Top Strategies That Power B2B Demand Generation Marketers
All businesses are constantly on the hunt for ways to stand apart from their competitors. The driving force behind this is the fight for brand supremacy.
For many years marketers have focused their marketing campaigns on the top of the sales funnel due to the stiff competition.
The main question they keep asking themselves is how to convert more prospects into leads and the leads into customers.
Marketers in the past were able to speak directly to their leads thanks to the combination of predictive analytics and marketing automation tools.
The result of this is that marketers have been able to get a quantitative ROI that they could attribute to their campaigns.
With the passing of time, more businesses realized that big data was a must have in order to stay relevant. This made it quite difficult for business to stand out from their competition.
This has resulted in marketers having to usher in a new era of big data where they recognize that the main value of big data lies in the generation of demand of your solution at all the stages of the consumer’s journey.
This is in contrast with the previous one which only focused on generation of leads.
This article will delve into the exploration of the way big data plays into every stage of the customer’s journey from the point of view of a B2B marketer who is focused on creating brand stickiness through the generation of demand.
This process will start from the stage of consumer awareness through to the final stages of retention and brand loyalty.
This article will give you strategies to keep your customers engaged throughout the whole process and build brand champions through the creation of content.
B2B Demand Generation Tip #1: Awareness and Consideration
Though lead generation is an important aspect of a B2B demand generation strategy, it is not the only part.
Through the power of big data, marketers are able to track historic activities associated with early stages of leads development to begin a sales process.
The early stages of the customer B2B demand generation journey is referred to as “awareness stage”.
The “consideration” stage is where these prospects will be turned into leads. In this stage the customers are not only aware of their problem, but they are also now committed to finding a solution to that problem.
They will weigh their options, read up on you and your competitors and decide the one that best fits their business needs.
In the past, lead generation efforts were mainly focused on “quick fixes”: these include such things as banner ads and content promoted through facebook or twitter so as to get a company’s name in a prospects sight at this early stage.
During these times this was as far as the process would go and about 79% of all the leads generated would not convert and this can be blamed for lack of lead nurturing.
This has led to demand marketers taking an extra step to ensure that they retain their leads and actually get conversions.
These marketers will directly reach out to users who are voicing a problem that can potentially be fixed using their solutions.
These marketers will link their prospects to thought leadership content and offer them free consultations with a focus to add value instead of selling a solution.
They will share case studies, host webinars, share white papers and basically do anything they can to ensure their brand name is stuck in the minds of prospective customers.
About 47% of consumers will view between 3 to 5 pieces of content before they finally decide to contact a sales representative.
This makes it necessary for you as a marketer to ensure that your prospects are viewing your content and not the content of your competitors.
Most buyers will choose to go for the company that provided them with the most relevant leadership through every step of the buying process.
What you should always remember is that it’s important to generate leads but also take time and make an effort to provide quality to your customers through leadership during the early stages of the customers’ journey through the sales process rather than pouncing on them at the last stage of acquisition.
For demand generation, marketers should stress on converting and retaining customers and not only focus on customer attraction.
B2B Demand Generation Tip #2: Acquisition
Traditionally the work of the marketer would end once a lead crosses the thresh hold from “consideration” stage to “acquisition” stage.
This is the stage where the company’s salesperson would take over and close the deal. Now the demand marketers have realized that this is not the case.
They have realized that both the sales and marketing departments need to work together through all the stages of the customer journey.
The marketing team will help to get the leads across the finishing line by providing them with collateral that will help to promote the sales pitch while the sales reps will help to define what a quality lead looks like.
A study shows that though this is what should be happening, a majority of the sales reps find it very difficult to find the content to send to their leads so as to close a deal.
They spend almost 50 hours a month looking for content and customizing it for the leads.
This issue can be avoided by getting support from a solid demand marketing strategy. When marketers get involved in the process during the “acquisition” stage, they are able to share case studies, competitive data and testimonials that valuable in the pitch deck.
Marketers can help to create a content library where the sales reps can easily get information.
B2B Demand Generation Tip #3: Service and Loyalty
Another realization that came with B2B demand generation was that the customer journey is cyclic. The customers that you currently have are well aware of your competitors and the offers they have.
This makes the current customers that you have to generally still be in the “consideration” stage whether they are actively participating in it or not.
They can decide to jump ship at any point if they are given a better offer by one of your competitors. This makes it necessary for you to keep giving these customers reasons to stay with your business.
Demand marketers are now prioritizing customer experience and ensure that it’s top-notch. These marketers have to be vigilant so as to notice when a customer requires extra help from the company and they can offer resource and training programs for their customers even though they don’t train them directly.
The responsibility for continuously sharing tips, best practices and tricks falls under the marketing department.
Thanks to big data, demand marketers can strategically plan to up-sell and cross-sell services and products throughout the life cycle of the customer and maximizing the long-term value of their current customers.
The “loyalty” stage is where your customers become their own referral engine. At this stage, you don’t need to be worried that they will jump ship and you can rely on them to generate leads for you.
B2B demand generation is clearly about customer experience through the journey of awareness to acquisition and deserves your best efforts using the right and proven strategies for success.