Getting leads is essential for any company, but generating high-quality leads takes a lot of work.
It’s not enough to just put up a few ads and wait for the customers to come flooding in. You need to have a well-thought-out demand generation strategy if you want to be successful.
And, if you’re in charge of demand generation for your company, you know that a strong demand generation strategy can mean the difference between success and failure for your business. But what does it take to build a strong demand gen strategy?
Here are 8 things you need to know:
1.) Goals/Measure of Success/Definition
Before you can create a strong demand generation strategy, you need to know what your goals are. What are you trying to achieve with your strategy? What would success look like? How will you measure success?
It’s important to have a clear understanding of your goals before you start putting together a plan.
What’s also important here is to get sales and marketing aligned around the same measure of success. This could be pipeline or revenue, but whatever you choose, make sure it’s something both teams can agree on.
If sales and marketing are working towards different goals, it will be difficult to create a successful demand generation strategy, this is a big problem many organizations face, and it’s one of the main reasons why demand generation strategies fail, so make sure you have a clear definition and everyone is on the same page before moving forward.
You also want to ensure that lead/opp definitions are clear across teams so there’s no confusion, as that can lead to friction and a lack of trust between teams.
2.) ICP Definition:
If you want to generate high-quality leads, you need to have a clear understanding of your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).
- Who are you trying to reach with your demand generation efforts?
- What do they look like?
- What are their pain points?
- What are they trying to achieve?
- What do they like/dislike?
- What is stopping them from achieving their goal?
- Whom do they buy from?
- Where do they hang out online?
- Where do they go for advice and information?
The more you know about your ICP, the easier it will be to generate leads that are a good fit for your business. If you don’t have a clear understanding of your ICP, you’ll likely end up wasting a lot of time and money chasing leads that will never convert. You may create a perfect demand gen strategy but if you are targeting the wrong people, it will never be successful.
Many companies think they know their ICP but they actually don’t. They might have a general idea, but they haven’t taken the time to really think about it and understand it in depth. Which is a must if you want to create a strong demand generation strategy.
Unless well funded, Seed to Series B companies doesn’t have the luxury of marketing to their whole TAM. They need to focus on markets with the most significant competitive advantage and on the personas most likely to convert. Thus, a process of market and persona segmentation is crucial to identify these high-opportunity areas.
By now, your ICP should be fairly well-defined. The next step is to segment them into different groups so you can create targeted messages that speak to their specific needs. For example, you might segment your ICP into different groups based on job title, company size, or industry.
This is important because it allows you to create more targeted content and campaigns that are more likely to resonate with your audience and generate results. It will also allow you to prioritize your efforts so you can focus more on those segments that are converting most and who are most likely to do business with you.
4.) Buyer Journey Mapping
Knowing your ICP and segmenting them is a great start, but if you want to create a truly effective and strong demand generation strategy, you need to go one step further and map out their buyer journey.
This means understanding what they’re thinking and feeling at each stage of the journey, how they make decisions, and what information they need to move from one stage to the next.
What are they interested in at the top of the funnel?
What are their questions and concerns at the middle of the funnel?
And what is their motivation at the bottom of the funnel?
By understanding these things, you’ll be able to create content that is much more likely to resonate with your audience and drive results.
What usually happens when companies do a deep dive into mapping out the buyer journey, is that they realize that the whole time they were creating content, they were only addressing one or two stages of the journey, or there were stages of the journey that they were completely ignored, or they were addressing the stages in the wrong order. There’s a high chance that this will be the case for you as well, which is why it’s so important to map out the buyer journey before doing anything else.
Keep in mind, if this also happens to you it’s not a bad thing, it just means that you have an opportunity to improve your strategy and create even better results.
5.) Messaging Framework
Now that you know your ICP, segmented them, and mapped out their buyer journey, it’s time to start thinking about how would you like to position your company and how would you communicate with your target audience. This is where messaging comes in.
You need to come up with a messaging framework that you can use as a guide for all your future content. This will ensure that all your content is on-brand and aligned with your demand generation strategy.
