In today's world of sales and marketing, strategic efforts no longer operate within two separate departments; not only do they overlap, they depend on each other. With more than 70 percent of the buying cycle completed before reaching sales, sales and marketing is no longer the reality in B2B buying. Say hello to marketing and sales.
Analyzing feedback from our comprehensive study of over 150 marketers, The Integrated Marketing and Sales Machine: 2015 Demand Generation Report contains the marketers' outlook for the latest in demand generation. The pace of change in digital marketing is extraordinary, and for business marketers, demand generation continues to evolve at a similar pace.
The challenge that marketers face today is how to build your marketing tactics and strategies in order for it to all work together. Integrating KPIs, systems and measurement across brand engagement, lead generation, lead nurturing and client retention is no easy feat.
Our recommendations on how to coordinate your demand generation insights and efforts into the integral content marketing strategy should play in your efforts, and the actionable steps you can immediately implement to advance your demand generation programs and process to the next level.
Continuous Focus on Integration, Innovation and Collaboration
Despite the vital role demand generation plays in the success of any company, it continues to confound marketers, regardless of their available budget, marketing automation technology, and overall marketing sophistication. The digital age has only amplified the complexity of demand generation, as existing and potential customers are self-educating themselves at ever increasing rates.
With business buyers conducting their own exhaustive research before ever engaging with a sales representative, to be included in a buyer’s consideration set requires awareness of your brand, familiarity with your offering(s) and a deep understanding of how your product is differentiated. And that is just the start. From there, successful demand generation requires targeted and coordinated nurturing and retention campaigns.
The challenge that most marketers face in mastering demand generation is the siloed management of the demand generation life cycle. Rather than coordinating the various elements that ultimately lead to a long-term customer relationship, many companies treat brand awareness, details on their products and services, and nurturing of the leads as unique and separate initiatives. In many companies, entirely different teams often handle them. Engineering these individual marketing steps to work together towards a singular goal—namely, new and retained demand—is essential to mastering demand generation.
At the core of every successful demand generation campaign, and the glue that binds brand engagement and lead generation together is content marketing. Content marketing, when executed properly, builds brand awareness, product education and ultimately the nurturing campaign that turns interest into sales. The power and importance of content marketing doesn’t cease once a new account has been landed.
Once landed, retaining new customers and growing their business requires continuous education of your capabilities and awareness of additional products and services for cross-selling and upselling. That too is best accomplished through the deployment of content marketing.
So, how do your demand generation efforts and practices stack up against companies of like size and industry focus?