2022 Demand Generation Planning: How and Why
December 29, 2021
It’s no mystery that 2021 was hard on digital marketers. The reality is Demand generation has never been an easy process to plan and execute for. There are a lot of variables that go into strategically communicating with your buyers. On top of that, you’re more than likely testing out multiple strategies centered around building engagement at different points of the marketing funnel.
Heading into 2022 and observing the current work environment of hybrid office spaces, a pivot in how demand generation is approached is probably worth exploring. In fact, according to SmartInsights, the average click-through-rate for email opens was less than 10% in 2021—almost an 8% decline from 2019 (pre-Covid). So, what can you do to ensure you’re generating enough high-quality leads while also making an impact on organizational ROI? Well, let’s find out.
Top of Funnel Demand Generation
Often the most ignored part of the marketing funnel, from literally everyone except for marketers; the top of the marketing funnel is a tricky part of the engagement cycle. Digital marketers generally find themselves having to balance product marketing, sales pitches, and content marketing at this part of the funnel. That’s a lot to handle. Also, not entirely ideal from a demand generation perspective.
The name of the game for successful top of funnel marketing is all about focusing on keyword pain points. This approach tends to empathize with your buyers on the top-of-mind frustrations they experience every day, building trust equity within their circles. The more you can get your company’s views on those specific pain points, the more you become a thought leader with your prospects. In turn, building interest in further research.
If you were to ask any demand generation marketer about ABM, they’d probably tell you no less than seven different definitions. That’s because ABM has somewhat remained a mystery to organizations who take a passive approach to targeted lead generation. On the flipside, account-based marketing has also somehow been packed into a software…of which it definitely is not.
So, why focus on ABM in 2022? As buyers become more and more disengaged with the prospective parts of lead generation, personalizing your outreach to specific needs is the most successful way to start a conversation with your audience. Through targeting specific accounts that look alike, or even have the exact same needs, you can create campaigns that speak directly to their needs. In fact, in 2021, 87% of marketers felt that their ABM campaigns vastly outperformed their other lead generation strategies.
Want to learn more about ABM? Check out our whitepaper on How to Kickstart your ABM Strategy.
Predictive Intent Data
Demand generation planning, for most marketing departments, is a catch-all term for generating revenue. While that’s a good start in defining what demand gen truly is, there are definitely more nuanced pieces to how that revenue is fulfilled upon. One major solution that has come to the forefront of digital marketing plans is intent data.
At the start, intent data provided a great way to uncover where and how your buyers were engaging with content. Nowadays, however, intent data has become somewhat of a commodity – flooding the industry with business intelligence of varying quality. This is why the need arose for a greater understanding of one’s database and the different layers that data has. In theory, predictive intent can be broken down into two parts: data enrichment, and buyer analytics.
This is literally defined as expanding one’s dataset with actionable pieces of information. How do you do that? The most effective way is to look at the behavioral and decisional patterns of your buyers. Who makes the decisions? What are they deciding on? Where are they engaging? Gathering that knowledge of your ideal customers can help streamline your demand generation activities.
Tracking your buyers throughout their purchasing journey is key to running a successful marketing campaign. There are various buyer analytics you can leverage, such as website engagement; with a goal of providing more intelligent content to your prospects.
Future of Demand Generation Planning
So, what does the future of demand generation hold? If there’s such a drop in engagement rates and marketing results, why not just focus solely on the bottom of the funnel? Full-funnel marketing is rarely the easiest route to take when it comes to strategic communication. It requires extensive knowledge of the various pain points, needs, competitive research, and thoughtful conversations that your buyers are diving into.
However, this approach is what B2B buyers are desperately craving in 2022 and beyond. Gone are the days of volume-based marketing, relying heavily on sales-pitches and phone calls. Now, people are looking to engage with brands they can trust, that provide consistent value, and tailor their solutions to their specific needs. This is why, at its most basic form, the future of demand generation revolves around creating a narrative for your buyers follow.