Being confronted with the challenge of winning new customers from new audiences can be as intimidating as stepping out onto an unknown street at night. Like most things though, being forewarned is being forearmed and having some sort of navigation (a google map!) will help you reach your destination. Effective demand generation from new audiences is no different. ROI success depends upon not only careful planning and execution, but having a sustainable and appealing brand in place. We think there are 7 key pillars to consider:
Brand Demand Generation 1) Don’t neglect your differentiating opportunity
Few B2B companies companies have strategic plans for managing their company brand. In fact most B2B industrial and tech companies are low on the B2B branding ladder and struggle to ensure a common template for their stationery and advertising, let alone have a brand essence that is reflected in everything the company does. Dell, Sony and IBM, for example, offer both B2B and B2C lines of business. Each does similar things. Yet, prospective buyers may see one standing for flexibility, another for innovation and yet another for quality - respectively. All of them possess all three values but the high ground for each value is owned by only one of the companies. This provides them with the opportunity for gaining competitive advantage. It doesn’t have to be limited to established global organisations either! Take Moz, Mindsea and Rackspace as smaller examples that connect with an ‘essence’ as well as a tangible offer. What is the single most important value that your company presents to the world? What high ground do you own or want to own? Having this in place will give your demand generation a better ROI and what’s more, an investment in a sustainable future for the company.
Brand Demand Generation 2) Use martech & salestech tools to store, manage, and engage your new contacts
Before you put in place a new brand demand generation campaign, make sure you’ve also got the right systems in place. You need what Gartner calls a “system of record”, such as Salesforce or other CRM—a place to store and track your account data, contacts and leads. HubSpot is an example of a “system of engagement”, which is a process-oriented tool that enables you to segment your contacts, create customized offers and launch email campaigns. Many marketers are also using Marketo, Oracle Eloqua, or Pardot as their system of engagement. To complement marketing’s efforts, sales teams use sales automation systems, such as SalesLoft or Outreach, to automate how they engage with target accounts in their territories.
Brand Demand Generation 3) Leverage fresh, accurate data to help you plan, prioritize and personalize your customer engagement
To scope your demand generation effort effectively, you first need to understand the total audience for your target buyers or your ‘total available market’ (TAM). That means up to date, accurate demographic and perhaps technographic data that can help you answer these sorts of questions:
How many accounts are there that fit my ideal customer profile (ICP)?
How many contacts are there at those accounts that fit my buyer personas?
How many accounts and contacts can I chase given my budget and resources?
Once you know your TAM, you need a clear understanding of your coverage, i.e. do you have the right data in your martech to engage with that audience and personalize that engagement effectively. Ask yourself:
Which accounts fit my ideal customer profiles and do I have their complete firmographic details?
Who are the contacts at those accounts that fit my customer personas?
Do I have their complete, accurate contact details (current title, email, direct phone)?
Do I have data about their areas of interest/responsibility/pain points so I can personalize our content marketing to them?
In working with several B2B companies from start-ups to enterprises across many industries, we find that most organizations are missing up to 80% of their total target audience, and up to 50% of the data they do have is incomplete or outdated.
Brand Demand Generation 4) Recognise the importance of data quality for successful outcomes
If you define the right buyer personas and you’re selling to the people who are the most likely to buy your product or service, that is typically going to result in better conversation rates. Picking the right targets depends upon having complete and accurate data to analyse, particularly if you’re trying to use predictive tools. No matter how your team decides on which accounts to target, starting with account and contact enrichment can help ensure that you’re making decisions based on a complete and accurate picture of your situation. Since ABM depends upon actually engaging your targets, data quality becomes even more critical as you start running campaigns. Because data decays at an alarming rate, you need email addresses that have been verified. The gold standard is a 95-100% deliverability rate, so you should seek a guarantee from any data vendor that they will provide that level of quality. Having direct dial phone numbers is also key so that your team can follow up with contacts efficiently.
Brand Demand Generation 5) Select the right channels to execute your marketing strategy
Defining your ABM processes is about aligning your goals with the tactics you’ll use to achieve them—deciding how you’ll use your core systems and what others you may layer on top. Over the last few years, the martech landscape has expanded exponentially to include many specialized tools. You’ll still need a defined process set up handling leads in both marketing and sales areas. You also need to consider how often will you send emails, will marketing or sales send them, and will they have customized landing pages per account or by segment? How might you layer in buyer intent to identify new accounts and demand centres and integrate them into your ABM process? What about custom events for Board level audiences? Direct mail? Each medium or channel you consider needs a well thought-out and documented execution process in order to drive new business wins.
Brand Demand Generation 6) Use personalized messaging to engage your target audience
Whether you’re doing display ads, email campaigns, bespoke videos, direct mail or all of the above, running ABM efficiently means developing resonant content that can be tailored for each account and buyer persona, and be repurposed. One reason that 92% of B2B companies see higher opportunity-to-close rates from ABM accounts (sourced from the SiriusDecisions 2017 State of ABM) is that the messaging and content are highly tuned to the target buyer. Our customers have achieved great results by segmenting their ABM lists by title & seniority and then sending a high-level message about innovation and line of business goals to the C-level and more nuts and bolts tech benefits to the practitioners. They also segment their lists and content by the size of the company they’re targeting, since pain points will differ. Where a good generic email campaign may get 10-20% open rates…we’ve seen customers who micro-target their content achieve 50-70% open rates, 25% engagement rates in a first call and an 8% conversion to a meeting within five to seven business days.
Brand Demand Generation 7) Measure and optimise your demand generation campaigns
Now, your systems are all in sync, you’ve got a process for fresh data and customized messaging and you’re engaging your targets with tailored content – it’s time to measure and optimize your campaign. For example:
Content: Which messages, subject lines, creative have driven the most engagement & revenue?
Systems: Where are we seeing the best conversion rates, the best ROI? Should we change our targeting slightly to be more specific?
Data: Can I optimize my target personas? Add or remove keywords or change exclusions? Tweak titles slightly? How might that change my TAM?
Processes: Can we be working leads more efficiently? Is our lead & account scoring accurate? Do marketing & sales still agree on who to target?
These seven building blocks are all essential for demand generation success, but without careful alignment between your marketing and sales teams, your campaign won’t be structurally sound. To build a strong foundation for success, your marketing and sales teams must collaborate on your ideal customer profile (personas and target accounts and criteria) develop a joint process to engage contacts across channels, and also agree on the KPIs you’ll use to track and measure your results.
How Fire NBM can assist you with prospect and account based marketing:
· BRAND INSIGHT, POSITIONING AND PROPOSITION DEVELOPMENT
Our experienced researchers conduct brand perception surveys, insight programmes and phone interviews for businesses to discover what challenges their prospects and existing clients face, what they are looking for in service and product providers and how they make their buying decisions. Our strategic marketers and creatives then bring this to life!
· DEMAND GENERATION Fire NBM works with companies to develop B2B prospect personas, content marketing strategies, brand propositions, campaigns and creative execution. We assist clients to optimise the best mix of outbound and inbound techniques to drive new business growth and our social media specialists ensure messaging and content works well across all digital media, with our our content team including qualified journalists.
· INTEGRATED DIGITAL SERVICES Bringing our extensive knowledge of attracting and engaging customers to well defined digital relationship models, both standalone and integrated to offline channels. We assist clients in a range of digital areas from UX design workshops and web design and development to conversion optimisation, SEO, PPC and social sellling.