Take a look at the differences in these two definitions of demand generation:Definition 1: Demand generation “is the same type of outbound marketing practices that prospects are getting more adept at shutting out – think unwanted cold calls … email blasts, list buying, TV commercials, sponsored webinars and the like. The demand generation approach is really gravitated to by companies with sales-driven cultures that place an emphasis on the cold call.”
Definition 2: Demand generation “helps your organization reach new markets, promote new product features, build consumer buzz, generate PR, and re-engage existing customers. Demand generation programs are touch points throughout the conversion optimization and sales cycles. The goal of demand generation is to build and nurture key prospect and customer relationships for the long term. To do this effectively, marketers need to do things like respond to customer questions on Twitter, promote blog posts through Facebook, host webinars and run email marketing campaigns.”
Pretty different, right? Would it surprise you to learn that both comments came from the exact same company — HubSpot? However, they were published eight years apart — the first in 2010 and the second in 2018.
The vast difference in these perspectives provides the perfect example of just how much demand generation has changed in the past eight years, and how much more it’s likely to continue changing into the future.
That’s why it’s smart to revisit demand generation every year to see where the tactic stands in its ever-evolving trajectory as a vital component of marketing.
The 2018 Demand Generation Benchmark Survey Report confirms that demand generation is continuing to grow and expand. Nearly, 70 percent of B2B marketers projected that their demand generation budget would increase in 2019, and 34 percent projected that spending would grow by more than 20 percent.
According to the survey, these six goals are among their top demand generation priorities in 2019:
73% — Focus on lead quality over lead quantity
72% — Improve conversion rates and campaign results
62% — Generate increased lead volume
61% — Improve ability to measure and analyze marketing impact
60% — Improve sales and marketing alignment
53% — Expand content library to drive campaigns
If any of these goals ring true for your demand gen plans this year, here are tips to help you gain better results.
A report by Ascend2 backs up the research on lead quality over quantity. More B2B marketers are concerned with the quality than the quantity of new leads. In fact, over 58 percent of marketers are more focused on improving the quality of their leads, while less than 46 percent are focused on increasing the number of leads.
Tips to generate more quality leads:
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of optimizing your landing page and website to produce more conversions from your current traffic. Improving your conversion rate from 1 to 2 percent of your traffic will double your conversions. Unlike click-through rates, conversion rates tell you what percentage of your traffic is actually doing what you want it to do.
Tips to improve your CRO:
In 2010, businesses wanted all of the leads they could get. Today, marketers take a more moderate approach. Driving sheer volume of leads without an understanding of their qualities or how you’re going to handle them will burden your process. Prioritize your generation methods to control the flow of leads.
To determine the correct volume of leads for your business, ask yourself:
Just 7 percent of B2B marketers in the U.S. rate their company’s current ability to measure and analyze marketing performance and impact as “excellent,” according to the Demand Gen Report, with twice as many feeling that they are “poor or inadequate.” As such, close to nine in 10 indicate that marketing measurement and reporting is a growing priority. There are two main factors motivating B2B marketers’ increased focus on or need for deeper metrics. Seven in 10 say that a desire to show marketing’s impact on pipeline and revenue is behind their increased attention to metrics, while two-thirds are pushing to show ROI from all their marketing investments.
Tips to measure and analyze marketing impact:
A common challenge is aligning marketing and sales to work together. For example, marketing is often focused on generating a higher volume of leads at a low cost. Meanwhile, the sales team is focused on qualified target clients.
Tips to align sales and marketing:
Without content to fuel the demand engine, it’s difficult to build targeted campaigns that attract quality leads and move them through the funnel. To ensure you deliver the right content at the right stage, establish a clear content delivery strategy.
Tips to expand your content library:
Demand generation keeps expanding and improving year to year. To maximize your opportunities deploying this powerful marketing tactic and avoid outdated practices, stay current with evolving demand gen trends. Use these tips to generate higher quality demand in 2019.