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How to Plan Your Demand Generation Strategy for 2014 

| Oct 29, 2013 2 Comments

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The end of the fiscal year is quickly approaching, and you know what that means: time to prepare your marketing 2014 budget. Let’s quickly recap the highlights of the previous year, focusing on content marketing, advertising, and marketing automation trends. We’ll also present you with a Demand Generation Roadmap for 2014 based on targeted Account-Based Marketing which focuses your efforts on the “Sales Whales,” those accounts most likely to generate revenue.

You can also join our webinar next week: Your Demand Gen Plan 2014: Targeted ABM to learn more.

Content Marketing

More than 54% of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months, according to Content Marketing Institute. The greatest challenges B2B content marketers face are lack of time for content creation (69%), not producing enough content (55%), and not producing content that is engaging (47%). (Interesting fact: According to this CMI survey, at larger companies, the greatest challenge was producing engaging content).

B2B organizations are most likely to tailor their content according to the following:

  • 65% by industry trends
  • 59% by profiles of individual decision makers
  • 55% by company characteristics
  • 43% by the stage the customer is in the customer decision journey

Your 2014 content marketing plan will focus on engaging content reaching the right people at the right stage of the customer decision journey.

Advertising

Display advertising accounted for almost a quarter of the digital marketing budget in 2012, according to IDC. This investment comes as a surprise if you consider the often quoted statistics that the average banner ad has a 0.1% clickthrough rate and the standard 468 X 60 banner has a .04% CTR. Or, according to Solve Media, you are more likely to die in a plane crash than you are to click on a banner ad!

True, display ads have a typically low conversion rate. Display ads primarily function as tools of branding and awareness for top-funnel prospects, but this is improving with more targeted advertising. You can reach out to these same prospects based on company name and industry profiling that otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to your product and bring them further into the customer decision journey.

With this ability to target prospects in display advertising, you can deliver the exact message you want.

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Marketing Automation/Closed-Loop Solutions

Marketers will have adapted to their marketing automation systems by next year, even allocating new funds for it, shifting funds from other area such as digital marketing, email/direct marketing or events, according to a marketing automation study by BtoB. The next step is to gradually acclimate to a closed-loop solution, tracking customers from anonymous prospects to returning customers. Only by having your CMS, CRM and marketing automation communicate with one another will you be able to fully personalize your messaging and target your customers.

DemandGen 2014: ABM and Personalization

Account-Based Marketing (ABM ) is a proven strategy that focuses sales and marketing efforts on targeting the accounts most likely to generate revenue. ABM allows marketers to scale growth and revenue by generating marketing-sourced deals. By targeting your most desired accounts and attracting them with personalized messaging, you’ll increase customer acquisition and also penetrate new markets.

A recent study from ITSMA revealed that 75% of executives will read unsolicited marketing materials that contain ideas that might be relevant to their business, and of these, 92% said they would pay attention to this content even if it is from a company they have never done business with before.

Each of the trends above – content marketing, advertising, and marketing automation point to Account-Based Marketing and personalization as the method to increase customer acquisition while lowering marketing spend. By analyzing firmographic information and company-based profiling of key accounts, you can ensure that prospects receive relevant and engaging content in real-time (even if the content or company is completely new to them).

As promised, here are the five steps to your DemandGen Roadmap for 2014 based on targeted ABM:

5 Steps to an ABM Strategy

1) Defining your high-value accounts

2) Discovering existing content assets and effective messaging

3) Determining the optimized channels

4) Executing targeted campaigns, leveraging predictive analytics and content recommendation

5) Measuring, learning and optimizing

Want to learn more about how to create an effective ABM strategy that leverages the right content to the right prospect?

Join our webinar this Wednesday: Your Demand Generation Plan 2014: Targeted ABM.

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2 Responses to How to Plan Your Demand Generation Strategy for 2014

  1. Joe McFadden November 26, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    “75% of executives will read unsolicited marketing materials that contain ideas that might be relevant to their business”

    I’m a little surprised that number is so high, but it goes to show the power of good content. You can create a door for yourself even if a prospect isn’t actively looking to let you in. That’s the first step.

  2. Mike Telem December 1, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    Yes, that door is the first step as well as having continuously personalized experiences along the sales cycle from the first ad they see to online engagement and customer acquisition.

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