Why Your B2B Demand Generation Strategy Needs a Makeover

Your B2B demand generation strategy needs a refresh. Why? Because B2B marketing and demand generation strategies have undergone significant transformations in recent years. What worked a decade ago may no longer yield the same results in today’s digital-first world. 

With B2B buyers increasingly conducting their own research and relying on digital channels to inform their purchasing decisions, it’s essential for businesses to adapt and modernize their demand generation strategies to stay relevant and competitive. This article looks at how things have changed – and what you can do to stay ahead of the game. 

B2B Demand Generation is Not What It Was 10 Years Ago

Before we dive into what things used to be like, let’s get on the same page about what B2B demand generation is. We prefer HubSpot’s definition: “Essentially, demand generation is a long-term, education-focused marketing strategy that prioritizes reaching and engaging “out of market” buyers.”

In other words, it’s a long-term commitment to add value to customers and potential customers, even when they’re not ready to buy. 

Ok, now let’s look at how things have changed. A decade ago, B2B demand generation strategies relied heavily on traditional outbound tactics such as cold calling, trade shows, and direct mail. 

But with the advent of digital technologies and the rise of social media, B2B buyers have become more empowered and informed than ever before. Information is literally at their fingertips (aka keyboard). Today, buyers conduct extensive research online, Googling for information, reviews, and recommendations before ever engaging with a salesperson. In fact, Gartner notes that 75% of B2B buyers prefer a rep-free sales experience.

What’s more, AI and other emerging technologies have revolutionized the way businesses approach demand generation. With AI-powered tools and predictive analytics, marketers can now personalize their messaging, optimize their campaigns, and identify high-quality leads more efficiently than ever before.

Why Modernizing Your B2B Demand Generation is Critical

If that 75% Gartner stat in the section above doesn’t reach out and slap you in the face, I’m not sure what will. People prefer self-guided research – and they do most of it until they’re ready to make a purchase. 

So “hitting the phones” is not a strategy. It’s often ineffective. While there may be a place for that in your unique marketing strategy, a B2B demand generation strategy requires modern tactics to solve modern problems. 

And the primary problem is that B2B buyers need information and they need it now. If you’re playing your cards right, you can be the one to provide it. Or your competitors can. Your choice. 

There are, of course, challenges to this approach. With so many digital channels and so many competitors, the marketplace is crowded and noisy. So embracing digital channels is a necessity, but you need to do so with surgical precision. 

This is where AI and data-driven insights can play a primary role, helping you adopt and craft a more customer-centric approach. Modernizing your demand generation strategy allows you to reach your target audience more effectively, deliver personalized experiences, and ultimately drive more leads and conversions.

Adapting Your B2B Demand Generation Strategy for the Modern Era

It’s clear that many organizations are due for a B2B demand generation strategy makeover, but where do you start? Let’s walk through a few of the considerations and priorities that will help you upgrade your demand generation program: 

Digitally Transform Your B2B Demand Generation Strategy

Chances are, you’re due for some type of digital transformation. It’s essential for modernizing your B2B demand generation strategy. You should already be using digital channels like social media, email marketing, content marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO) to reach and engage your target audience. Consider how else you can invest in robust digital marketing tools and platforms to streamline your efforts and maximize your impact across various channels.

Prioritize Personalization

Personalization is table stakes in today’s B2B marketing landscape. Tailor your messaging, content, and offerings to address the specific needs and pain points of your target audience. Use data-driven insights to create highly personalized experiences that resonate with your prospects and customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Personalization requires rock-solid analytics and the right tools to glean insights from that data and put it to good use. 

Optimize for Mobile

Mobile is ubiquitous making it crucial for you to optimize your demand generation strategy for mobile. Your website, emails, and content should be mobile-friendly and responsive, providing a seamless experience for users across all devices. Consider implementing mobile-specific tactics like SMS marketing and mobile app advertising to engage your audience on the go. A mobile-first mindset is a must. 

Harness the Power of AI and Machine Learning

AI and machine learning technologies can revolutionize how you execute your B2B demand generation strategy. Leverage AI-powered tools and algorithms to automate repetitive tasks, analyze data, and personalize your marketing efforts at scale. Use predictive analytics to identify high-value leads and prioritize your sales efforts for maximum impact.

