Last week, I had the privilege of conducting a Demand Generation Workshop for 27 marketers representing 19 different companies. The workshop was designed to be a “lab”, a place where marketers could learn about how to build an effective demand generation program, and then spend time applying what they learned to their respective companies. The feedback from the workshop was very positive. “I learned so much.” “We need to begin doing this at our company.” “I knew we needed a demand gen strategy; we just didn’t know where to start…now we know”. These were just a few of the comments that came my way after the session.
So, I thought, “Not everyone was able to make it to the workshop. Why not share (via this blog) the necessary components for effective demand generation that we covered? Perhaps it might help others to begin looking at demand generation in a more focused way, and help bring them to success faster.”
And so, I offer up 8 essential components for effective demand generation:
- Knowing the Buyer
This might sound obvious, but very few of the participants worked with defined buyer types or personas. A persona is a biographical sketch of the target buyer(s) and it includes categories such as background, challenges, daily activities, motivations and buying roles.
- Knowing What the Buyer is Thinking
This is often referred to as the “Buying Process” or the “Buyer’s Journey”. It’s the decision making process that the buyer goes through when making a purchase. The buyer often goes through “phases” (for example, “Status Quo”, “Problem Awareness”, “Information Gathering”, etc.) as they look to buy a solution to solve their problem.
Although some would call the phrase “Content Marketing” the King of the Marketing Buzzword World, it can’t be argued that having the right content strategy is essential. In the workshop, we achieved this by drafting a “Content Blueprint” to outline which messages aligned with each persona based on the buying process phase they were in at any given time.
- Lead Qualification
Throughout the marketing-sales cycle, leads need to be qualified to determine to what stage or channel they should be sent. (The idea that all leads should be sent to sales is a foolish one). To achieve this, a qualification model should be established. A sound qualification model includes label definitions, criteria, and sometimes lead scoring.
- Lead Planning
The effectiveness of a demand generation program can only be determined if goals are established ahead of time. The Lead Planning component establishes targets such as revenue, conversion rates and “top of funnel” goals.
- Lead Routing
This is the operational component of demand generation. When a “lead” is obtained, there must be a defined process to determine how and where it should be routed, what system qualifies it, if it should be nurtured or sent directly to sales, if sales needs it to be further nurtured, if it needs to be converted to an opportunity, etc. This process, once defined, should be configured into the marketing automation and CRM systems.
- Lead Nurturing
Too many think that Lead Nurturing is a synonym for “drip campaign”. Lead Nurturing is more than that. Lead Nurturing is a planned, systematic way for keeping prospects and customers “in the conversation”. It includes both digital and human interaction, and it is based on the persona, and their stage in the buying process.
If it’s worth managing, it’s worth measuring. Demand generation is no different. An effective demand generation program measures new leads created, conversion through the funnel, speed through the sales cycle, ROI, and total revenue generated.
So there you have it: 8 necessary components for effective demand generation. If you’re having trouble getting started, let me know. Maybe we can schedule a workshop to work through some of this. 😉