B2B demand generation, or “Demand Gen”, is essential to a solid sales and marketing campaign. This integrated marketing approach uses multiple methods to drive awareness and interest in a product or service.
With carefully-chosen content marketing efforts, nurturing campaigns, and even strategies like account-based marketing, B2B companies can strengthen connections with potential leads, increase revenue, and unlock new opportunities.
Today we’re going to define B2B demand generation, what it involves, and why it’s so crucial for businesses hoping to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.
What Does B2B Demand Generation Involve?
B2B demand generation and B2B lead generation are two terms often used interchangeably by less informed business leaders. However, the two concepts are a bit different.
Demand generation is a strategy for the top of the marketing funnel, where you focus on creating awareness of your company and highlighting its unique benefits. Lead generation involves capturing information about your audience to engage in direct outreach.
A demand generation strategy often involves a range of campaigns and concepts for different companies. You may even have other teams working on various campaigns.
For instance, field marketing teams can host trade shows and events while engaging PR agencies to create brand awareness. Alternatively, digital marketing teams produce content like eBooks and research papers to draw attention to the company’s abilities. You might even have a dedicated social media team working to increase your follower base and push engagement back to your website.
Why is Demand Generation Important?
Demand generation is an essential tool for business growth.
To ensure you stay ahead of the competition and continue to attract high-value clients for your B2B company, you need to have multiple methods of generating demand. The marketplace is already saturated with different consumer options, and without a demand generation plan, you’ll struggle to compete with existing brands.
In the B2B world, without demand generation strategies, companies would rely exclusively on outbound sales and marketing methods to connect with customers. This could lead to slower business growth and means you’re likely to spend more on your company’s development with limited ROI. Alternatively, investing in the right demand generation plans ensures you can attract your customers to you and shorten the purchasing cycle.
With demand generation, businesses can create interest in and awareness of their company at an accelerated rate. This leads to new customers and more case studies, reviews, and testimonials to reference when connecting with new clients.
The Steps Involved in a B2B Demand Generation Strategy
B2B demand generation is an integrated marketing approach that often leverages various tools and campaigns to succeed. While the exact nature of your demand generation strategy will vary according to your company’s goals, it will usually involve:
- Persona development: Getting to know your target audience, their pain preferences and preferences is the key to successful demand generation. The aim should always be to attract interest from customers, most likely to benefit from your products and services. Developing user personas can be an excellent way to strengthen the impact of demand gen strategies in the B2B world.
- Building awareness: There are various ways to build awareness and visibility for a B2B brand. One of the best options is to prioritise the collection of authentic customer reviews you can display on social media and your website, to highlight company credibility. You can also expand awareness by boosting your online presence with PR reports, guest posting, social media, and content creation.
- Content marketing: Content marketing is one of the essential steps in any demand generation strategy. It helps to develop brand awareness and provides insights into what your business can do. Good content strategies also develop thought leadership skills to improve your company’s credibility. Content strategies include videos and blog posts to eBooks and landing pages.
- Account-based marketing: A major B2B demand generation trend, ABM requires marketing and sales teams to work together to target specific customers or clients through customer engagement and support. These campaigns are excellent for developing deeper relationships with customers and helping B2B buyers see the value in any product or service.
- Partner marketing: Partnering with third parties and working with other companies is one of the best ways to boost demand generation. Publishing your news reports on a reputable company’s website or promoting content as part of an online event helps you to reach a wider share of customers. This paves the way for better sales opportunities.
Stimulating Demand for B2B Companies
Stimulating demand in the B2B landscape ensures you can outshine the competition and continue building your revenue as a growing business. The key for a lot of companies will be focusing on getting the right message in front of the right target audience. After all, every business buyer has distinct pain points and needs to consider.
Once you’ve developed a strong understanding of your target audience, you can use many channels, from PR and event presentations to webinars and content creation, to demonstrate what your business is capable of. A comprehensive, integrated marketing communications (IMC) strategy will target your customers when they’re at the very first stages of their purchasing journey.
After experimenting with demand generation techniques, you can use tools for insights and analytics to work on conversion rate optimisation (CRO). This generally involves looking at the quality of leads and prospects you collect from different demand generation tactics and increasing your investment in the strategies with the most significant payoff.
Leveraging B2B Demand Generation
B2B demand generation strategies are critical for any business hoping to accelerate growth in the modern landscape. Before you can start to increase sales and expand your company’s market size, you’ll need to ensure you’re generating plenty of demand.
Remember, a demand generation strategy should remain somewhat flexible, as the B2B market often changes rapidly. Keeping a close eye on your analytics will help you get the best investment return.