Difference between Lead and Demand Generation

Demand Generation and Lead Generation are two most commonly used words in the B2B/ B2C space, especially when working with Marketing Automation, how do you differentiate between the two, when the end result of both is to increase sales for an organization?

A marketers’ objectives is to create demand for their product or service. However, they don’t “create” leads. Leads are “generated” from the demand that’s created. Strategies such as branding thought leadership, PR, etc. help to create demand, while strategies such as direct response programs, SEO, etc. help to generate leads.

According to TechnicallyMarketing.com (a leading lead gen/ demand gen) site – While both employ efforts to the same goal: to covert prospects into paying customers, both are working within the realm of different tactics. Lead generation is the process of converting a single prospect into a sale and demand generation is the process of employing mass targeted campaigns to trigger the needs of large audiences. Demand Generation, on the other hand, involves marketing’s effort to create demand. The ability to generate a mass amount of leads either through website traffic, social media, gated forms and landing pages or lists in an effort to get prospects into the sales funnel and then work to push them down to the closing stages.

A good source for demand generation is syndicating content, webinars or events. Here a company can reach a large amount of prospects, get their contact information and start employing marketing campaigns and activities in order to engage with prospects.

Your Turn

Do you put demand generation or lead generation first? Or do you effectively combine both in a single step? Share your experience or perspective in the comments below or with me on Twitter @go2markets

Understanding Content Marketing

   According to CMI,  Content Marketing is a technique of creating and distributing relevant content to attract and engage a target audience – with the objective of driving profitable action.

Smart marketers understand that traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective by the minute, and that there has to be a better way to communicate with potential customers. Consumers have simply shut off the traditional world of marketing. They skip television advertising, often ignore magazine advertising, and now have become proficient at online “surfing” that they can take in information without being interrupted by banners or buttons.

I believe marketers may use content marketing as a means of achieving a variety of business goals. One method is through lead generation. Lead generation is a marketing term and it refers to creating interest in a product or service so consumers can click on a impression or download an asset that creation of a prospect interested in a business product or service. Marketers build content that attracts consumers to click on a download to learn about a new product offer or a feature.

According to emarketer.com, businesses allocate approximately 26% of their total marketing budgets to content marketing initiatives. Listed below are a few ways marketers build content to attract consumers –

1 Webinars, Seminars & Podcasts

Perhaps the best way to demonstrate what you know is by actively participating in, hosting, or presenting live webinars, seminars and podcasts. The great thing about online webinars and podcasts is that they can be recorded, and then stored on your website, along with transcripts and copies of the slides.

Even if people don’t attend your webinars or podcasts (podcasts are simply audio only seminars), you’ll get bonus points for having them. People coming to your website will see the long list of available webinars and seminars, and automatically think that you must be extremely knowledgeable to offer up so much free information.

One smart approach is to pre-record your presentation without an audience. You can edit out the bad parts and keep the best. Then, offer the webinar “live” by re-playing the pre-recorded webinar without interruption and answering questions in the background as you go with a quality webinar tool (such as GoToWebinar). You can then complete the webinar with a Q&A session at the end.

2 Ebooks, White Papers and Special Reports

White papers are a long-time staple of tech companies. Whether or not anyone outside your company actually reads them is another matter. White papers are typically dry, unmemorable, and offer little more than technical data that’s available almost anywhere.

If you’re going to write white papers, why not add a little spice to them. Make them more personal, write in the first person, or have them written “by” a local expert in your company. Add a face to your white paper so that people can associate the expertise with a real person.

Special reports are like white papers, but less technical and geared more toward offering tips, ideas and suggestions. They’re a great way to create trust and let people know that you or your company are experts in your field.

Ebooks can be longer versions of your reports and white papers. You can also assemble a series of articles into an Ebook, thus making use of content you’ve already created.

3 Social Networking

By now you should know what social networking is. But, how can you use social networking to demonstrate your value and worth to your clients?

Simply let people know about your webinars, reports, and articles through your social networks. Then, use the social networks as a means of engaging in longer conversations with your network on the topics you discuss in your other content pieces.