Invest in Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a strategic approach that hones in on specific accounts. By aligning your sales and marketing efforts around target accounts, you can deliver more personalized and relevant experiences that drive higher conversion rates and revenue. Invest in ABM platforms and technologies to execute targeted campaigns and measure the impact of your efforts.

Create Compelling Content Experiences

Content marketing is foundational to effective B2B demand generation strategies. Unfortunately, not everyone is prioritizing high-quality content creation. The right balance of quantity and quality is the best way to empower demand generation teams. And content experiences – just like the overarching demand generation experience – must be personalized, data-driven, and add value. You should invest in high-quality, informative, and engaging content that educates, entertains, and inspires your audience. Consider which multimedia formats (e.g. videos, podcasts, and interactive tools) are best suited to capture, add value, and drive engagement from your target audience. 

Adopt a Customer-Centric Approach

Put the needs and preferences of your customers at the forefront of your B2B demand generation strategy. Tailor your messaging and offerings to address the pain points and challenges of your target audience, and provide personalized experiences that resonate with them on a deeper level.

Invest in Marketing Technology

Evaluate your current tech stack and invest in marketing technology that enables you to execute your demand generation strategy more effectively. Whether it’s a CRM system, marketing automation platform, or analytics tools, choose solutions that align with your goals and objectives.

Foster Collaboration Between Sales and Marketing

Collaboration between sales and marketing teams is essential for success in modern B2B demand generation. Align your sales and marketing efforts around common goals and objectives, and establish clear communication channels to share insights, feedback, and best practices. Implement a lead scoring and nurturing process to ensure that marketing-generated leads are qualified and ready for sales engagement.

Embrace Agile Methodologies

Apply agile methodologies to your B2B demand generation strategy. Embrace agile principles such as iterative planning, continuous improvement, and cross-functional collaboration to adapt and respond to changing market conditions and customer needs. Conduct regular retrospectives to evaluate your performance, identify areas for improvement, and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Continuously Test and Iterate Your B2B Demand Generation Strategy

Measure the performance of your demand generation efforts and use data-driven insights to make informed decisions. Test different tactics, messaging, and channels to see what resonates best with your audience, and don’t be afraid to iterate and refine your approach based on the results.

How to Keep Your B2B Demand Generation Strategy Fresh

I have good news and bad news. The good news? If you prioritize the items above, you’re well on your way to building a new, effective B2B demand generation operation. The bad news? It’s only going to stay new and relevant for so long. 

Demand generation is a long game, and things will continue to change along the way. New technologies and competitors will emerge. B2B buying habits will change. And you’ll need to stay on top of those trends to adapt your strategy effectively. 

Here’s how: 

Monitor Key Metrics: Track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic, lead conversion rates, and customer acquisition costs to gauge the effectiveness of your strategy. Regularly review your analytics data to identify trends and patterns, and adjust your tactics accordingly.

Stay Agile and Adaptive: The digital landscape is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay agile and adaptive in your approach. Keep an eye on emerging trends and technologies, and be willing to pivot your strategy as needed to stay ahead of the curve.

Solicit Feedback: Gather feedback from your sales team, customers, and other stakeholders to gain insights into what’s working well and where there’s room for improvement. Use this feedback to inform your strategy and make adjustments as needed.

Experiment and Innovate: Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas and tactics to keep your strategy fresh and engaging. Whether it’s testing a new marketing channel, launching a creative campaign, or piloting a new technology, be willing to take calculated risks and push the boundaries of your strategy.

Things change fast. B2B demand generation strategies must evolve to meet the changing needs and expectations of modern buyers. Digital transformation must be a part of your story, but that’s only the beginning. You need to experiment, leverage AI and other new technologies, measure your success, keep adding value for your prospective customers, test, measure, and iterate. 

These are the only ways to stay ahead of the curve and drive meaningful results for your business. With the right mindset and approach, you can transform your demand generation efforts and position your business for long-term success in the modern B2B marketplace.

Got Your B2B Demand Generation Covered But Want More Tools?

Looking for more in-depth B2B demand generation strategy tools and content? Check out one of our helpful guides: 

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