Messaging is all about communicating your value proposition to your audience. It’s about finding the right words to describe what you do and why it matters.
At its core, messaging is about answering why? Why should someone do business with you?
Or in other words, messaging is about communicating your value proposition to your audience. It’s about finding the right words to describe what you do and why it matters.
And when it comes to not only demand generation, but marketing and sales as a whole, your messaging is one of the most important things to get right.
Unfortunately, many companies make the mistake of not putting enough time and effort into their messaging, and as a result, they end up with something that is either off-brand, unfocused, or just plain confusing.
Creating a strong messaging framework will help you avoid this mistake and ensure that all your content is aligned with your overall demand generation strategy. It will also make your demand gen strategy more effective, it will make it easier to align your marketing and sales efforts, it will differentiate you from your competition, and it will make your life a whole lot easier.
Needless to say, taking the time to create a strong messaging framework is definitely worth it and it’s a must-have if you want to build a strong demand generation strategy.
The next step is figuring out where your target market hangs out so you can reach them with your message.
This is where your research from before comes in handy. You should have a pretty good idea of the answer to this question already.
Your target market is probably hanging out on a few different channels, but there will definitely be one or two that are more important than the others.
This is where you need to focus your efforts. These are the channels that you should be most active on and where you should be creating most of your content.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should completely ignore the other channels. You should still be present on them, but you don’t need to spend as much time and energy there. Bigger isn’t always better.
Remember, if you are just starting out, or you don’t have a big team or a big budget, it’s better to be present and active on a few channels and do them well than to try to be everywhere and do everything half-heartedly. If you spread yourself too thin, you won’t be able to achieve the results you’re looking for. So, what you want to do is pick a few channels that you’re going to focus on nail down your strategy for each one, and try to dominate them.
This is a lot easier said than done, but it’s definitely doable if you have a clear plan and you’re willing to put in the work.
7.) Pipeline Generation Programs & Tactics
Once you’ve determined which channels will work best to reach potential customers, it’s time to start thinking about the specific programs, strategies, and tactics you’ll use to generate demand.
There are a lot of different ways to do this, and the best way to find out what works best for you is to try a few different things and see what gives you the best results. A few popular demand generation tactics include:
– Creating helpful and informative content (like blog posts, eBooks, white papers, etc.)
– Hosting webinars or podcasts
– Offering free trials or demos
– Running contests or giveaways
– Participating in trade shows or events
– Creating a referral program
– And more!
These are just a few of the many different tactics you can use. The important thing is to experiment and find out what works best for you and your company. There is no magic formula for success. It’s all about trying different things and seeing what gives you the best results. Oh, and also, don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside the box, because sometimes the best results come from the least expected places.
8.) Reporting & Analysis
Last but not least, you need to set up reporting to track progress against your goals (#1) and optimize along the way. That means setting up Google Analytics or other tracking tools and putting together monthly or quarterly reports for stakeholders. It also means continually A/B testing different elements of your demand gen program so you can fine-tune what’s working and ditch what isn’t.
Make sure to collect data at each stage of the funnel and track key metrics like reach, impressions, clicks, form submissions, conversion rate percentage by stage/channel/campaign, customer churn rate, customer lifetime value, customer acquisition costs, payback period, win rate by channel/product/service type.
Doing this will give you a clear picture of what’s working well and where there are opportunities for improvement.
Because demand generation can be such a big investment for companies (in both time and money), it is important to set up reporting mechanisms that allow you to evaluate ROI on an ongoing basis. That way, you can make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck and adjust your strategy accordingly.
What you should keep in mind here is that not everything can be tracked and precisely attributed. Dark funnel is real and plenty of things can happen in it that you’ll never be able to track. The important thing is not to get too caught up in the details and to focus on the bigger picture. Track what you can, but don’t get too bogged down in the weeds.
Demand gen is a complex process that takes time, effort, and resources to get right. But if you’re willing to put in the work, it can be a hugely rewarding process that can help you take your business to the next level.
By following the eight steps outlined above, you can set yourself up for success and create a strong demand generation strategy that will help you reach your goals, grow your business and acquire new customers!
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