to get strategic—is finding a partner that drives buyer-centric demand. Traditional marketing initiatives are typically more product-centric or sales-centric and are heavily focused on tactics and channels. Meanwhile, the overall objective of reaching the customer gets lost in the process. A buyer-centric program, on the other hand, is all about the customer’s needs and meeting those needs with the right message at the right time. This means working to understand the buying process and customer journey, and then building a program that is fully focused on them—from content and channel to org strategy and technology. This type of “outside-in” strategy is critical for connecting with customers and driving ongoing demand.
- Aligns all Elements of Demand
An effective partner will have a proven methodology enabling you to proactively orchestrate and optimize programs that Engage, Nurture and Convert prospective buyers into customers. Content should be focused on each step of the buyer’s journey, and the methodology used to engage the buyer should consider the people and processes in your organization who are responsible for driving leads and closing deals, as well as the lead management processes and technology stacks they rely on. A strategic approach focuses on these organizational systems, and also needs to include development of a lead management framework which covers lead qualification, handling and routing, and the program operational logic. There also needs to be a quantitative model for pipeline contribution, so you can track and measure the entire lead-to-revenue process. Everything must work together to convert buyer interest into revenue—and maximize customer lifetime value.
- Offers a Comprehensive Skill Set
Perhaps the biggest differentiator among partners is the skill set they bring to the table. Because Demand Generation goes far beyond traditional marketing, it requires a unique mix of qualities that can be hard to find. To bring the most value, a partner should offer a cross-functional blend of capabilities that enable it to effectively transform and optimize each and every component of Demand Generation—people, process, content, and technology. ANNUITAS, for example, considers itself part consultancy, part agency, and part integrator. Because all four areas of demand need to be equally represented to be effective, a good partner should have expertise in every area. This ensures that no opportunity for engagement is missed or sacrificed, but, instead, is optimized and leveraged to drive business growth.
Let’s face it: In today’s highly competitive business environment, companies can’t afford another failed marketing campaign that doesn’t generate lead-to-revenue results. Nor can they afford another expensive agency engagement that fails to deliver on promises. This is why many companies have turned to Demand Generation, although only a select few have done so successfully.
By teaming up with an experienced partner, Demand Generation has the potential to change the face of marketing from a one-note, tactical, campaign-based activity to a long-term, strategic, ongoing driver of demand and revenue. Companies can create a better customer experience, sustainable levers, and business growth across the entire organization. How does your marketing partner measure up?
What is ANNUITAS Perpetual Demand Generation® (PDG)?
Too often, there is a disconnect between Demand Generation programs and the buyers they seek to reach. No matter how compelling your content and messaging—or how persuasive your sales reps—you cannot effectively convert buyers without understanding where they are in their journey and serving their needs at every step. ANNUITAS transforms Sales and Marketing to become more buyer-centric and drive business growth.
Using the ANNUITAS Demand ProcessSM methodology, we develop a Perpetual Demand Generation (PDG) program that begins with buyer insights and ends with bottom-line results. Every element of people, process, content and technology must work together to convert buyer interest into revenue—and maximize customer lifetime value. PDG programs uniquely integrate these elements and enable you to automate and optimize them via marketing and sales technology systems. Let’s Connect.
1 Demand Gen Report, “The Campaign Confidence Gap,” December 2016.
2 ANNUITAS, Inc., “2016 B2B Enterprise Demand Generation Survey.”
3 DemandGen Report, “2016 B2B Buyers Survey Report.”
Help Us Serve You Better
Let us know a little about yourself to gain access to more resources relevant to your specific role and needs