Rather than use social networking as a way to get more information “out there,” try using it to engage with your clients on topics you’re already discussing in other venues, such as your webinars or blog.

4 Articles

Articles are like this one – brief, to-the-point, and covering one specific idea. Ideally, articles are between 450 and 700 words.

The best way to get your voice heard is to post your articles on highly-visible industry websites and blogs. This isn’t necessarily easy, but if you can have the articles come “from” (they can be ghost-written) a high-ranking person in your company, you’ll stand a better chance of having them published.

5 Offline Presentations

This fifth method is a different, and also much more challenging for us introverts. It involves taking your knowledge public by presenting at industry events and conferences.

I’ve found it to be easier than expected to get on the agenda at a conference. They’re always looking for quality presentations, so if you step up and offer something that’s going to be of value to the audience, they’ll usually bite.

Remember, content drives the Internet, and consumers are looking for information that solves a problem, not immediate sales pitches. The trust, credibility, and authority that content marketing creates knocks down sales resistance, all while providing a baseline introduction to the benefits of a particular product or service.

Building A Successful Marketing Campaign

What is marketing? Selling a product to people who did not think of buying it until they received an offer. Sometimes the purpose of marketing is to create the need for a product.

Good marketing can be very influential. The first iPhone commercial that launched in 2007 produced a catchy tune, a colorful display and the fact that it was on the national television, convinced thousands of people of their need to buy this product.

According to Esther Lopez from Ezine@rticles states that any product, regardless of how good it is, or how well established the brand may seem, needs marketing. Look around you and you’ll see advertisements all over the place. That’s marketing. Your mailbox at home gets plenty of flyers and other unsolicited mail, that’s marketing. Those emails in your inbox trying to sell you odd things, that’s marketing too.

To execute this companies employ a group of marketers that can build creative marketing campaigns. Campaigns can be either in print, media or both.

Print Advertising

Print campaigns include newspaper and magazine advertising. This type of marketing can carry a variety of messages (either brand oriented or direct response) and can be focused on a particular audience based on who reads the publication.

Direct Mail

Although many believe direct mail marketing has seen its best days already passed, there is still some life in this powerful, traditional form of advertising. Direct Mail refers to postcards, brochures and flyers that are sent through the mail and generally contain a direct response call-to-action. Using direct mail means having to purchase some necessities for the campaign, including printing materials, postage and the address lists of the demographic you wish to target.

TV and Radio

Among the most high profile campaigns in the industry, television and radio advertising offer the opportunity to reach the largest number of people in the shortest time frame. Among the disadvantages of these marketing efforts are the potentially high cost and the inability to truly target your demographic with precise accuracy. However, the prestige associated with television advertising can elevate a business in a way no other marketing format can.

Online Marketing

The rising star in the world of marketing is online. The web continues to explode and along with it so do the advertising opportunities. Billions and billions more advertising dollars are spent every year online, as business try to find ways to tap into the Internet user. The most common types of Online Marketing include:

Pay Per Click – bidding on search terms and having the business’ ads appear when the relevant keywords are searched in Google or Yahoo!

Banner Advertising – creating a graphic advertisement and placing it on relevant websites. The ad then takes customers directly to the advertiser’s website

Email Marketing – Using lists of email addresses to deliver content and promotional offers to potential customers

Organic Search – Using search engine optimization (SEO) to rank high on Google and Yahoo! in your given area of business

These days many businesses are abandoning the more traditional, print forms of marketing in favor of reaching out to the online world. As print and direct mail see their numbers decline, more and more businesses are choosing the cost effective, highly targeted marketing options found online.

Creating Demand

Let’s spend a minute on the definition. “Demand” refers to the willingness and ability to purchase a product or a service. This has been controversial for marketers. Some marketers argue advertising supposedly creates demand. Other marketers disagree. Advertising tries to get a consumer’s attention so that they know a product or service is available. This isn’t creating demand; it’s tapping into latent demand.

