THE KNOWNS, THE PARTIALLY KNOWNS, THE UNKNOWNS…
…And how to know them.
It’s easy to start at the end. Mathematicians do it all the time – to create the proof that validates the answer. But in demand generation, the answer’s a desired result – a particular number of inquiries, qualified leads, new prospects, sales, or a target amount of new revenue. And reaching that desired result is closer to “the proof is in the result” than the mathematician’s “the result is in the proof.”
The marketer’s proof is built in stages:
- analysis of multiple factors
- interpretation of those factors
- insights on how to communicate them (and to whom)
- development of creative approaches and the ways to deliver them
- mechanics of distribution and response
- measurement of success
- analysis of how to make improvements (or of how to extend better-than-expected results).
These steps are essential to ensure that the right things are done for the right reasons. Yet a surprising number of organizations assume that they already know their customers’ needs and expectations, the marketplace dynamics, the competitive landscape, the best ways to communicate, and they often stumble as a result.
One client I worked with decided that they could address a competitive “problem” by doing a better job of communicating with customers and prospects – reminding them of the company’s history, product quality, complimentary information services, and the like. After a bit of research among existing and former customers (plus prospects in the pipeline and those who picked a different supplier), it was clear that the solution wasn’t to provide more information but to offer faster delivery. By discovering that, the company avoided spending money on an approach that was unlikely to either improve sales or deflect competition. But they resisted doing that research because they assumed that they knew all the answers.
Generating the inquiries, leads, prospects, and sales that your organization requires is a process, not an event. For step G to work, steps A – F have to be completed. It’s something that most consumer products companies do automatically, but it’s not quite as routine in B2B firms, especially SMBs.
Here’s the process we use. It relies on 15 distinct components that consistently ensure that our clients achieve the results they need.
- Analysis of the client’s current business situation
- Assessment of the brand’s value
- Evaluation of marketplace and competitive dynamics
- Classification of individuals within the target audience
- Creation of positioning and messaging related to the product/service
- Selection of appropriate media
- Establishment of creative strategy
- Development of creative tactics, including the use of technology
- Determination of how inquiries will be handled and classified
- Development of methods for responding to inquiries
- Creation and implementation of processes for supporting Sales
- Establishment of appropriate metrics to gauge success
- Modification of strategy/tactics based on measured results
- Extension of communications activities to support customers after a sale
- Development of “loyalty” communications to ensure long-term customers
These Fifteen Points of Demand Generation add up to more effective generation of qualified leads; better handoffs to Sales of people who are ready to buy; a cycle of continuous, ongoing improvement; and an approach to customer retention that improves the potential for additional sales. If it’s more than your department can handle on its own, use the list to gauge how well an outside agency will meet these key demands of demand generation.
For more information on how to apply AcquireB2B’s 15 Points of Demand Generation in your organization, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 800-366-1877, tell us about the problems you need to solve, and we’ll point you in the right direction.