What Is Demand Generation?
Demand generation can be defined as the process that creates vast opportunities for the sales team. It encompasses multiple marketing strategies used to attract potential customers to your brand. The process of Demand Generation follows the buyer through the entire buyer’s journey.
What Is B2B Demand Generation?
B2B Deman Generation aims to find the ideal customer profile which will ultimately drive revenue. How is this achieved? By following these steps:
- Driving qualified traffic to the website or landing pages;
- Converting the unknown traffic into known leads;
- Focus on engaging the leads with quality content until they are ready to convert;
- Converting the potential client into a customer;
- Upsell products or services to expand the customer base.
The demand generation team typically includes these roles: Content Marketing, Marketing Operations, Digital Marketing, Event Marketing, Design.
Benefits Of Demand Generation For B2B
Establishing a proper demand generation engine helps businesses engage new customers, drive interest online, and attract potential clients. Those clients are then converted to leads and pushed down the sales journey.
However, the most valuable benefit of demand generation engines is being scalable and predictable. Those engines can predict revenue easily, and the ROI can be clearly estimated and measured.
Tracking Your Lead-to-Revenue Funnel
What’s crucial in implementing a demand generation engine is lead funnel tracking. In the B2B sales world, there are many steps a lead should take in order to convert. A poorly mapped funnel happens to be the main reason why your efforts don’t bring results and revenue.
A typical B2B SaaS funnel should look like this:
The left side of the funnel is owned by the marketing department and the right side by the sales team. MCL (Marketing Captured Lead) represents all contacts in a database. MEL (Marketing Engaged Lead) are the contacts who performed an action like downloading a brochure, webinar registration, signing up for a blog, or a newsletter.
As you know, being engaged doesn’t mean that the lead is ready to buy. The next step is lead scoring. Lead scoring consists of several criteria that need to be met in order for a lead to become MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead). Those marked as MQL are then assigned to the sales team.
Why Sales And Marketing Must Work Together?
As we saw from the funnel above, the marketing and sales team must work together. The demand generation engine focuses on opportunity creation, lead creation, and velocity. Both teams have to work together in the initial stages in order to define the ideal customer profile.
By working together and creating better techniques, the teams can offer a seamless customer experience for potential buyers. The campaign strategy should be shared between the two departments in order to ensure that they both work for the same goals.
How To Build Demand Generation Strategy?
Now that we’ve covered the basics of Demand Generation, it’s time to show you how to create your killer strategy. The rise of B2B SaaS over the last several years has shown that the demand generation process can be systematized.
Here are the four stages of a successful demand generation strategy.
Create Buyer Persona
One of the most essential and inevitable steps is defining your customer persona. All your efforts will go to waste if what you’re creating doesn’t fit your ideal customer’s needs. Creating buyer personas helps you define their pain points, needs, interests, and long-term objectives. Another important thing is that the buyer persona can help you identify how to reach them before they even know about your products.
What are some questions you could ask?
- How did you find out about our software?
- Why did you choose our product over our competitors?
- What pain points are you trying to solve with our solution?
- What kind of content speaks to your needs?
- Are you comfortable with switching directions and adapting?
Try to be as thorough as possible so that you can tailor your marketing strategy to actual prospects.
Create Content Strategy
Content is crucial when it comes to perfecting your demand generation strategy. When preparing a content strategy, you need to focus on two things: keyword research and thought leadership content.
Keywords are what your potential customers enter in Google or LinkedIn to research for products. This is even before they know your company exists. Developing effective keyword analysis and determining the right keywords are crucial steps for the demand generation strategy.
Crafting your keyword strategy begins with identifying a small set of broad-spectrum keywords that your potential clients might include in their search. These are short phrases like “team organization software” or “staffing platform.”
The next step is defining your longtail transactional keywords. Those keywords best indicate that a potential client is interested in your product or service. You should include longtail keywords in your thought leadership content on your website, landing pages, and blogs.
Once you’ve defined your keywords, now is the time to focus on creating thought leadership content.
Thought Leadership Content
When preparing thought leadership content, you need to have both things in mind: it is meant for pages that target keywords and act as educational content that establish your expertise.
You need to be careful when creating thought leadership content with the search intent. Each piece of content should be crafted based on the keywords and the search intent.
The three key elements you should focus on when creating this type of content are:
- Show that you care for the reader;
- Provoke them to think;
- Finish with applicable next steps.
Choose Demand Generation Channels With High ROI
Another crucial step in developing an effective demand generation strategy is defining the channels. Different channels have different ROI depending on the target industry and segment.
When choosing the proper channels you should take into consideration two things:
- Information gathered from your target personas on how your current clients find new software for their business;
- Industry data about the most successful demand generation channels overall.
The most popular demand generation channels in B2B are:
- Google Ads
- LinkedIn Ads
- Facebook Ads (for retargeting)
- Email marketing
- Content syndication
- Quora Ads
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Direct mail
- Sponsored webinars
Iterate and measure
You probably know by now that every marketing effort should be measured and tracked; otherwise, it all goes to waste. Another thing to note is that your strategy should be modified. In fact, the point of measuring and tracking is exactly that, modification.
Here are the top KPI’s you should measure:
- Campaign ROI: It gives you insight into your profit compared to the campaign costs;
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Your CAC equals the total cost of marketing divided by the number of new customers acquired.
- LTV-to-CAC ratio: The LTV (lifetime value of a customer) equals a customer’s lifetime revenue minus that customer’s lifetime costs. Therefore, the LTV-to-CAC ratio equals the gross profit from a single customer divided by the marketing dollars spent to acquire that customer.
- Annual Churn: Churn demonstrates whether your campaigns reach the correct audience and offer the right value proposition.
- Lead-to-MQL conversion rate: Once visitors are on your website, how well they travel through the conversion funnel is critical to observe.
Implement Your Demand Generation Strategy
Following this comprehensive guide will ensure the success of your strategy. We’ve defined what demand generation is, how your business can benefit from it, how to track your leads through the funnel, and what steps to consider when crafting your strategy.
Demand generation will help you raise brand awareness, establish yourself as a thought leader, and collect qualified leads that are likely to convert.