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#131: What Companies Are Suited To Demand Generation?

Episode 131

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What types of businesses are suited to Demand Generation? Is your business a good fit for it? This is the question we’re answering today in part 3 of our Demand Gen mini-series.

While every business can benefit from generating demand from their future Dream Customers, there’s several tell-tale signs that indicate it’s more likely to be successful for you. That’s what we’re sharing today.

This is part of our Demand Gen mini-series. You can access previous whiteboarding sessions here:

As per usual, you can read, watch or listen below to get a deep understanding on whether or not your company is suited to Demand Gen.

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Does Your Go-To-Market Motion Matter?

There’s quite a few different ways you can go-to-market. We’ve worked with companies in each of the below:

They include:

  • Inbound-led
  • Outbound-led
  • Event-led
  • Product-led
  • Community-led
  • Partnerships-led

In our experience, it’s less about what your existing go-to-market strategy is, and more about where you are along that journey. At the end of the day, people need to hear from you before they buy from you. You need to be talking to your Dream Customers through any of these strategies. Demand generation is going to help amplify the impact of any existing go-to-market strategy.

For example, if you’ve experienced your initial growth with a sales-led, outbound motion – demand generation is going to improve your efforts there. Rather than sales contacting completely ‘cold’ prospects, imagine if they had an understanding of your product and a recognition of your brand and its benefits before sales called them out of the blue? Sales would book a lot more meetings with strong opportunities.

Similarly, if you’re event-led – imagine how much more productive your event would be if everyone knew who you were before getting there? I guarantee it would be a lot easier to get people to stop at your booth.

So it doesn’t really matter what your existing go-to-market strategy is. What’s important is that there is one currently in place that has got you to an initial level of growth (typically 20+ employees and at least 1 in-house marketer in our experience). See more information here on when the right time is to start demand generation.

Does Your Industry Matter?

We’ve seen so many businesses across different industries go through our 12 week Demand Gen program, The B2B Incubator. Successful outcomes have been achieved across all different kinds of industries.

One industry that marketers often don’t think will work is in the manufacturing space. Manufacturing is more of a traditional industry where sales cycles are long and complex, there’s a lot decision makers at play and things generally proceed with caution and at a slow pace. So shouldn’t marketing really just help by supporting sales and going to events?

Those activities are incredibly important, but remember – demand generation is about building relationships with people. Sales do this on a 1:1 basis through email, phone calls, and conversations at events. But marketing has the ability to do this on a 1:few and 1:many basis through content and advertising. By creating content that speaks to a Dream Customer’s problems and pushes our solution, we’re able to start that trust and relationship building process early. Even better, that content can be distributed to our Dream Customers while we’re sleeping! That’s the beauty of demand generation.

Let me share with you an example of this working in practice.

I met a lovely 75-year-old man the other day playing golf. He has owned a publishing company for many years and he kept telling me how publishing is dying and really, he’s constantly looking for ways to make his business more efficient – particularly the manufacturing side in terms of binding and pulling books together.

That means he’s constantly looking to save on the cost of labour. At some point in the last 18 months, he somehow subscribed to a robotics newsletter. He thinks it might have been after meeting them at a tradeshow.

Clark’s not amazing with computers. As the owner of a large business, you can imagine his inbox is pretty full. He ignored the majority of them, but the robotics one he read almost every time it landed in his inbox. He said:

“I get so many emails. This one I always found really interesting and I always read because it was about how robotics could help make my business more efficient… Finally we hit this tipping point in our business where we knew it was time that we had to try and make something more efficient. And we looked at robotics as a potential option and… that was the person that we called straight away to look at implementing robotics in our business. They just felt like they were the right fit for us.”

Clark – Owner of Publishing Company

This is because the robotics company built this trust with Clark by continually giving value in a very structured, purposeful way. That built a relationship with Clark and ultimately led to them landing a very big deal with him.

And so it doesn’t really matter what your industry is. Demand Generation is all about developing relationships with people, and delivering that helpful content in a way that suits them. Clark had a ton of emails in his inbox, but he chose to always open up this one because it spoke to him, and it clearly understood his problems. And then when he finally had that need to act on it, he went straight to them because he’d built that trust with them.

Does Product Price Point Matter?

At risk of sounding like a broken record, demand generation will help your business whether you’re selling a product for $100 or $100,000. We still need to convince a market to prioritise the problem we solve, and convince them we’re the perfect solution for them.

However, the margins you make on that product dictate how much you can spend to acquire a customer. And how much you can spend to acquire a customer is what determines the tactics you need to use to execute your Demand Generation strategy, and distribute your content in front of your Dream Customers.

For example, businesses with limited funds to spend on marketing might have to rely on organic social to distribute their demand generation content, because platforms like Meta and LinkedIn Ads might be too expensive at this point in time.

You Need To Make A Business Case

At this point, we’ve covered exactly what demand generation is, when the right time for your business is to start it, and what kinds of companies are suited to it.

If your company looks like a good fit for this so far, the next step is to get a business case together to present to leadership. We’ll be covering this next week!

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