3 Common B2B Demand Generation Mishaps

 In Demand Generation, Uncategorized

It’s no secret that it is easy for today’s marketers to obtain data, however, finding relevant data is what really matters. Gathering data just for the sake of having data won’t help you better understand your customers or uncover why a certain program is under-performing. But relevant data is what tells the whole story and is worth its weight in gold.

ANNUITAS recently conducted our second annual B2B Enterprise Demand Generation Study for marketers in organizations with revenues of $250 million and above.

Why? We wanted a more granular understanding of what drives enterprise B2B marketers, how they think about demand generation, what they use to run their programs, how they develop content and connect with their buyers.

Too many tactics

According to the study, the majority of respondents (49.5%) run 15 or more campaigns a year —  that’s more than a campaign a month! It’s no surprise that demand generation isn’t easy, especially when marketing to large, global organizations with complex sales cycles, diverse buying committees and decentralized marketing teams. Without a solid strategy, tactics take over and not only cause chaos for the marketing team with an inability to track effectiveness, but more importantly, it can confuse the customer. Start with the strategy and don’t exert your bandwidth on too many tactics.

The technology stack

The adoption of technology in marketing today is nothing short of amazing. The marketing technology landscape keeps growing rapidly, nearly doubling from 2014 to 2015 to 1,876 vendors. This means marketers need to ensure solutions are integrated so reporting can be consistent, and continue growing their skill sets to keep up with the technology field. According to our study, less than 8% say their demand generation personnel is highly effective, while 45.5% say they are somewhat effective. Marketing enablement and ongoing training will help address the skills gap that may be exacerbated by the complex technology stack.

Lack of buyer-centricity

Marketers know the importance of understanding our buyers with a majority (75.2%) utilizing buyer personas in demand generation. However, only half (50.5%) report developing content to map to buyer pain points and challenges. If only half of marketers create content to speak to buyer pain points…what is the other half trying to accomplish with their content? Moving towards a more buyer-centric demand generation strategy in all areas is what will transform good marketing organizations into great ones.

Let data tell the story of your buyers. Use data to develop better engagement with buyers. Not sure how to obtain critical data about customers? Ask them. Surveys, as long as they are non-promotional, are a great way to gather information.

However, be prepared to dig deep into a large pool of candidates as surveys with stringent criteria like revenue thresholds or industry-specific requirements mean many potential respondents will be ineligible. This can mean a longer survey period is needed to secure a valid number of responses, but getting data from the right people is worth the wait.

It’s what will enable you to derive real value from the survey, understand your customers better, and as a result, create content and messaging to better engage with them. The data that matters might not be easy to obtain, but it enables modern marketers to tell a better story: the buyer’s story.

Read the full report here.

This is a guest post from Erika Goldwater, VP of Marketing at ANNUITAS.

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