How B2B Marketers Can Transition From Lead Gen To Demand Gen
Theory doesn’t beat practical experience.
But better than either is both!
This week, we’re lucky enough to have Myles Madden on the show. He’s someone who’s been at the forefront of both. Learning from the best who led the demand generation movement in the states during his time at Refine Labs, and now executing inhouse what he’s learnt on the agency side.
We’ve learnt a lot from chatting with him and we certainly hope our listeners will gain a lot from hearing first hand what it’s like to implement the things we talk about every week on the podcast and with our 5 Be’s framework.
Some key highlights:
- Creating demand is creating desire, not some tactical changes.
- Have a story to help get buy in from the rest of the business.
- There’s a role for good agencies, not just in execution.
- Demand creation is not easy, but it’s what you have to do for long term success.
- Don’t be afraid to bring in creatives and give them the reins when they have the insights you have.
- Educate yourself outside of marketing. It will only make your marketing better!
Some Highlights From The Episode
Some of Myles’ Key Points
- Only 3-5% are ever in market to buy, but that might drop to 1-2% in a buy mode when things are bad with the economy. The capturing demand activity, such as sales and performance marketing channels or digital sales, is focused on this. It’s also very much geared towards attribution of this activity through software. So marketing teams naturally focus on these limited attribution channels.
- But stuff that can’t be tracked by attribution as easily traditionally, which go towards demand generation, doesn’t get any investment as a result of this lean towards attribution.
- You also lose control of the market because you don’t create demand. And so you’re battling everyone else for the market that already exists.
- It’s best to measure inbound revenue and look at marketing as a system and as a whole and what’s helping hit goals there. Then look at separating demand creation and capture performance or tactics.
- If you’re experienced with flawless digital execution, you can see demand creation to see good results within 60-90 days. But more realistic to look at 120 days+. You can measure specific things like “brand aware traffic” and things like demo requests to start gauging whether your demand generation activity is working.
- Also look at more qualitative indicators and insights, such as open field form responses to the “how did you hear about us?” question and customer research conversations and insights from those conversations.
- Shifting from lead gen to demand gen is a process and there’s a few things that can help, but it depends on the structure of the organisation you’re in.
- Sometimes when you’re in a really big business, to make that shift might mean a drop in leads and then a big chunk of your sales team needs to go and that’s not necessarily possible.
- Things that work: helping the business forward, not just the marketing department. Align and show the metrics that matter to the business, use this to ground a conversation about whether the current model is sustainable. Look at things like conversion rates from leads to revenue and how much that’s really costing the business. From here, you can use this to start making a case for ungating some content and improve the sales close rate, making sure you’re aligning on those metrics you focus on across teams going forward. Show that the pipeline won’t be impacted, but efficiency will and therefore the bottom line improves.
- Lead gen will work if you’re short term focused as a marketer. But if you want to go the long term with a business and stick to it to go public, you need to look at shifting to that demand generation focus, even if it’s a bit scary to be responsible for revenue. It’s not for the faint-hearted. That’s okay. Make sure you set that expectation that it will take time and mindset changes.
- Don’t just assume ungating some content, change FB campaign strategies and a podcast then it’ll work. Awareness does not equal affinity. That’s one of the biggest challenges to demand generation. These tactics will have a little bit of a lift, but won’t deliver the results long term. You need to truly be in tune with your market. You also need to have speed and agility. You need to do more with those learnings and faster where you can in order to get those learnings and iterate and deliver really valuable content.
- Creating demand should be creating desire, not just changing some behaviours.
- Having to be quite intimate with rolling out the content and demand generation plan, it really has to be done inhouse. The agency model have significant limitations, and beyond that the insights need to be utilised by the rest of the business like product and sales. That won’t happen if those insights sit with the agency. So it’s not sustainable long term. Agencies are good at innovation and experimentation advice due to their breadth of view with other businesses. They’re also good at execution. But otherwise it’s up to the business to do it internally.
- There are incredible agencies out there though who are deeply ingrained in the process of demand generation, and can offer strategic and execution value. Despite the bad rap they get generally, you should try to figure out the good from bad.
- The cross functionality of having to actually orchestrate and communicate insights effectively to a busy sales team or product focused technical team is something to build experience in. One thing that helps that is having a succinct story around those insights to help the team easily comprehend and get value from the data. Preparation for telling that story is key.
- Sometimes having someone external come in to deliver the message, such as a consultant, can have more impact with its added social proof and compound the message.
- Business acumen is pretty important. Marketers, make sure to remain curious and go beyond marketing. Understanding things like sales, customer success, finance will really improve your marketing ability and impact. So educate yourself on other parts of the business.
- Bring in creative professionals and give them creative freedom. Give them the data and knowledge and insights. Then let them go outside the stiff brand guidelines.
Tune into this week’s episode for more!
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