Demand generation in b2b marketing stands for recognizing and addressing customer pains. Understanding these pain points helps tailor appealing marketing messages that grab the target audience’s attention, making them go further down the funnel and convert into buyers.
Definition of B2B Demand Generation
Demand generation strategy builds upon various activities that increase customer awareness and instigate the demand for your product. Demand gen encompasses a wide scope of work and interconnects with co-related marketing strategies.
Therefore, defining it as a strategy that creates brand awareness and demand would be correct. Eventually, its purpose is to devise sustainable pipelines that bring in qualified leads.
Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation
OK, so what’s the difference between demand and lead generation? Firstly, b2b demand generation efforts build your company’s authority from scratch. It provides customers with initial awareness so they enter the purchase funnel.
Conversely, there’s a lead generation that zeroes in on lead conversion. In contrast to demand generation, lead gen shifts focus from engagement to last-click conversions. All in all, the question isn’t about picking one thing or another. Gaining qualified leads and conversions requires both demand and lead generation.
Demand Generation vs. Growth Marketing
Demand generation is essential for the growth of brand awareness and grabbing the attention of TA. However, to drive and increase revenue, businesses run growth marketing.
Growth marketing stands out with its focus on quality over quantity. Growth teams put high-intent customers and their lifetime value first, so the main goal is to ensure customer retention. To achieve that, the marketing team must join their efforts with salespeople who update them about customer success cases.
Why B2B Businesses Should Invest in Demand Generation
Growing customer awareness means bringing in more potential buyers from the total available market. Eventually, this rising number of MQLs forms the ground for your company to grow and scale up.
Here’s why a coherent b2b demand generation strategy is a must in 2023:
- Buying research is a common thing. Worldwide Business Research outlines that up to 70% of b2b customers run buying research on their own before speaking to a sales rep. So they look into reliable and informative sources to make a purchase decision.
- Customers want to buy independently. Empowered with their research, b2b customers want to go through the buying process independently. Therefore, you must represent yourself as a niche expert and thought leader, not a vendor.
- People give a lot of credit to the network. The digital era allows buyers to discover and evaluate products on social media and online communities. That’s another reason you must strengthen your online presence and get in front of thought leaders.
5 Steps Towards Efficient Demand Gen Strategy
A viable and robust b2b demand generation strategy always consists of the following:
- ICP research
- A content strategy that builds brand awareness
- Existing marketing flywheel
- Marketing & Sales Alignment
Basically, every successful b2b player builds their demand gen strategy from these components. To specify how exactly you can succeed with demand generation, let’s look into the 5-step program below.
1. ICP Research
ICP marketing and demand generation efforts are inseparable in the b2b world. Through ICP definition and general buy-in across Product, Marketing, and Sales, you recognize pain points and buying intents you can address with your content.
ICP creation implies in-depth research of the customer journey. Identifying your dream prospects and asking salespeople about their closed-won deals is also important. Overall, you need to answer these questions:
- What buyer’s problems does your product/service solve?
- What keywords and channels do prospects use to find the solution?
- In what circumstances will they likely buy from you (defining intent signals)?
2. Content Strategy Creation
Demand-gen content educates prospects and answers some of their burning questions. So you need to map the hottest topics, including controversial ones, to serve as an industry expert.
Follow the checklist to determine what your content should be like:
- Who’s going to read it?
- What will make it unique?
- What specific problems will your content cover?
- What format and marketing channel will suit particular types of content?
- Who can be your outreach partners?
Apart from social media posting and promoting blog articles in organic search, there are many ways to put your messages in front of the TA. So we’d primarily recommend you bring in a seasoned content marketer to your team if you still don’t have one.
3. Capitalizing the Existing Demand
The idea is to expand the reach to grab the attention of people with the existing demand. It means you should invest in multi-channel marketing.
But to make them lead-generating pipelines, you need sufficient intelligence on the audience of a particular platform. Of course, you can source the intent data from a specific b2b data provider like Apollo, but how to match it with network members on Facebook or LinkedIn?
This is when audience orchestration platforms like Primer come into play. Primer allows marketers to pull together data from 12+ third-party providers and enrich their datasets. Eventually, your list-based audiences will meet match rates up to 60-90% on Facebook and LinkedIn.
4. Work with Sales
The LinkedIn ‘Moments of Trust’ report points out that 87% of sales and marketing experts consider cross-team collaboration a keystone of success. Fair enough, demand gen and sales teams share the common goal of building qualified pipelines that drive revenue.
Mark Kosoglow from Outreach insists that both teams must meet and exchange intelligence at least once a month. There’s a need to bring finding customer pain points, sales-enabling content, and roadblocks to a table regularly.
5. Personalize Your Content
Personalization stems from a deep understanding of ICP’s goals and values. It contributes to building trust and helps your messages stand out in a never-ending flood of content.
Customer data enrichment through platforms like Primer can help you create engaging, personalized content. In particular, you can expect open rates of around 90% for personalized cold emails instead of the usual 20-30%.