5 tips to improve your demand generation focus, productivity & results
1. Start by knowing your demand generation ‘waterfall’ funnel target metrics:
Understanding the profile of your demand generation funnel is important if you likely to generate sufficient demand from your marketing initiatives to achieve your business objectives. Ensuring you have sufficient energy, focus and engagement with your marketing initiatives and that your prospects are engaging on their journeys from company to eventual customer is important if your marketing contribution is going to be optimal. Equally important is to monitor and compare your conversion rates at each stage of your demand generation funnel by market segment, product/application area, country (if you are operating internationally) and sales/partner channel.
Relatively examining results will help you understand where you are and aren't performing. It may be that you are creating sufficient leads and the resources you have should be focused on creating additional or new conversion strategies. Benchmarking externally is important too.
2. Communicate differently to existing customers versus new prospects, respect the various decision-makers and influencers:
Existing customers are likely to find it strange if you communicate with them with no recognition or respect for the business you have completed with them previously. It is good practice to communicate differently to existing and new customers as often the value proposition of what you are communicating is likely to vary. For example, the content supporting your communication may need to be deeper to an existing client who may already be an expert user.
According to ThinkJar it is six to seven times more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing one. Therefore, your messaging and content is likely to reflect this and differ for each of the decision-maker and influencer audiences. Automated personalisation of content and messaging can help in this regard and bring significant business benefits. It is also important to consider who are the various influencers and decisions makers when communicating to both customers and prospects. According to CEB/Gartner the B2B decision-making group averages 5.4 buyers and sellers need “yes” from each but don’t always know who they all are or what is important to them. Your content and messaging to each should address this. If is also for this reason why we are currently seeing the rapid growth of ABM (Account Based Marketing) where we target and message to each of these 5.4 buyers.
3. Understand in detail the relative impact of each of your marketing strategies towards achieving your business goals:
Understanding and backing the winning marketing strategies is key to achieving optimal marketing contribution to business success. Not knowing the relative impact of each marketing strategy and tactic can result in significant waste with you continuing to spend when an initiative should be changed or stopped. To deliver more leads it is common to look to invest more when in fact more effective current investment by backing the 'winners' can deliver the improvement in business results desired.
4. Create a content strategy that includes ‘hero’ content and use this hero content frequently across all of your marketing channels:
By creating a well-considered content strategy that includes hero content, that you consistently and appropriately reuse across your marketing mix, helps you optimise your focus, productivity and results. The production of high quality content can take time and it is all too common that a piece of content is quickly pulled together distributed and then everyone moves on to creating the next piece of content. Rather than spreading your efforts thinly across significant content pieces, it is better to focus on fewer quality 'hero' content pieces which are going to deliver better engagement and quality marketing leads. A good test of how well your content is truly working for you is to look closely at its usage. For example, it is all too common to see thousands spent on the production of a video and then see views are extremely low. Hero content takes more effort but is highly desirable and underpins better results.
5. Create content and marketing assets that align with your prospects engagement journey:
Significant leakage in nurturing and converting marketing leads can occur when there are gaps in the steps of how a potential prospect would wish to engage with your business. Leakage can exceed 90% of all leads generated so the resulting waste can be significant. Instead of investing more by focusing on improved journeys and lead conversions you can achieve significantly better results with what you already generate. By focusing on the different stages of their journey - for example the stages of discovery, exploration, evaluation and purchase - and creating the appropriate content and assets that the prospective purchaser is looking for means that you are likely to minimise lead leakage and deliver an optimal demand generation process. According to MarketingProfs 70% of buyers say they review four or more pieces of content prior to purchase.
Below is an illustration of a typical from company to customer journey showing the different content often consumed by the company as they progress through their journey to hopefully becoming a customer. Gaps in journey content can sometimes result in prospects disengaging and going elsewhere to complete their purchase:
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