In practical business, I think this seems much more realistic. If you try to “create demand” you’re likely to fail. An entrepreneur should identify market segments that are under-served. Two questions to answers are –

1. Who is going to use this product?
2. What need is it filling?

In the consumer marketplace, demand is created based on psychology.  A sense of need is developed.  Are you the last person to have the latest, most advanced, cutting edge technological gadget?  Does your iphone listen to your voice commands, give you directions while you drive, entertain your children?  And so on.

According to Ray Perry from Marketblazer.com – Demand Marketing is defined as getting your message in front of your target market at the point and time consumers are looking to buy.

As competition intensifies and growth expectations increase, businesses must consistently reach the right prospects through the right channels with the right message. In addition to creating demand, those target prospects must convert to sales leads, pipeline and revenue with some degree of predictability.

By delivering the right message to the right people at the right time, you can bank on an uptick in sales. Your message must be timely and relevant if it’s going to hit the mark.

Using Demand Marketing methods, you demonstrate your understanding that in today’s world the consumer is in control. You discover who they are, what they want, how they want it, and where they go looking for it. By responding to your customers’ demands, you turn shoppers into loyal customers.

Demand Creation Methods –

Direct Mail:
Use direct mail to create demand for your products and services by reaching the right people with the right message – quickly and economically.

Email Marketing:
Create demand with the touch of a button. Use a low-cost marketing powerhouse to keep your business at the forefront of your customers’ minds.

Webinars:
Expertise extends your reach and shortens the sales cycle – and webinars are the ultimate online platform to reach your customers wherever they are.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising:
Any budget, any business – day or night, your Pay-Per-Click ads work to drive highly-targeted traffic to your website.

Google AdWords:
For high ROI, flexibility, and laser-targeting, marketers turn to Google AdWords for website traffic on demand.

Internet Advertising:
Begin with a thorough analysis of your site and Internet advertising objectives, then implement the tools that will get the best results. From Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, podcasts to pop-ups, the power of Internet advertising is at your fingertips.

Targeting Consumer Behavior

Consumer Behavior is classified in two different categories – want to have and/or need to have. Understanding the intelligence behind consumer behavior is a marketer’s job, generating demand and connecting consumers with goods and services is essential. One category of consumers are individuals that need a product or service. These consumers wants to perform some type of action – such as making a purchase, getting data from a database, downloading a software, etc.

An example to further explain my analogy is when a consumer’s car needs to be repaired, his choices are limited. The urgency to repair/ service his car is categorized as a need. He enters a specific query online and calls the first few on the list. The example I choose here is simple but it shows the need to have an online presence for retailer or a business providing service. Building/ maintaining a web presence is crucial as it differentiates businesses that want to market their products and services.

Plugging in the right analytics will help your site populate to the top of the search engine. Today the options are vast – A marketer’s window of opportunity is when a consumer query’s a search. The fulfillment and populating his site to the top of the search engine can be creatively managed by simply applying Adwords, PPC, SEO, etc.

This also applies to consumers that “want” a product or demand a service. An example here could be willingness to buy BMW. This automobile category is considered a “want”. Here the approach is the same, a consumer queries and results are populated on his screen. How your site ranks depends on well you have built the analytics to populate it. Interest indicators are the most common of all the web-based analytics tools. A small program or script is added to the website to track user activity. The most basic tools can provide a summary of user country of origin, time accessed, browser used, total amount of time spent on the website, etc. More complex, commercial products can provide the exact Internet protocol (IP) address, the number of times the same person has visited the site within a specific time frame, where they went, and how long they spent on each page.

These days’ consumers have access to information on their fingertips. With the advent of data phones, access to wifi networks, push and pull of data has immensely made our lives easier. As technology improves marketers will continue to collect and store large quantities of transactional data. This data will then profile behavior thus targeting consumers for products and services.

Viral Marketing

According to an article in Combridges.com – One of the coolest things about the Web is that when an idea takes off, it can propel a brand or company to seemingly instant fame and fortune. For free. Whatever you call it—viral, buzz, word-of-mouth, or via a blog—having other people tell your story drives action. One person sends it to another, then that person sends it to yet another, and on and on.

