Demand generation is often used interchangeably with lead generation, but it is actually its own distinct component of a good marketing and sales strategy. Demand generation encompasses much more than generating leads and refers instead to the holistic strategy your company takes to marketing your value proposition and interacting with buyers throughout every stage of the customer journey.
A data-driven demand generation strategy makes your actions more informed, intentional, and ultimately effective. It holds teams accountable and sets a foundation for smart decision making at all organizational levels.
And in order to really leverage data to optimize demand generation, it’s necessary to have a framework in place that serves as a guide and point of reference for everyone involved in executing your strategy. Let’s explore some actionable ways to put a data-driven framework in place for demand generation.
- Three-quarters of companies who are not exceeding their revenue goals don’t understand important demand generation data metrics.
- Establishing which metrics are most important to your company helps you create a data-driven framework that contributes to your business objectives.
- Data-driven frameworks not only enhance performance assessment but create opportunities for more targeted, personalized customer interactions.
WHY IS A DATA-DRIVEN FRAMEWORK IMPORTANT FOR DEMAND GENERATION?
Implementing a data-driven demand generation strategy gives your marketing and sales teams the tools and insights they need to make informed decisions and take intentional action as they interact with buyers.
According to Hubspot, 74% of companies not exceeding revenue goals did not know their number of monthly visitors, leads, MQLs, or sales opportunities. Without data, companies are left guessing in many areas and are unable to optimize their time and resources in measurable ways.
Here are some places where data plays an impactful role in demand generation:
Developing and Justifying Spend – Data provides an objective measure of impact, making it a critical tool for developing budgets strategically, justifying additional spends, and calculating ROI.
Evaluating Current Strategies – Data offers reliable real-time evidence of what’s working and what’s not. Strategies can then be shifted as needed, creating more organizational agility.
Assessing Performance Results – Data creates more accountability among marketing and sales teams by helping to clearly define goals and assess performance against them.
Understanding Your Target Audience – Data helps build a clear picture of your buyer, their needs, and their intent to allow for more targeted marketing and sales tactics.
STEPS TO DEVELOP YOUR DATA-DRIVEN FRAMEWORK
Identify Which Metrics Matter
No two companies are exactly the same, and neither are their demand generation frameworks. To implement a data-driven demand strategy that works for your company, it’s necessary to first identify which metrics are most important for accomplishing your unique objectives.
This can be done at a higher level as it relates to your entire demand generation strategy but also on a campaign or tactic level. Not every sales tactic or piece of marketing content has the same objective. For some it may be all about conversion while other top-of-the-funnel efforts are better measured through clicks, views, or other CTAs that indicate interest.
When developing a data-driven framework for measuring demand generation success, consider first what your objectives are, then match and prioritize the metrics that most clearly measure that objective.
Be Intentional with Lead Capture
Performance metrics are not the only type of data that’s important when it comes to a good data-driven demand generation strategy. Utilizing prospect data, or more specifically, knowing which prospect data points are most important and useful for your company, helps you collect information that will best contribute to accomplishing your goals.
This is perhaps most relevant to lead capture strategies, where companies are collecting buyer information to use for later follow-up activities. Online forms are by far the most common tactic used by companies to capture leads.
You might often hear that shorter lead capture forms are better for conversions. While this may be true in some cases, we would argue that it’s more about intentionality rather than length. In fact, while only 39% of B2B marketers use multi-step forms, those that do report 86% higher conversion rates.
To know which data points are most important for you and incorporate them into lead capture effectively, ask:
- What personal information is important to know? (In addition to contact information, things like job title or level, education, etc.)
- What company information is important to know? (i.e. company size, competitors, etc.)
- What information do I want to know as it relates to buyer needs? (biggest challenges, current solutions, etc.)
As you decide on which data points you’ll collect, consider how each will help you accomplish your objectives by allowing for targeted follow-up, building customer profiles, identifying buyer intent or providing other insights.
Use Data to Group Prospects
An optimized lead capture form can help you effectively group prospects, which then allows for more personalized interaction in other places. Grouping prospects gives you the ability to target your content and messaging in ways that best demonstrate your value to that particular buyer.
Some ways to group prospects include:
Stage – Better understand what kinds of content (i.e. marketing vs. sales, top-of-the-funnel vs. bottom-of-the-funnel) they should receive.
Industry – You can communicate specific ways your offerings are relevant to your buyer’s industry. Sometimes sales teams specialize members to work with buyers in certain industries, too.
Need – Identify which of your offerings or which product capabilities most closely address this need and highlight them specifically.
Skip the Vanity Metrics
It can be tempting to highlight vanity metrics that paint a picture of success without actually focusing on metrics that show if your strategies are yielding results. Your data-driven demand generation framework should focus on metrics that truly demonstrate the impact of your strategy.
Here are some metrics worth measuring:
Lead Conversion – Many companies measure leads generated, but how many of those convert to opportunities or sales? Measuring lead conversion tells you how effective your efforts are further down the funnel.
MQL to SQL – Understanding how many marketing qualified leads are converting to sales qualified leads indicates how effectively your marketing and sales teams are working together.
Average Deal Size – Average deal size is an important metric for forecasting revenue but it can also be an indicator of how well your value is being communicated to buyers in the funnel.
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) – Knowing the total amount a customer is likely to spend over the entirety of your relationship is a good indicator of how well your company is continuing to provide a great experience after an initial sale closes.
DEVELOP A WINNING DEMAND GENERATION STRATEGY
A strong, data-driven demand generation strategy means your customers have a high-quality experience at every single interaction.
Televerde offers solutions that can help you better engage with buyers and customers at every stage of the funnel.