Heading into 2022, B2B marketers again have to navigate the uncharted and rapidly evolving business landscape. As businesses progress past the pandemic-induced disruptions, new challenges await the B2B demand generation and sales development representatives. Bottlenecks ranging from supply chain disruptions to shifting consumer demands are forcing B2B marketers to reprioritize and rebuild more data dri
The current demand generation challenges are not necessarily tactical bottlenecks. Instead, they are strategic obstacles to cross-functional alignment, process efficiency, campaign performance transparency, and customer-centricity. Looking at the last two years as guidance, successful B2B marketers have realized the value in aligning their digital demand generation strategies with sales operations to drive meaningful business growth. However, numerous endogenic and exogenic factors are dictating the demand generation landscape. B2B marketers must begin by avoiding and overcoming common pitfalls and distractions.
Ignoring the existing customer database
It is already a well-established fact that data is the fuel that powers the entire B2B demand generation engine from conceptualization to execution. Several B2B enterprises have taken giant strides in collecting first party and third-party data through robust B2B lead generation campaigns in the last few years. But these brands have failed miserably at data maintenance efforts. Data needs to be continuously updated, enriched, and cleaned to keep it usable. This requires businesses to implement a technology-led data maintenance program and deploy a lead scoring model. They can additionally leverage the services of a B2B database provider to source accurate and contactable customer data.
Managing lead sources
Online lead generation is the most commonly reported challenge in the current marketing landscape. Organizations obtain their top-of-funnel leads from varied sources, making lead management and qualification time-consuming. While it is theoretically possible to manually manage different individual lead sources, it is not practical or efficient. Enterprises must leverage automated tools to get a unified view and compare the contributions of their online lead generation efforts, third-party B2B database service providers, and telesales engine.
Creating quality content
For most organizations, creating quality content ends with publishing eBooks, Whitepapers, Blogs, infographics, case studies, webinars, and other content pieces. However, content marketing involves a team of digital media experts who can disseminate content across a range of channels relevant to the complete buyer journey. Overcoming the quality content challenge needs a mastery of the digital channels and the ability to personalize content for the full-funnel buyer journey.
Not understanding ideal customer persona
Without understanding their target audience, what they want, and their pain points, it is impossible for companies to serve them. Identifying and fixing any knowledge gaps about the customer base through Whitespace Discovery and predictive BI analytics is fundamental to the success of any B2B demand generation campaign. Brands must sift through customer conversation data and leverage audience feedback to understand their customers’ wants.
The challenge of scaling the B2B demand generation efficiency while moving forward with sustained growth is quite common among marketers. The solution to this ever-evolving piece of challenge is technology adoption and well-aligned processes. Even the most advanced technology for demand generation cannot compensate for communication issues among revenue generation teams. Similarly, even the most well-oiled processes will not be able to scale if marketers waste their resources on manual lead generation and data management tasks. The secret to scaling efficiency is the right mix of cross-functional alignment and marketing technologies.
Maintaining positive working relationships
The full-funnel approach that drives the digital demand generation output requires complete collaboration between different teams. Marketers must work closely with sales and customer outreach teams. They must move from alignment to integration, where the teams share the same systems, structures, and rewards. They must also develop shared metrics to get a unified view of their campaign ROI.
Maintaining the customer’s perspective
B2B demand generation is ultimately a customer-centric discipline. The strategies and efforts must be built around the buyer’s journey. It must address the target audience’s pain points or key stages of the customer journey. However, most marketers struggle to identify their buyer's personas and hence fail to design the strategies that deliver value to customers.
The challenges to B2B demand generation are more strategic than tactical. One of the biggest barriers to deriving the best output from any customer outreach campaign is the lack of cross-departmental alignment. As marketers navigate the puzzle of evolving customer preferences and advancements in MarTech, overcoming these bottlenecks will require them to build data-driven strategies and foster collaboration and integration among revenue-facing departments.
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