 

Word-of-Mouth Empowers You

For decades, the only way to spread our ideas was to buy expensive advertising or beg the media to write (or broadcast) about our products and services. But now organizations have a tremendous opportunity to publish great content online—content that people want to consume and that they are eager to share with their friends, family, and colleagues.

Social media can be used to enhance word-of-mouth marketing as much as (or better than) good customer service. Social media encompasses technologies such as websites, blogs, RSS feeds but really comes down to the big three social media giants of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Because of the ever-changing nature of new technology, the tactics for social media shift regularly. Even with the changing tactics, the core principles stay the same.

Websites

Websites are a critical component to building a business in today’s marketplace and are a great tool that can help to build the emotional connection with customers. Customers are more sophisticated than ever so the key is to ensure that the website has relevant content that adds to the user’s experience and provides information that the customer needs/wants to see.

Building relevant content that the customer needs to see can be difficult. As difficult as relevant content development can be, your website is really the foundation for your social media efforts. For your website, it is important to remember that something looking pretty has never been enough of a reason to include it on a website. The website needs to be pertinent and relevant to what customers need and want to know. You can then use social media to properly distribute that content.

Blogs

Blogging is one of the purest forms of word-of-mouth marketing. Blogging allows for the marketer to develop a website that provides customers with relevant, timely information and, by using the website, the marketer can publish that information. Traditionally, blogs have been published via RSS, which allows people to subscribe to content via an RSS reader or email. More and more often, customers are turning to social media outlets to find their new information. They expect their social media timeline to give them the information they need when they need it.

Blogs encompass any type of timely information such as news stories, client case studies and other routinely updated content. Blogs can help shape the way clients use your website to gather the most relevant information when they need it. Social media allows your customers to more readily find that information and engage in conversation surrounding that content.

Social Media

Both the company and customer benefit from a more personalized account of what’s happening. The reason this is true is because of the sophisticated nature of customers today. Customers do not want to be spoon fed information; they want to be a part of the conversation. Treating customers as an equal instead of people that just do not have the knowledge or understanding will allow them to feel a part of the conversation.

As mentioned before, blogs allow you an opportunity to create postings that are timely and relevant to today’s news and information. Social media allows for customers to return back comments to allow for an online two-way conversation that all can be a part of.

The best part about social media is that it works both ways. In order to provide the most relevant information to your customers, you can post comments to other blogs and social media postings just as easy as you can create your own post. You have the ability to contribute to conversations that others have started just as well as starting your own conversations. People want to talk about what you are interested in… you just have to find them.

Nothing is guaranteed to go VIRAL

There are people who will tell you that it is possible to create a viral campaign that will certainly be a hit, and there are agencies specializing in taking money and making promises. But I’ve noticed that when organizations (and their agencies) set out to go viral, the vast majority of their campaigns fail.

Planet Lounge a firm that says that its virtually impossible to create a Web marketing program that is guaranteed to go viral; it requires a huge amount of luck and timing. That’s an important point to remember as you work on viral marketing ideas, because it’s unlike the old-rules, numbers-based marketing techniques you’re probably used to. Consider a direct mail campaign: You could always count on a direct mail piece to generate a known number of responses, say 2 percent. So if you needed to have 100 people respond, you sent out 5,000 mailers. Easy, right?

They also believe that many efforts fail miserably, and there are countless Web sites, e-books, and videos that have not gone viral. However, tomorrow those same marketers might get lucky and get a million people to view their content, driving tens of thousands of people’s to their products and services.

Understanding Lead Scoring

Tim Elleston from Omniture defines lead scoring as a measurement that assigns a relative value to individual customers and prospects based on their actions and behaviors over time. You can determine intent and engagement – even before leads convert.

Once you’ve identified your most valuable visitors, you can dissect their actions to determine the campaigns, keywords, referring sites and offline touch points that engage them – and invest more on these efforts.

