Lead generation is a term many B2B marketers are familiar with. However, the B2B buying process is shifting and just as sales and marketing funnels have shifted, so has the lead landscape. Lead generation is often broken into two areas: marketing, which generates leads, and sales, which follows up and closes with those same leads. This is where lead generation and demand generation differ. Demand generation involves multiple areas of marketing and is really an integrated suite of marketing programs coupled with a structured sales process. Eloqua found that an integrated demand generation program lead to 16.5% higher campaign response rates and conversion rates as well as a 50% decrease in the time it took to execute campaigns (Tweet this!). Dominating with demand generation requires two things: buyer-obsession and integrated marketing efforts.
The first step in becoming buyer-obsessed is finding out who your buyers are and then getting your business and products/services in front of them. In this case, becoming buyer-obsessed means focusing more on the buyer than on your own product or business. Customers want to feel important, so place your priorities on making their experience and interactions with your business better. Here are 4 steps you can take to become more buyer-obsessed and more dominate with demand generation:
- Focus on the buyer network. You'll want to ask yourself who is involved in the buying process? You want to reach the individual buyer and their network. Promote your products with new takes targeted to each person involved.
- Evaluate typical buyer behavior. What prompts your business's average buyer to seek out information or make a purchase? Look for ways to reach the buyer during their decision making process with the right content based on their behaviors, industry and role within their company.
- Improve the buyer experience. Experience is everything. Customers who receive a bad experience will take their business elsewhere. Constantly be evaluating the experience you are providing customers and seek out ways to improve it.
- Accurately segment buyers. From email newsletters to sales follow-up calls, segment your buyers so that they are getting information that's relevant and valuable. You also want to ensure that if a buyer is getting on the phone with someone from your business, your sales rep is the most qualified person to be speaking to this particular buyer.
Integrate Your Efforts
In order for your business to dominate with demand generation, you need to integrate your efforts. Paid media, owned media and earned media must be cohesive. Getting in front of the right audience is only part of what it takes to be successful with online marketing and demand generation. A cohesive and fluid customer experience is key!
- Paid Media - This includes forms of traditional and digital advertising such as online banner ads, pay-per-click search, advertorials, and sponsorships.
- Owned Media - This is corporate content owned by the business, including digital assets like websites, social media accounts and pages, branded blogs, and YouTube videos. Internal social marketing efforts fall in this category.
- Earned Media - This is content produced by users, including social media posts, product reviews, tweets, online communities, and media mentions.
A multi-channel marketing approach needs to be supported by analytics that can produce real-time data for sales and marketing to utilize in their real-time efforts. The indirect connections between these different channels and the platforms your business is active on can be better recognized and exploited for greater success. Integrating earned, paid and owned media will alter your customer acquisition cost, so be prepared to reallocate marketing budgets depending on which channels perform better.
B2B purchasing and marketing are transitioning from business focused to buyer focused. Those who want to be successful with their demand generation efforts need to recognize this and change their strategies. Becoming more buyer-obsessed and integrating marketing efforts have to be a focus for marketers who really want to make an impact and dominate with their demand generation efforts.