Effective Demand Generation Really Only Takes One Thing

Effective Demand Generation Really Only Takes One Thing

The purpose for demand generation is simple – making money.  But a lot of companies overcomplicate their efforts and that usually means they don’t get the return they want.  The good news is that most of the time, for your team, your programs and your prospects, less is more.   So, here are some thoughts on how to focus your efforts:

  1. Start with setting objectives.  If your goal is meetings or revenue or sales, set a target number and then ask yourself each and every time you consider a campaign, activity or expenditure “just how well is this going to meet my objective?”.  If it doesn’t, focus time where it will.
  2. Next, develop a story arc of what prospects need to hear to get them to those goals and use this as your guide to developing content and offers.  Don’t develop content that isn’t useful based on what seems easiest to develop or is trendy.  Focus all content development with ROI in mind.
  3. Save time by organizing all of your offers on a content map that shows where assets live on your site, when you used them last and the results.  When you’re developing campaigns, everything will be right at your fingertips.   And it also means you can see what hasn’t been used in a while or worked well in the past so you can vary your offers.   The first one is a chore, then it pays off daily.
  4. Your prospects are busy and you know what you want from them.  Clear calls to action increase response and this means keep copy brief and to the point, don’t add in hyperlinks other than your offer and stick to just one offer. Make it crystal clear what you want them to do.
  5. While segmentation has been proven to increase response, don’t overdo. Look at the audience, run some counts on how many names could go into in each stream and develop one or two of the largest segments first.  Once you have things up and running, decide if adding additional segments (and the content and campaigns associated with them) is worth the effort.  And don’t forget that you need at least 500 names in a segment to get a statistical read on results.
  6. Tools help, but don’t get so many it slows you down. For demand gen, you need marketing automation and a CRM if you route leads to sales.  Once you’ve implemented them and are seeing positive return on your time, decide if other tools are worth the staff hours to implement and run them. In my experience, the more tech, the more integrations, the more that can break and complicate your life.  Recently, I’ve had a lot of projects derailed almost at completion because someone wanted to move to Slack or Quip.  I do see the value of collaboration tools, but not if everyone gets distracted by learning new technology and profitable campaigns get delayed.
  7. A really good way to focus is to have the right team.  Make sure your demand gen leader is strategic, focused on results and not just a technician. If you don’t have the right staff who implement strategically, you’re wasting valuable prospect touches that don’t make money.
  8. The campaigns that bring in the most money are the ones that go out, so keep review cycles lean.  List and offer affect response rate the most (80% of success), so copy and graphics just won’t have the same impact. If the copy is professional, works for your brand and makes it clear what you want the prospect to do, you’re probably good.  And if there are differences in opinion that are delaying things, test and get the programs out!
  9. Well executed demand generation programs make money.  Meetings generally do not.   If your demand gen team is in so many meetings that they’re scrambling to get their real work done late at night, you’re either under-staffed or not prioritizing to objectives.  And you’re likely getting sloppy campaigns.  Quick meetings for intake or updates, quarterly reviews of results and regular connects with sales might be all you need.
  10. And the best trick of all? Track your efforts.  Demand gen is scientific, so regularly review analytics so you can expand programs that bring in ROI and eliminate things that don’t. Most automation platforms have the ability to track what you need so you shouldn’t have to spend hours building a manual report.  For more tips on tracking, see this blog.

If you want some help making demand generation programs lean and effective, I can help.  Contact me and let’s see what we can figure out!

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