Demand Generation Marketing: 3 Questions You Gotta Ask Before Your Next Campaign
When you live in a world that is saturated with ad on top of ad and content display one after the next for products or services, it’s easy to feel like your brain might explode.
Which means when it comes to creating your own demand generation strategies and tactics, it’s important to keep this truth in mind. If we live in a world that is drenched in social media outlets, search engines, and email marketing, how do we cut through the noise? What are the touch points to doing that well?
In this article, I’m going to give you 3 questions to ask yourself BEFORE you begin your next demand generation program.
We all know the world of demand gen can be hectic. Hell, it can be downright scary. Let’s just be real. Sometimes it feels like something resembling Edward Scissorhands, other times, more like the sinking of the Titanic. So, if it feels like you’re putting all your best customers onto one ship, how do you ensure it won’t sink?
What is my target demographic, truly?
Get real with yourself (and your sales and marketing team) on this one. It’s fine to have one particular customer base that’s served you well, and to stick with that type of clientele. If it’s getting you to qualified leads, then fantastic. Seriously.
However, it’s also okay to decide you want to branch beyond that, and target audiences that fit a different model. That said, if this is your plan of action, it’s important to give yourself realistic parameters. I’m all for aiming for the moon and landing in the stars. I mean why wouldn’t you be? That doesn’t change that it’s still important to be logical and pragmatic.
So, how do you know what’s logical and what exists somewhere between Hogwarts and Narnia? It’s tough to say, really. In a lot of ways, as scary as it may be, there are times when it’s a matter of trial and error. Lead scoring, no matter how air tight it may seem, is not always going to be full proof. So truthfully, it’s in your best interest to accept perfect doesn’t exist, but better does.
You can’t guarantee that you’ll knock it out of the park first try; but you can ensure you’re not going completely off the deep end, sending your brand and product to walk the plank, so to speak. None of us want that.
Ask yourself this one simple question:
- Will your product benefit them?
If the answer is yes, then these would be the following questions to consider:
- Will it make their life easier? Personally, professionally, both?
- Will it make their world a better place to live in?
Again, if your answers are yes, you’re probably not making a totally bonehead move by including them in your targeted leads. And even if they don’t know they need it or want it, with the right approach, you can help them see they do.
Which leads us to our next questions…
How should I share my content? What’s the best approach?
(This one can be tricky as well, but have no fear.)
These days, it’s become increasingly difficult to know what content to release. When, where, how, why? All these questions continuously bog us down, and at the end of the day, we don’t have an exact equation for it. One content release strategy (similar to one demand gen strategy) is not going to be the right fit for every marketing program. This is not one size fits all (another reason demand generation can be such a pain).
But, to place a positive spin on things, that’s also what makes it so incredibly LIBERATING. Yes, you read that right.
Get creative. Try different things. Follow your gut (last I checked, it’s there for a reason). I’ll never deny it can be difficult, but here are some simple steps that will help you strategize a plan of action.
- Gather your best content as it concerns your targeted audience. Not necessarily the most informative, but your best stuff. What do I mean by best? Ask yourself what it is that grabs your attention. If the content would send you to snoozeville, probably best not to use it. Let’s take a deeper dive with that…
Think about it like this: why do you choose to read one blog post over the next? Open one email and trash the other? Give one new product the time of day and ignore everything else claiming to be like it? What grabs your attention? On a very basic level, (and yes, it’s good to take it back to basics) it’s important to remember we’re all human. All we’re all looking for ways to make our lives easier, to be more efficient, healthier, etc.
In a world dominated by 140 characters, and 15-second videos on social media, does it really make sense to send a customer you’re pining for to a 24-page whitepaper right off the bat?
It’s been tested and proven that our attention span these days doesn’t exceed 8 seconds, and while we could blame the internet and technology for that, let’s not. We adapted that way through evolution. It saved our asses many a time. It gave us a serious advantage: yes, indeed, we could exhibit enough patience and focus to build a fire, but not to the extent that we would be incapable of noticing the signs of a predator lurking around. See what I mean? Survival.
But enough with the anthropology lecture. Just look at what grabs your attention, plain and simple. Do little experiments with yourself about why this and not that, especially in regards to your company’s content. Take time to notice. Then meet with your team to discuss.
- Decide how you want to release your content. And in what order. Now, it may be tempting to think of this the way you would a delicious meal, but don’t. At least not all of you should. Sometimes you want the sweeter end of the deal before you get to the meat of the issue. In many cases, this may be the best way to go. You gotta’ grab their attention before you ever try to keep it. So, try giving something away for free. What we give, we get back ten fold. If you have faith in the quality of your brand and the quality of your product, put that energy forward. Show them you believe so much in what you’re doing, that you stand behind your mission, and you want others to benefit because of it. No strings attached. This shows your potential customer base two things:
- That you believe in what you’re selling.
- That you understand something very important – trust is earned, not given. A customer that feels they’re engaging with a brand that values integrity and transparency is a customer that stays.
- This is the final, and probably the most important step: be open to course correcting as you see results from your demand gen campaign coming in. This seems to be the hardest one for people. We get so caught up in what we think the outcome will be, we miss out on seeing what it really is. Understand that it’s part of the process with demand gen to exhibit flexibility, and to shift and adjust accordingly. If you’re not getting traction from a blog post, try a different medium. Maybe one that’s easier to digest, or more engaging, like a short video or live stream. Again, think of what you’re drawn to.
As I’ve said, we’re all being bombarded with a million and one different things a day. Let’s strive to promote content in a way that shows we care about our audience, and make some of these bombardments at least slightly enjoyable.
This is the last thing you should ask yourself, and you’re probably not going to like it.
In my overall demand gen marketing campaign, what can I actually control?
In a nutshell…
What you can control: specific Demand Generation tactics – i.e. your targeting parameters and content release strategy.
What you can’t control: everything else.
You can’t control your buyer’s journey, how long it takes them to move from beginning to end, or if they even do. The way we navigate through life depends on numerous factors, the vast majority of them having absolutely nothing to do with how you’re marketing your brand and product. Do me a favor though – don’t have a panic attack; it’s all going to be okay.
Make your decisions and create your strategy from a place of logic, then add a touch of fearlessness. We all know nothing great ever happens inside our comfort zones. So, do yourself a favor, and get a little uncomfortable.
Now, get out there and make some magic happen. You got this.