Further more Tim believes that the basic premise of a visitor score is to give them “points” for certain activities.  What score you decide to give them is entirely up to you…the important thing is that they accrue points over time, and you can use those points to create segments of visitors that have exceeded certain thresholds.

In doing so, you’ll be able to compare different leads, for example, those with a high score, to those with a low score, from different traffic sources, or across different campaigns.

The theory behind this is that visitors with higher scores are likely to be more engaged – they’ve accrued more points over time, by doing the things you want them to do.  It’s not just looking at conversions, although they will probably feature in your scoring methodology.

A simple example that Tim talks about here is of a car dealership.  Perhaps a prospect walking in off the street and poking their head in the window earns them a score of 10 points.  Maybe he opens the door and sits in the driver’s seat, imagining how it would feel to be on the road with the vehicle. Perhaps that’s 25 points. Maybe he takes it out for a test drive that’s 50 points.  Etc.

Obviously, the more interest they indicate, the deeper they are moving towards making a purchase decision.

With marketing automation software, you can start scoring your leads according to online and offline activity.  Say someone visits your web site that’s only one point.  They look over your products that’s ten points.  Let’s say they hit your job postings and look for a position. Maybe they’ll sign up for a Webcast that they might attend.  More points.

What you need to do initially is agree on a set of interactions across your site, and then apply an arbitrary score to them, either between 1 and 10 or 1 and 100.

For example:

  1. Homepage view = 1pt
  2. Searched for something = 5pts
  3. Viewed a course = 20pts
  4. Completed a form = 30pts
  5. Used one of our interactive tools = 50pts
  6. Opted in to something = 70pts
  7. Submitted an application = 100pts

Ultimately, different types of buyers achieve certain scores based on their persona and engagement with certain types of content assigned. You’ll start to identify certain “tells” of each persona, and you’ll know when a prospect is showing you intense buying signals. That is when you pass that prospect over to Sales.

Justin Gray from Marketingprofs.com states that the goal is to make lead scoring easy to understand so anyone who becomes part of the process can jump right in. Simplified lead scoring will also help in scaling as your company grows, and it can be flexible to accommodate changed and even new persona.

I agree with Justin and believe that a  stronger lead-scoring process will not only improve your conversion rate but also help you know your buyers better, and you’ll organically develop a system that scales easily as your business grows. Your marketing and sales departments will cohesively become revenue-driven, not numbers-driven.

Choosing an Analytical tool – Part 1- Omniture SiteCatalyst versus Google Analytics

VP of Marketing: “I know we need an analytics package to track the XYZ  Products website.  XYZ has been doing fine without web analytics, but my staff says we need it.  I don’t have much money to spend, so I’ve chosen Google Analytics, since it’s free.  We’ll make it work for us.”

This statement clearly shows some deficiencies in the decision-making process.  It’s apparent the VP doesn’t understand the value of analytics and that cost was the primary (and likely only) consideration.  In addition to increasing the likelihood of choosing a platform that isn’t functional for their business; this philosophy could impede the implementation process and lead XYZ to miss critical information.

When does it make sense to use and pay for Omniture SiteCatalyst versus using the Google Analytics free solution?

RiseInteractive, a marketing agency points out the key differences – There are many scenarios in which a detailed Cost Benefit Analysis may dictate that Omniture is the most cost effective solution.  Many of the scenarios would be unique to an industry, organization, or a specific website.  In this blog we’re going to discuss a few blanket scenarios where in most cases Omniture SiteCatalyst ends up being the most cost effective solution regardless of your unique situation.

 

As you can see, this client’s requirement for aggregated reports resulted in the need to hire a full-time employee, since the reporting and subsequent work-up will be much more intensive than offered by Omniture SiteCatalyst (where much/all of this can be automated).

In the end, RiseInteractive believes that Omniture is the better choice for this company.  Omniture SiteCatalyst is also often preferred if pulling analytical data from many third-party vendors as SiteCatalyst has developed extensive relationships with many Internet marketing platforms (e.g. E-mail platforms, Display Advertising Networks, and Social portals amongst others) and can automatically pull information from their APIs.  Google Analytics on the other hand usually requires extensive manual tagging in order to track most non-Google initiatives.

