Marketing has evolved significantly over the last decade. Technology has changed the way customers discover, research and communicate with brands. Organizations are navigating a rapidly shifting landscape of consumer behavior, research channels and marketing best practices.
The ideal marketing mix in 1998 was a lot simpler than demand generation strategies in 2018. Today’s demand marketers are navigating the responsibility of creating an exceptional customer experience across many different channels. Martech is expanding at a meteoric rate, which has created new opportunities, as well as challenges, surrounding automation, data quality management and optimization.
It's a lot to sort through. And B2B marketers are tasked with trying to identify which of these new opportunities will drive the best results.7 Demand Generation Strategies for 2018
While marketers may feel they’re exploring uncharted territory with new technologies and buyer behaviors, there’s no need to completely reinvent the demand generation wheel.
We've compliled some of the methods top demand marketers are using to drive increasing results at their organizations as they move into 2018.
1. Build Marketing Partnerships
Heather Berggren | Senior Director of Campaigns & Inbound Demand Generation | Box
Heather is a firm believer that the right approach to partnership marketing can lead to "tremendous" results. Much of her work has focused on developing strategic partnerships, including co-authoring original research and broader content distribution.
“This is a relationship business – developing true partnerships...is key”
Berggren believes in the value of knowledge firms, including SiriusDecisions, Forrester, IDC and Gartner. She’s also explored innovative relationships with tech providers and media vendors, including Forbes, Integrate and TechTarget for more data-driven message delivery.
2. Host In-Person Events
Jenna Keegan | Director of Demand Generation | Curata
While sponsoring in-person events can be daunting, there’s powerful relationship-building potential in face-to-face time with prospects. Co-sponsored events with partner brands can lighten the resource investment of seminars, meetups and other demand generation events.
Prior to her role at Curata, Jenna worked for Attend where in-person events were a major part of the demand generation strategy. “[Events] help us connect with our customers in a more meaningful way than emails and phone calls,” she says. They act as a platform for sales to “take advantage of face-to-face interactions and also take a lot of the manual work off the marketing team’s plate.”
3. Leverage Integrated Content Syndication
Stephanie McArthur | Senior Campaign Manager | Forgerock
There’s a lot to love about content syndication. Your assets reach a broader audience than you can reach on your own. Not only do syndication platforms yield a relatively low cost per lead, but sales results can be spectacular if your leads are properly nurtured.
Stephanie's content syndication success secret is a demand generation tool to help streamline complex syndication programs. In her prior role at CA Technologies, Integrate helped the demand generation team “keep media partners accountable to our needs, control data quality and integrity and have complete visibility into which leads truly perform the best.”
By implementing a unified platform for content syndication, Stephanie's team became empowered to make data-driven decisions. They no longer had to “wing it,” and could increasingly hone their ability to engage exactly the right prospects with top-of-funnel content.
4. Learn, Improve and Automate
Ashleigh Davis | Senior Marketing Manager of Demand Gen & Ops | Trend Micro
“I’m a process and operations geek,” admits Davis. “I love to get ‘under the hood’ and see how tools and technology work and how they can impact an organization’s efficiency.”
While Ashleigh is the first to admit that the changes with the greatest impact aren’t always the most glamorous parts of demand generation, she’s seen first-hand the value of incremental process improvement.
Ashleigh's process improvement and automation work includes various automation tools, but she also uses good, old-fashioned process outlining and standardization techniques to get the “foundation” right before layering on MarTech solutions.
5. Enable Self-Paced Lead Nurturing
Bob Ruffolo | Founder, CEO | Impact Branding & Design
Self-paced lead nurturing makes it easy for consumers to self-educate and consume relevant content at a pace they’re comfortable with.
While nurtured leads outperform their unnurtured counterparts, there’s value in letting the contact's own interest, behavior and needs determine how frequently your organization engages via email, phone and other methods of outreach. Bob also believes that self-paced lead nurturing is a valuable demand generation method for building trust.
“[Prospects] need to know that their best interests are being kept in mind. “They need assurance that you're reliable and that you can continually provide value. The relationship needs to be nurtured.”
6. Don’t Ignore Direct Mail
Julia Stead | Director of Demand Generation | Invoca
In the age of crowded inboxes and ignored voicemails, direct mail can stand out.
Julia advocates for combining “as many touch points as possible for each campaign.” At Invoca, her team supports in-person events with email, display, print and social media promotions. She says this multi-touch approach has “improved our overall opportunity creation rate significantly.”
Invoca uses PFL to support direct mail programs, which Julia credits as among their top-performing channels. PFL integrates with Invoca’s marketing automation tool, providing real-time alerts into delivery for personalized follow-up and automated mail outreach.
7. Know Your Audience
Emily Wingrove | Senior Manager of ABM Education | DemandBase
“AUDIENCE. AUDIENCE. AUDIENCE” writes Emily. She believes the most game-changing demand marketers “constantly strive to learn more” about who they’re marketing to.
Being infatuated with audiences is a concept that informed her prior role as Director of Marketing at Synthio. Gaining insights from data, sales and customer success, helps marketers create increasingly relevant prospect and customer experiences. Wingrove’s favorite platform for data-driven audience insights include Vidyard and Curata among others.
Developing Dynamic Demand Generation Strategies
These industry-leading demand marketers have one uniting factor to their success secrets. They recognize that the most effective demand generation methods are dynamic rather than static.
From constantly improving audience profiles through data insights to adopting MarTech for more personalized direct mail campaigns, the most effective B2B marketers are committed to continual improving their approach.
Armed with their success secrets, diverse methods and the right technologies to solve some of the most common demand generation problems, you can prepare for groundbreaking success in 2018.
Eager to dig deeper into cutting-edge demand generation tactics? Discover the secrets, tools, technologies and tactics that are making a difference at forty B2B marketing organizations in this eBook: 155 Tips & Tactics from Demand Marketing's Top 40 Game Changers.