Demand generation marketing is a strategy in both passive and outbound marketing that refers to a comprehensive program of initiatives and touchpoints designed to generate awareness of your products or services as a solution to customer pain points. It also encompasses not only the generation of leads from a segmented audience, but the nurturing of in-market prospects into customers, and the retention of those customers for long-term brand loyalty and repeat business. This very definition is why demand gen in the cybersecurity space has become so challenging. More often than not, you find yourself pitted against multiple competitors offering the same products as you, or even resellers that package your product with other pieces of software. Needless to say, generating leads from IT buyers is hard.
About six years ago, intent-based marketing data broke into the SaaS and B2B spaces and ultimately changed how marketers look at prospects. Now, in lieu of creating high-quantity email campaigns, B2B sales and marketing teams can better prioritize purchase-ready prospects based on their individual behavior and online activity. The IT and security industries were the first SaaS segments to pick up this trend, but since then, an explosion of third-party data sources and collection methodologies has commoditized many firmographic, demographic and behavioral data collection products and services.
How Intent Data is Changing
Thankfully, there are tech companies looking to change the way intent data is perceived and delivered to their customers. One major way the process is changing is that it no longer relies heavily on cookie traffic or website visits. Instead, marketers can implement AI software to track buyers’ activity on a more personalized level. Options like behavioral analytics and decisional data both help to guide marketers in the right direction—toward purchase-intent prospects.
In the cybersecurity space, this is extremely valuable, as you’ll most likely engage with people who have already purchased many different solutions and variations of software similar to yours. Not only can you concentrate demand marketing efforts toward those who have engaged more with your services, but you can also gather valuable data points uncovering why and how those specific buyers make final purchase decisions. Moving forward, intent marketing data will be extremely crucial to full-funnel lead generation campaigns.
Challenges with Lead Generation
This might sound obvious, but intent data isn’t the “fix all” solution to your lead generation woes. In fact, if done poorly, it can be a huge waste of time and resources. This is why it’s crucial to have a strong plan put in place for the entire life of your marketing campaign and beyond. Here’s a good start to a campaign roadmap that integrates intent data:
- Identify your targeted set of buyers from your database.
- Research, gather, and apply custom data points that will allow you to personalize your marketing.
- Evaluate the common needs those buyers face.
- Create a multi-channel outbound campaign focusing on the personalized data points, the needs of your buyers, and a good set of value props.
- Remarket to your most engaged buyers from that campaign.
- Have the sales team echo your intent data marketing in their prospecting outreach.
The key takeaway here is, regardless of what channel you use to market products, your goal should be to generate leads based on a specific set of needs that your security solution overcomes. You’ve probably noticed a key part of this strategy is to have your sales team buy in and work alongside you. Intent data marketing, especially in a competitive space like cyber security, needs to be leveraged in a proactive way with a variety of outreach tactics. The best time to convert a lead to an opportunity is when they’re in the middle of their research. Intent data, if used correctly, can achieve that exact goal.
Thought Leadership in Cybersecurity
As stated previously, the cybersecurity industry might be one of the most competitive spaces to market in, which makes standing out as a thought leader extremely difficult. It’s safe to assume intent data can help you create stickier marketing campaigns for your buyers, but how? To answer that, let’s look at some commonly used intent data metrics applied that can be applied to thought leadership as a practice.
Most intent data solutions nowadays utilize some sort of social listening AI to better understand company positioning and buyer engagement. As a demand generation marketer, you can leverage this information in campaigns to help address or even mimic the most engaged prospects with pieces of content. Thought leadership, especially in highly transactional B2B purchases, is heavily reliant on keeping prospects engaged.
Analytics software is used in a lot of intent data research initiatives to help gain an understanding of who’s reading which pieces of content the most. Just as B2B marketing can be best summarized as a method of segmenting your audience into various demographics, content engagement tracking is yet another segmentation strategy. Understanding why select prospects read certain pieces of content is crucial in developing your marketing campaigns.
SEO shapes so much of how B2B marketers do their jobs. It’s no different with data allocation. If you disregard looking into the topics that trend as most meaningful among your buyer set, you’ll most likely miss out on new opportunities. Thankfully, this is a core part of what defines intent data as a solution. The best way to leverage this information in your campaigns is to create a cohesive narrative explaining why a certain trending topic applies to the cybersecurity needs of your target audience.
DemandScience and Predictive Analytics
The sheer number of ways one can approach an intent data strategy can be overwhelming. That’s why DemandScience has taken an active approach in defining our lead generation products with our own predictive analytics. By using decisional intent, social and corporate triggers, 1st part content engagement, and analytic aggregation, we’re able to provide the most accurate depiction of who’s really ready to buy.
Cybersecurity and IT buyers represent an over-marketed bunch, fatigued from the generic lead generation practices of today’s B2B marketing teams, which is why effective demand generation is critical for this specific audience—it requires a strategic approach to target the right people at the right time. Luckily for you, DemandScience has the tools to not only enrich your database, but also generate high-quality leads from activated prospects.
If you’d like to learn more, take a look at our solutions page and reach out to us today!
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