CMOs are under increased pressure to prove the ROI of their marketing programs and deliver on set KPIs — and a new year always brings new campaign expectations. This is especially true for the upcoming years as the C-suite looks to catch up on the revenue they lost throughout the Covid-19 pandemic when B2B buyers held off purchases. In this context, demand generation will become increasingly crucial and face more scrutiny.
Here are three crucial aspects of demand generation that can often be optimized to improve the results of B2B campaigns.
Rethink Your Content
Churning out content that doesn’t move the dial for your organization is not an effective content marketing strategy. Truly impactful content delights your target audience, speaks to their pain points, fosters click through on your CTAs from your ideal customer profiles and, most importantly, provides true value. In fact, not assigning clear objectives to content pieces and content marketing generally is why many companies, big and mid-market, fail to generate demand and leads from their content assets.
CMOs are under pressure to not just lead the generation of such content but also to demonstrate the results and outcomes of it. Inevitably, the question of demand generation comes into play. To ensure that content reaches its marketing objectives, apply the Strategy, Execution, Analysis framework:
Strategy — Define the marketing goals for the content. Is it brand awareness for an under-selling solution? Lead generation in a specific industry vertical? The more granular the goal, the more driven your content will be, which aides your creation process in the Execution stage. Avoid generalist goals such as “generate leads” since this can make your content underperform.
Execution — As a CMO, you likely don’t have time to create content; however, your team (or outsourced creators) should be carefully briefed before starting off. The brief should be more focused on meeting the strategic goal than brand voice, banned words and internal linking. Many creators end up prioritizing the latter due to minor details becoming a fuss during editing — as a CMO, you shouldn’t let that happen. Your content creator should develop assets with the strategic goal front and center. That means if the goal is “lead generation in the hospitality sector,” the asset needs to fulfill that goal.
Analysis — This step includes pre- and post-publication reviews. Before launching, make sure the asset will meet the goal defined in the Strategy phase and edit it accordingly. Then, after launching, monitor engagement and conversions to check if the goal is being met. A published piece is never finished. You need to tweak it over time for the content to continue meeting its objectives. An in-house content manager and SEO specialist to track asset performance are essential for content syndication to work effectively in the long term.
Effective Lead Nurturing
Lead nurturing is effective if you go beyond solely dripping content. Remember, the purpose of lead nurturing is to develop relationships and facilitate touchpoints with your target buyer throughout their buying journey as it relates to your sales funnel. As such, it’s key to rethink and refresh your organization-wide lead nurturing strategy.
In the B2B context, the buying committee is a key part of nurturing. Made of decision-makers and influencers, the buying committee often decides which deals progress and which do not. As such, consider this: Are your assets building trust in your services with such committees?
Segmentation is your friend and, if you’re knowledgeable in psychographics for B2B marketing, place members of the committee on separate nurturing tracks with personalized messaging and assets.
Lead scoring helps you determine the sales readiness of the buying group, which should be a similar score across the board. If a member has a lower score than the rest, your pitch will probably fail — nurture them more before a SDR gets in touch.
Apart from the regular automation for emails and social media you get with CRMs, B2B marketers need tools that create a wide-scale impact and save precious time.
Zapier and Phantombuster automate menial tasks such as scraping lead profiles from LinkedIn, as well as notifying SDRs via Slack of lead activity. For social listening, you can compile hashtag data for actionable insights in a few seconds.
Automation recovers time that is lost daily with repetitive tasks — if you haven’t automated these workflows yet, now is the moment.
Alexander Kesler is a visionary B2B digital marketer. Focusing on solutions for B2B demand generation, digital marketing, ABM, intent and AI-driven lead generation, among others, Kesler embraces innovation and turns concepts and methodologies into products and marketing programs that drive ROI. As Founder and CEO of INFUSEmedia, Alexander leads a global team that executes campaigns across all industries and company sizes. He leads all facets of global marketing, including go-to-market strategy, demand generation, vertical marketing, data management, field marketing, pricing, retention, analyst relations, product management, inside sales and sales enablement.