What is Demand Marketing and Why Does It Matter to B2B?
To better serve your leads and ensure they convert, you need to keep their interest in your brand and offering throughout the funnel.
That’s the point of demand marketing, which ensures you create “want” throughout the sales process.
Demand generation is the creation of want in a lead. Demand generation helps buyers to understand they have a problem that needs solving and starts to walk them through the process.
Demand generation is the starting line. It’s the initial blog post, email, or another form of marketing and advertising that causes a lead to fill out a form or start engaging with your brand in another way.
Demand marketing is that, and the rest of the race. It’s every email a lead opens, every social post they like or share, every additional piece of content they download.
Demand marketing is most commonly tracked is by using a point system to determine whether leads are marketing qualified leads (MQLs) or sales qualified leads (SQLs).
Isn’t every lead a marketing qualified lead? No. Marketing qualified leads are leads that are most likely to become a customer in the future. That is determined by several factors, including:
- Tracking specific behaviors
- Tracking their level of engagement (like website visits, email opens, downloading gated content)
- Demographic data
A sales qualified lead is a matured marketing qualified lead. Not all MQLs will become an SQL. That’s how the marketing pipeline works. The SQL is much further through the marketing cycle, and there is typically a cutoff that determines that they’ve moved over to the sales portion of the cycle. How do you decide what an SQL is?
Use lead scoring; you should already practice this. Observe and track the behaviors of your current leads and customers. What was the turning point when you knew the lead was ready to buy? Use that establish guidelines for future SQLs. It might take some trial and error, but that’s how demand marketing works.
Track every customer touchpoint for every customer. This gives you the full picture of what your customers do along their journey. You’ll use their actions to quantify the amount of “want” they have for your brand and your offering. This is what demand marketing is. Some of those actions include:
- Visiting your website
- Visiting multiple pages on your site
- Signing up for your mailing list
- Filling out a form
- Downloading a piece of content
- Downloading several pieces of content
- Signing up for a free trial
- Asking to speak with a sales rep
Now, remember, each of these actions carries a different amount of weight. That should be reflected in your lead scoring system, which is the best practice way to measure the success of demand marketing and determine where in the pipeline your leads are.
Give Leads What They Want When They Want It
Different leads want different things. MQLs could want any number of types of content. Start with high-level content at the beginning, then move to more specific in-depth content as the leads move through the pipeline.
Sales qualified leads want content that talks about your offering specifically covering factors like:
- Comparisons to competition
- Free trials and demos
- FAQs and tutorials
Practice sending out the proper frequency and timing. It will take trial and error. Measure open rates, engagement rates, download rates, etc.
Use them to inform what works and what doesn’t; you can only find the perfect demand marketing strategy by observing your own efforts and optimizing accordingly.
Let us know what you think:
- How do you differentiate between an MQL and an SQL?
- How well do you do demand marketing?
- What makes you effective or ineffective?
Acadia Otlowski / About Author
Originally published at www.hipb2b.com on April 11, 2019.