I guess there is really only one way to fail at B2B Demand Generation—fail to make a legitimate contribution to your organization’s revenue. But, I already wrote the title, so I guess I’m committed to follow through, so here are three (of many, I’m sure) ways you can go wrong in B2B demand generation–and how you can avoid them.
“Always remember you’re unique, just like everyone else.”
– Alison Boulter
Mistake #1: Assume that the buying personas in your target market are just like you and that your personal tastes and preferences are good indicators of what will work for them in their buying process. Better yet, don’t bother identifying buying personas at all; just pretend all your campaigns are directed at you.
Instead: There are good reasons why you are a marketing person and not a purchasing manager at a wood products manufacturer or the CEO of an international accounting firm. If you ignore those good reasons, you will fail to connect with the people in your funnel in a relevant and timely way. They, not you, will be engaged in their own buying process and will probably choose the vendor who speaks to them in the most engaging, compelling and meaningful way. Effective demand gen marketers keep their leads uppermost in their minds when designing campaigns and creating content.
Obviously, you should tap into your experience as you make content and design decisions, but be very careful not to substitute your own persona for theirs. Also, remember to use the data provided by your marketing automation and CRM systems! Your in-house information about leads and customers, wins and losses, successes and not-quite-successes will help you to continually refine your profile of your buying personas, and to continually optimize your campaigns, designs and content. Make them more and more relevant and timely—not to you—to your leads.
“What makes life dreary is the want of a motive.”
– TS Eliot
Mistake #2: Never make it obvious what you want your lead to do; in fact, never be quite sure yourself what you want your lead to do.
Instead: Respect your leads. They are business people with responsibilities and deadlines of their own, and their time is precious. When you send them an email and they open it, this is a gift they give to you. You owe it to them to make the message super-simple to understand and above all to make it perfectly clear and obvious what you want them to do. This is equally true, if not even more true, for landing pages, where leads must take your word for it that clicking your link or filling out the questions on your form is worthwhile. Every touch point with your lead is precious. Each contact is a chance to move them further along in their buying journey. Wasting their time, making them work too hard to figure out why you’ve interrupted their day, or making them feel foolish for not knowing what to do is a wasted opportunity. Nurture them; don’t confuse them.
Your content plan should specify a call-to-action (CTA) conversion goal for each lead-facing non-transactional campaign component. You want them to click a link, complete a form, download an offer or engage more deeply with your content, your brand and eventually, your sales team. Whatever that conversion goal is, do not distract leads with multiple calls to action, competing design elements, or too many possible places to devote their attention. Design your touch so that when they open an email or launch a landing page, it is immediately obvious exactly what you want them to do, and give them a clear way or place to do that.
“Observe constantly that all things take place by change.”
– Marcus Aurelius
Mistake #3: Spend loads and loads of time and money making sure your emails and landing pages look exactly like really expensive, award-winning print brochures.
- Website? Check.
- Email campaigns? Check.
- Marketing automation? Check.
- CRM? Check.
- Relevant, useful content that targets buyer persona and buying stage? Check.
- Social media? Check.
- In market with your first campaigns, learning and optimizing? Check.
You have all this great technology at your disposal. You have more marketing agility, versatility and freedom than ever! You can turn on a dime, baby! You can measure and optimize your tactics and channels to make them more relevant, timely, and effective. You can contribute meaningfully to the management and delivery of your organization’s revenue. It’s a brave new world! All new and all good!
Please do not hamstring all this new marketing agility with the same kind of over-the-top art that your ad agency created for you back in the good old days when men were men, women were women and lunch was martinis. Yes, you want excellent design, but unlike the cases of brochures that sat in a storeroom somewhere waiting for the next big tradeshow, one of online marketing’s biggest advantages is its agility. Make your content ideas prove themselves before unleashing huge amounts of creative budget. Test and improve your content in small ways (blog articles, tip sheets, guides) and when you know they are resonating with your target audience, expand on those ideas.
Take advantage of the faster design-launch-optimize cycles offered by digital marketing channels. New purpose-driven messaging and new campaigns can now roll out in hours instead of weeks, but not if you have such a huge investment in expensive creative that you can’t afford to change it. Does creativity matter? Absolutely! Don’t abandon design, but don’t let it become a ball and chain either.
As B2B Demand Gen experts, we are in the trenches daily. We consistently overcome these challenges (and more) as we design, implement, analyze and optimize out client’s revenue engines. If you’re interested in learning more about Demand Gen or any of the new tools available to marketers, please visit our Resources page or schedule a demo with us. We are here to help!
- Content Marketing
- Demand Generation
- Hot Topics
- ID Word of the Day
- Intelligent Demand
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- October 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- May 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- Marketers are being asked to do more–A LOT MORE–with fewer resources. You need efficient ways to generate and manage leads. Reliable reporting and metrics that prove your impact on revenue wouldn't hurt either.
Talk to us today about:
- More qualified leads for your sales team
- Automated lead & customer nurturing campaigns
- A steady flow of relevant content that converts
- Marketing automation & CRM implementation
- Actionable reporting & metrics
LEARN MOREYou know that buying has changed. Prospects have gotten very good at ignoring cold calls, tuning out product-centric messaging, and doing their own research without the help of a sales person.
Talk to us today if you'd like:
- More time closing, less time prospecting
- Truly qualified leads
- Deeper insight into prospects' hot buttons
- Better sales tools & marketing support
- Content that prospects actually read/want
LEARN MORESenior Execs, You understand that luck isn't much of a strategy. You need marketing and sales to work together--to drive revenue. Forrester, Gartner, Aberdeen Group and Sirius Decisions all confirm that companies who invest in demand generation strategies achieve impressive results:
- 18% higher revenue
- 16.5% higher campaign response rates and conversion rates
- 50% decrease in time to execute campaigns
- 85% decrease in cost per lead
SCHEDULE A CONSULTContact us to schedule a free initial consultation. We will promptly return your call or email.
Tel: +1 877 654 2234
Email: Schedule a Consultation
DOWNLOAD THIS GUIDE