Trick or Treating in the Land of Demand Gen

By Nick Price

Once again, that joyous time of the year is upon us where goblins and ghouls wander the streets and the land is abundant in tasty treats. However, waiting behind an unsuspecting door could be a nasty trick – In my case that was being given a bag full of candy corn. Unfortunately, unlike the youth of today and yesteryear, the world of demand generation does not pause for Halloween; in fact, it barely skips a beat (like those haunted house train rides).
In the spirit of Halloween, we thought it would be fun to take a look at the tricks and treats in the world of demand gen and hopefully give you some insights into what you could be doing to improve your marketing campaigns for the remainder of 2015 and more importantly to set your sights on a strong start to 2016.


TRICKS

Calling a Lead Too Soon
I’m sure we have all had this experience when downloading a piece of content or attending an event, you quickly get a follow up call or email. Now this has been an age old practice driven by the thought that sales should get to a prospect as soon as they appear in market so that the lead stays warm. It’s time to stop tricking ourselves into thinking that just because we have a phone number that now is the right time. Unlike the famous words of Dr. John, it is NOT the right time. Take your time, research your contacts, see what else they have interacted with across the web and get a better understanding of your target audience before quickly picking up the phone and maybe this trick could become a treat.
The Relevancy of Clicks
The old guard may insist that clicks are still relevant, but don’t be fooled by this nasty trick. It is almost 2016, marketers have been using the same tactics for 15+ years and for some reason some have refused to adapt and evolve. Your target audience is savvier and there are plenty of stats out there that show clicking is incredibly rare and diminishing greatly.  Today’s marketer should realize that they should focus on brand exposure. Just because you did not get a click, does not mean that you did not get a potential lead.  A Quantcast study backs this up: “Rather than clicking and immediately buying, ad viewers waited, only going to the website sometime later to make a purchase”[1] What this resulted in was 23,000 sales from views and only 300 from clicks.
A Download is a Sale
In the B2B digital space, the notion that downloading a whitepaper means that a prospective lead is in market and ready to buy is the biggest trick in B2B marketing. In fact, it may be the quickest way to lose your potential prospect. One download is not an indication of buying intent. Instead, it probably means that they are in a research phase. Wait, listen to their intent signals, and soon you will know when your buyers have moved from their research phase to the point where their organization wants to purchase.

Treats

Account-Based Marketing
Account-based marketing is not a new concept, but is one that is making an increasingly bigger splash in the B2B marketing ecosystem. In fact, research conducted by ITSMA in January 2015 discovered that 41 percent of B2B marketers worldwide said they would increase spending on ABM.[2] Even more compelling was that 92 percent of B2B marketers worldwide have said that ABM is “extremely” or “very” important to their overall marketing efforts.[3] With these overwhelming statistics, it is evident that ABM will have an even larger presence within the 2016 marketplace. The bigger question is intent targeting vs. IP targeting, which is a conversation for a later post.
Intent Data
This was maybe the most used word at Marketing Profs B2B Forum 2015. Intent in its simplest form is an indication of buyer interest: downloading a whitepaper, watching a webinar, etc. If your prospect downloads one whitepaper about the cloud and you see him interacting with several content assets about the cloud, he is exhibiting intent and is likely in market. Think of intent data as getting a full size candy bar while trick or treating. You will be completely satisfied and you will never want to look back to those bite size candies or in this case bad leads that are not nurtured.
Video Marketing
The world is changing. Smartphones are pervasive, attention spans are shortening; it is much harder to grab someone’s focus for more than a few seconds. For many savvy marketers video is an easily digestible content that complements (and for some users replaces) long form whitepapers.  The numbers don’t lie. 75% of top senior executives watch video on business sites every week and 65% visit a vendor’s website after watching a video.[4] Clearly, video is a treat not only for companies but for potential customers. It is what will drive traffic to your website and to those whitepapers and case studies that will help seal the deal further down the line.


 
Happy Halloween to all and hopefully you don’t succumb to any nasty tricks for the rest of 2015!
[1] https://www.quantcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Whitepaper_Clicks-and-Views_8.pdf
[2] eMarketer, How High is B2B Account-Based Marketing Adoption, June 9, 2015
[3] eMarketer, How High is B2B Account-Based Marketing Adoption, June 9, 2015
[4] https://www.spiceworks.com/marketing/video-vital-statistics-b2b-marketers/
Image via Alexa LaSpisa

Nick Price

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