Today’s marketers continuously face the challenge of generating enough leads to keep their sales pipeline filled. On top of that, marketers must ensure high quality leads as proving ROI and impacting revenue becomes more important. Given the increasing focus on top-of-funnel lead generation and the fact that marketers are expected to nurture leads as they move toward purchase and even once they become customers, it’s not surprising that marketers are seeking tips and tricks to use as they optimize their demand generation efforts.
To help kick start your demand generation planning, let’s dive into three key components of successful demand generation programs.
Crucial Component #1: Persona Development
According to a recent survey conducted by Demand Gen Report and Marketo, nearly two thirds (64%) of B2B marketers consider personas and mutli-channel lead nurturing programs a top priority to drive demand.
Gaining a thorough understanding of your potential buyers is critical to the success of your demand generation efforts because it’s important for you to know not only who you are targeting, but understand what messaging and communication channels resonate the best. As you develop personas, be sure to consider both qualitative and quantitative information on what your customer segments really look like. By diving into the key characteristics and qualities of your customer base, you’ll be able to better target and customize your demand generation efforts to help ensure maximum impact.
Helpful Hint: It’s not enough to just define and document personas. The personas you build must become an integral component of your demand generation strategy – from creative and content development to measurement and performance. Finally, as you build personas, be sure to socialize your assumptions and validate with key stakeholders to ensure buy-in.
Crucial Component #2: Content Library
After you’ve defined your core buyer personas and have a better understanding of potential buyers, you can use this deeper understanding to help inform your demand generation content and messaging strategy.
Content remains the primary vehicle leveraged in ongoing demand generation efforts and according to a recent survey conducted by Demand Gen Report and Marketo, nearly two thirds (63%) of B2B responders cited “expanding our content library to drive campaigns” as a top initiative for 2015.
You can best determine how to effectively engage the right prospects with the correct content by matching your personas with preferred marketing materials and content. Be sure to consider a comprehensive mix of content including multiple distribution and execution channels like social media and mobile to directly maximize your results. Read more about great content marketing here.
Helpful Hint: Building a comprehensive Content Library takes time and most organizations don’t have the time and resources needed to support content development. When building your content strategy be sure to include more than just a few brochures and white papers, and prioritize your efforts around high impact content. And remember, as you track and measure the results of your content and map against your personas, you’ll quickly discover what resonates with each customer group based on their persona and stage of the buying journey.
Crucial Component #3: Performance Measurement
Once you’ve defined your target buyers and determine the right mix of content; you need to determine how you are going to measure performance and ultimate success. Just as sales teams are measured by their ability to meet their defined sales quota, marketers are measured by their ability to contribute to revenue growth – in other words – the quality of leads generated. In addition to positively impacting revenue, marketers should also track and report on campaign performance and ROI including the quantity of leads, lead sources and conversion rates.
Helpful Hint: Measuring the success of demand generation efforts can be difficult depending on existing systems, processes and even people involved. Before you report on any performance, it’s critical to align internally with sales on what success looks like including the definition of Opportunities, Leads, MQLs, SQLs and Deals.
Importance of Demand Generation
Demand generation is a vital function within any organization and the expected impact will only continue to increase over time. To help ensure your future demand generation efforts are successful, be sure to remember to clearly define and understand who you are targeting, how to leverage data and content to drive engagement, and have clear alignment of sales and marketing efforts and success metrics. Organizations that build out a well-defined and thought out cohesive demand generation process will easily generate more qualified leads that successfully get converted into profitable sales.