5 Signs to Qualify Your Demand Generation PlayDismal Failure or Epic Success?
Despite all the research, trends analyses and best practice sharing, a majority of B2B marketers struggle to determine what the most effective demand generation plays are. In typical, play it safe and play it all fashion, we tend to try a little bit of everything and then wait for something dramatic to happen. I don’t think there is anything wrong with a small, controlled trial-and-error approach, but there certainly is a better way to do it. And that is to be able to monitor and measure what’s working and what’s not while you’re still doing it. At least then, you may be closer to finding out whether your demand generation play will end up being an epic failure or a success story worth repeating over and over.
What should you look for? Here are 5 signs that tell you clearly whether your demand generation efforts are headed towards the goldmine or pummeling your sales target down a black hole.
1. FOUNDATION IS SHAKY: For demand generation strategy to work seamlessly, you need a strong foundation. What are the indications that your foundation may not be on firm grounds? Not following a regular list hygiene process is an issue. Not only should your lead database be cleaned and updated regularly, but you also need to have good account mapping and lead scoring metrics in place. Not knowing your market and the main issues your customers face is a situation you should never find yourself in. After all, how will you present a value proposition if you don’t know what problems your clients want you to resolve? In order to differentiate your brand and product/service from the competition, you need to know your competitive landscape as well as you know your own business. It is not uncommon, even today, to find B2B organizations that believe they do not face any real competition. Well, let’s remember that one of your biggest competitors will always be the customer’s mind—that customer who does not feel the need for your product. That is why we speak of demand generation in the first place! Here are 7 tactics that are working for B2B lead generation today.
2. NO CLEAR PICTURE OF THE BUYING PROCESS: B2B procurement today is a complex, high-powered, time consuming process. There are many influencers, cheque signers and gatekeepers involved. If you don’t know who is involved in the buying process, your demand generation play is not likely to yield the best results. You will end up spending precious resources shooting in the dark. Budget issues, growth patterns, debt situation, staffing and personal issues, economic factors—any or all of these may impact the buying process within your client’s organization. Being aware of these factors and adapting your demand generation strategy to work around them is critical. Let’s take a simple example. If you are offering a limited time, seasonal promotion but your target customer is in the process of hiring the executive who will make the buying decision, your offer will not go anywhere at the moment. Wait for the right time, right place, right person, and then launch a compelling campaign. Read these reflections on B2B buyer behaviour.
3. Sales and marketing are working in silos: I have talked about this in previous pieces and I reiterate that integration of sales and marketing, as well as decentralization is important. Today’s B2B buyer has done a major portion of the exploration and research process long before contacting a possible vendor. Throwing a fresh lead to the sales team and asking them to follow up right away can backfire and kill a good lead. But many B2B organizations still function in silos and end up losing qualified leads because either they did not get followed up properly or they got chased down too soon, too aggressively. What are some common B2B lead generation mistakes to avoid…and what can you do now if you have made these mistakes?
Are you looking to accelerate demand generation? Download a free copy of The ALEA Demand Generation Playbook.
4. Lack of persona targeting with social media and content marketing: Yes, social media is hot, content marketing is hot, inbound marketing is hot…but that does not mean you do all of this without an integrated marketing strategy. If your social media and content marketing activities are working in the absence of clear buyer persona profiling, you are wasting time and resources. Less is more. Quality counts more than quantity. One well-written opinion piece on your blog may count for more targeted traffic than 5 Tweets that speak to no one in particular. Is your content killing your B2B sales?
5. Heavy reliance on specialists and consultants: Far too many B2B organizations today are placing blind faith in the so-called SEO experts, social media gurus, marketing automation consultants, content specialists, and so on. There is no harm in getting an outside perspective and expert advice. However, at the end of the day, you must be cognizant of the fact that a specialist will want your organization to do more activities in that field of specialization than in any other field; that’s the only way to show measurable and high impact results. As a result, you may end up ignoring or not giving due attention and credit to other marketing techniques and processes that need to work as part of an integrated demand generation strategy. Key questions you should ask your B2B lead generation partner.
What are some recent successes and failures your B2B company has faced with demand generation? Let’s discuss what works and why. Please leave me a comment.
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