Marketing Analytics

According to Eric Cooper (brightedge.com)- Business Intelligence group consisted of one or two practitioners with a very specific skill set who crunched numbers. It was much more difficult to collect, analyze and interpret large amounts of customer data. The process took weeks rather than days, and the results of their work would eventually be distilled into one or two recommendations and shared with a decision maker. No one really questioned what it was that they were doing, because very few people had any idea what they were doing and even fewer people had access to the data they were using to make these recommendations

 

He also says that if you fast forward twenty years virtually everyone in the organization considers him or herself an “analyst” when it comes to various forms of marketing data. Anyone with a Facebook login or a Twitter handle can theoretically download, analyze, and make recommendations based on the data collected from these sites. With all of the practical “how-to” information regarding analytics now widely available on the internet, the need for years of very specific training has been lessened. Analytical software packages have progressed to the point where they can either be easily integrated with standard back office applications (Microsoft Power Pivot), or analytic functions are built into other data collection software which makes them easily accessible to the end user (SiteCatalyst, Google Analytics).

 

Wisegeeks define marketing metrics a subset of marketing analytics that helps companies understand the entire process from the creation of marketing campaigns to their influence on consumers. Metrics can include information on frequency of consumer purchases, customer ratings on product value or quality, loyalty from customers with secondary purchases, shifts in market share, or competitor product offerings and the rate of return on advertising campaigns. These metrics help companies determine how to change their message or if the entire marketing process does little to provide additional value to the company.

 

I strongly believe that every B2B marketing organization has goals and objectives, but how do you know if those goals are realistic? Utilizing analysis, you are able to focus and predict realistic goals for your organization. Some possible goals may include the following:

  • Improve engagement and conversion rates
  • Increase organic search traffic to your site
  • Decrease costs and improve efficiency through a lead management process

 

The Difference between a Marketing and a Sales Funnel

The traditional sales process involves selling face to face, and marketing is selling through a system. The basic difference is that your sales funnel involves making actual sales and making money, whereas your marketing funnel is everything leading up to your sales process.

A few years ago, Forrester Research published a report on “engagement” and suggested that the marketing funnel has become much more complex in today’s environment.  While the influencing factors are more complicated, the same simple, visual framework as the traditional marketing funnel can be leveraged to show this complexity. The design needs to account for engagement throughout the process rather than looking at it through a lens of static messages we push out.

Marketing Funnel

The three basics parts to a marketing funnel are –

Traffic – There are ton of traffic generation strategies. Once you start generating traffic you will want to consider the quality of the traffic. Also you want to constantly tweak your funnel to improve your conversions.

Leads – Once traffic generates interest, this process is considered a lead. A lead is anidentification of a person or entity that has the interest and authority to purchase a product or service.

Follow up – Follow up has consistently involved making phone calls and keeping a record of when you last talked to prospects. However this is the Information Age, thus making this process easier especially since crm’s have evolved.

Sales Funnel

A sales process, also known as a sales tunnel or a sales funnel, is a systematic approach to selling a product or service.

A sales funnel is a simple map of your lead-to-sale process.

  1. Let’s imagine you start with 1,000 leads (visitors to your web site)
  2. 100 might click on a sales page link for one of your products
  3. 50 might click your Order Now button and enter your shopping cart
  4. 10 complete the checkout process and buy the product

So your sales funnel starts at a 1,000 leads and ends in 10 sales—that’s a 1% conversion. The conversion rate is referred as a ratio of visitors who convert casual content views or website visits into desired actions based on needs and wants. The objective of the sales funnel is to increase the conversion rate of leads into actual buyers.

According to Heidi Cohen (heidicohen.com) – Today marketing plays a huge role in defining a revenue generation process, it shows how involved marketing is in a sales process and how integral its role in the process of converting Leads to customers. Marketing until now has always been considered as a cost center, however the entry of Marketing Automation platforms has ensured, companies are able to measure the ROI for their marketing activities and marketing stakes a claim as part of the revenue.




 

 

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