David Crane

How Top Demand Generation Teams Increase Efficiency to Maximize ROI

Increasingly, demand generation program success is determined by sales-pipeline or revenue contribution. In fact, according to DemandGen Report’s 2018 Benchmark Survey Report, 28% of B2B marketing organizations have specific revenue-based quotas, a 5% year-over-year increase.

Dialing up success was much easier just five years ago when B2B marketing programs were largely measured against lead volume goals. Today, according to the Benchmark Survey, total leads and inquiries is a primary success metric for just 14% of programs. 

Today's need to show greater down-funnel return on marketing investments is pushing marketers to identify the top-funnel efficiencies that will enable them to focus more on converting leads into pipeline opportunities, customers and revenue. 

Demand Generation vs. Inbound Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Let's be honest, the B2B marketing industry (and we marketers in general) are pretty bad at defining our terms and sticking to that terminology. Rather than being driven by clarity, our messaging, content and general communications is far more often a haphazard mix of trending buzzwords. This helps neither our marketing teams nor our prospects and customers.

This post is far too small in scope to address this problem – a proper solution would be book-length and require a full-time effort to keep it updated.  Instead, I'm hoping to bring clarity to two specific terms that seem to confuse some B2B marketers new to the discipline: inbound marketing and demand generation.

B2B Demand Generation Content: Thought Leadership vs. SEO

Publishing B2B thought leadership content can have a significant impact on your demand generation strategy. It's a powerful tool for generating awareness, credibility, brand value and quality traffic.

Over 80% of business decision-makers say thought leadership increased their trust in a vendor organization, according to an Edelman & LinkedIn survey. In contrast, the same survey revealed more than half of the c-suite lost respect for brands who published poor-quality content.

At the same time, data reveals that search also remains valuable in 2018, especially at the top of the marketing funnel. According to DemandGen Report’s 2018 Benchmark Survey Report, search marketing is a top lead generation channel for 50% of B2B marketing organizations.

B2B marketers find themselves wondering whether they should prioritize thought leadership content over SEO-optimized content, or vice versa.

7 Ways to Hit Home Runs With Content Marketing for Demand Generation

Content marketing is getting harder.

A massive amount of branded content is being published to the web every day. Every piece makes it more difficult to capture and keep the attention of your target audience.

Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute Founder, attributes this to the increasing difficulty of “content tilt.” Tilt, according to Pulizzi, is the differentiating factor that makes your brand’s content unique. When your industry is saturated with blogs, eBooks, webinars and podcasts, “tilt” can be nearly impossible to achieve.

The Rarely Talked About Benefits of Account-Based Marketing

Research clearly shows that a well-executed ABM strategy can generate significant lift for B2B marketing efforts. A study from the Altera Group found that 97% of B2B marketers report that ABM drives higher ROI than other marketing activities. By adopting a mindset of “account awareness,” where you target customer accounts as markets of one, your organization will make better use of resources, leading to greater gains in sales pipeline and revenue generation. 

The benefits of ABM aren’t limited to just ROI, though.

While measurable return is a definite goal of B2B marketing, demand generation teams who adopt ABM often achieve other benefits. Some benefits are expected while others are quite surprising.

GDPR’s Effect On Web Forms, Events, 3rd-Party Lead Gen, Channel Partners and Sales

The other week, I was asked to lead a discussion with the Houston Marketo User Group on how GDPR will affect B2B marketing. …well, to be honest, two other people were asked first, but they couldn’t make it, so the user group was stuck with me.

In any case, I thought a post on the most poignant points of the discussion would be useful to Integrate’s blog audience. So here they are.

The EU GDPR Compliance Checklist for B2B Marketing

Are you prepared to demonstrate compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by May 25, 2018?

If your organization stores or processes data about European Union (EU) citizens, you’ll need to prove compliance or face steep fines up to €20 million. That’s about $24.81 million in USD.

Not prepared?

Well, you’re definitely not alone.

A recent survey by PricewaterhouseCooper revealed

A 3-Tier Framework for Crafting a Winning Demand Generation Plan

There are a lot of moving parts in today's comprehensive demand generation strategies. And all signs indicate that as B2B marketing teams garner greater responsibilities within organizations, demand gen requirements will only expand.

This complexity has created a need for demand orchestration frameworks and infrastructures that enable top-of-funnel efficiency and lead to bottom-funnel results. To help make sense of the chaos, here’s a simple three-tier framework of the essential parts of a comprehensive demand generation plan.

What are the Best Demand Marketing Channels for 2018?

Demand marketers are drowning in options, including an ever-increasing list of demand generation channels.

With all these options vying for a piece of your marketing budget in 2018, it's critical to remember that not all marketing tactics and channels perform equally. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Some channels are great at generating high-quality leads (the No. 1 priority among 77% of B2B marketers surveyed in Demand Gen Report's 2017 Benchmark Survey). Other channels may not be great at those initial touches to generate leads, but perform well when it comes to converting those leads down the funnel (a top priority for 75% of marketers surveyed). Still, some marketing teams are more concerned with database size and need to focus on channels that will pump out a high volume of new contacts (a priority for 58% of B2B marketers). 

The 7 Toughest Challenges of B2B Demand Generation (And How to Overcome Them)

Every B2B marketer faces challenges. However, the individual struggles of one B2B demand generation marketer can look very different from another – even if they’re on the same team.

Demand marketers come from a diverse variety of backgrounds, which can range from marketing to journalism; technology to public relations; web design to sales and much more. While some excel at writing, others would rather face a thousand spreadsheets than author a thought leadership blog post.

6 Tips to Get the Most From Your Demand Generation and Marketing Automation Software

Despite a lot of recent, exciting innovations in MarTech, 65% of brands have no plans to invest in emerging technologies in the year to...

4 Demand Generation Mistakes Hurting Your Brand Right Now

I was recently asked by another B2B marketer what I thought about a particular demand generation tactic. Specifically, they were asking whether I thought...

New Research Report Reveals How Much Bad Leads Could Be Costing You

Every B2B marketer knows that bad leads waste budget, time and resources. We even know that they hurt our relationship with our sales counterparts....

Buying Contact Lists: A Bad Demand Generation Strategy

Every marketer gets at least one email a week from a company offering X number of contacts from various job titles. This practice has...

It’s Time B2B Marketers Sweat The Small Stuff to Drive Bigger Results

In a recent Reachforce interview, Kate Athmer answered a question about common demand generation marketing challenges: Traditional demand gen campaigns and channels...

What To Do Before, During & After Events to Increase B2B Marketing ROI

According to Forrester, on average B2B marketing organizations spend 18% of their budget on in-person events (conferences, trade shows, summits, field events, etc.). And...

Marketers: Are You Making Any of These ABM Mistakes? (Interview with Inverta)

I always enjoy talking shop with Kathy Maachi and Patrice Greene of Inverta. They provide a much needed (yet usually avoided) nuanced perspective on...

5 Demand Generation Problems B2B Marketers Should Be Prepared For

The larger and more established an organization becomes, the more complex the demand creation function. This is true for many things, but for B2B...

How I Stay Agile In Demand Marketing: Perspectives, Tools & Tips

A version of this post was first published on CMSWire.com. Like many tech startups, Integrate operates with a lean marketing team. And it’s crucial...

How to Overcome Top-Funnel Marketing Deficiencies in an ABM World

There are many moving parts involved with developing and executing a successful account-based marketing program. One of the most overlooked aspects is the way...

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