Leads are the driver behind all things B2B marketing. With millions of marketers worldwide focused on lead acquisition, why does it seem so hard for some and so easy for others? Is it all about brand recognition? That would seem to be the answer, but every company with a known brand starts without it. How did they achieve that brand recognition? Now that our world has pivoted to a mostly (if not entirely) digital work environment, how has that changed the lead acquisition game?
B2B demand generation continues to get more difficult with each passing year. With the increasing number of businesses vying for budget dollars, your audience is being asked to do more with less. The rate in which you can keep a unique, compelling demand generation campaign before competitors catch on and implement it is accelerating.
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While there’s no silver bullet to capture your audience’s attention, there are effective demand generation strategies you can do today that will ensure your efforts stand the test of time and the current public health crisis.
Know Your Audience
You can have the best campaign to get your message out, but it simply won’t work if the message is off. Be sure you understand your audience and their particular pain points and interests. These can differ by job role, responsibility, specific industry, and even region. Having well thought out personas of your target audience is key. What keeps them up at night? What are your audience’s interests? Are they typically into sports? What about tinkering with electronics?
A powerful example of this was when Gerber baby food expanded into Africa. They took the existing brand’s look and feel to the market and filled the shelves in stores everywhere. No one was buying it. Why? Well, if you are familiar with Gerber labeling, they feature the iconic adorable baby. In Africa, the standard labeling for all foods includes a picture of the contents inside because of the then-low literacy rates. Gerber didn’t initially understand their audience and they had to shift their messaging — not the product itself – to meet the audience’s needs.
Test and Test Again: Optimize and Adapt
Keep in mind that your audience’s needs, like your business, are ever-evolving. Video conferencing was not a widely adopted practice before COVID-19 but has now taken off. At the same time, virtual calls can often leave employees feeling burnt out with the blurred lines between work and home.
Hosting an educational, 90-minute online event that starts at 5 PM, for example, may not be ideal. While this time of day and style was well-received live, it may not work virtually. At live events, you could allocate 30 minutes for networking, a happy hour, socialization, and more. There was a mental break between the office and getting to the event. Now, those boundaries have evaporated, so an online event must evolve to take into account what will work for its virtual audience.
If you have yet to take advantage of all the online activity that has come from the digital transformation, then do not delay. A/B testing any aspect of your programs is the best way to know that your efforts are optimized. What you can test includes colors, images, email subject lines, headers, tone, messaging, the timing of sequences, special offers, etc.
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Don’t Work in a Vacuum
Last but certainly not least, closely partnering with your sales and product teams helps ensure you are getting the most out of your efforts.
According to the Aberdeen Group, companies that optimize the marketing and sales relationship grow 32% faster, while companies who fail to nurture that relationship see their business decline.
Forrester SiriusDecisions’ research shows that if a product, marketing, and sales efforts are aligned, your organization can achieve up to 19% faster revenue growth and 15% higher profitability. More insights from your counterparts allow for better-informed decisions at an accelerated rate.
If you can focus your efforts on the above strategies, your demand generation efforts will continue to yield the ongoing improvement and return that can put you ahead of your competition and your industry demand generation benchmarks.