5 tips for planning your Demand Generation program with an uncertain ’23 ahead
Happy New Year! ‘22 was tough to plan for with a continued pandemic, market volatility and inflation making businesses uneasy about adopting new tools and services. This type of shake up often impacts the fundamentals of your marketing program.
Facing another year of potential uncertainty in '23, companies will be tightening their belts, and efficiency in your marketing efforts is key. It’s time to reevaluate every aspect of your program to determine what is working and what is not when it comes to your targeting, channel mix and content strategy. Plus, ensure you are a united front with sales. Teamwork and tight coordination will help strengthen your overall efforts and drive better results.
As you begin planning, here are 5 tips to help stay ahead in your Demand Generation efforts in 2023 ...
1. Reevaluate your Total Addressable Market (TAM)
Whether you are a new company or a long-standing one, it’s important to do a diagnostic on the size and make-up of your TAM annually as your product and the types of companies that might be interested in it shift. Utilizing firmographics, you can begin to size your target audience via 3rd party B2B data sources.
As a gut check, take your existing customer data and see if it truly aligns with the TAM you sought to attract. You might ask yourself the following questions to see if your expectations match the reality of your existing customer base:
What role was in the ultimate buying position for your closed won deals?
Are there certain verticals/company sizes that have closed faster or seem to have a better LTV that you should prioritize?
Are there sub-audiences, not previously considered, that are showing signs they could be a lucrative target with proactive marketing efforts?
Don’t be afraid to pivot. In a volatile market, the companies that are more adaptable tend to fair better.
2. Continue to build a diversified data portfolio
Too often we see B2B programs with just one data source (i.e. ZoomInfo). Testing multiple sources and rotating to avoid fatigue is key. List testing is an important part of optimizing marketing efforts for addressable tactics. Build a testing plan with a mix of high-value data sources that will most accurately identify the right businesses and contacts within the TAM. This mix usually consists of large, compiled data sources and vertical lists.
If you have a customer file with enough data, you can use that to build a predictive model on top of a compiled data set. Often, it makes sense to explore a “trigger” strategy that helps you determine a key decision moment or “intent” to buy for a business and capitalizes on it.
3. Create a channel plan calibrated to LTV
Start with an overall assessment of how each channel is doing and trends throughout ‘22. Which channels are up, and which are down? Is there a seasonality to the effectiveness of any of the channels you utilize?
In the assessment, ensure you are comparing apples to apples across channels and looking at the metrics that really matter at the end of the day. If possible, look at the cost vs. the potential life-time-value of a customer.
While looking at the amount of leads each channel can bring in is important, what’s more important is that those leads are qualified, ultimately convert to sales and are profitable. The number of leads alone can be a bit of a vanity metric without the rest of the story. We’ve seen very effective channels for driving qualified leads with big opportunities, like direct mail, be overlooked because cost per lead was the KPI.
Once you have a clear picture of prior learnings, lean in where appropriate and map out the budgets and spend accordingly.
Don’t underestimate the power of an omni-channel approach. Identifying a list of known prospects and creating a “surround sound” effect with channels that are more awareness focused running in tandem with strong direct response channels can often drive the highest response.
4. Have a clear content calendar with resourcing against it
Content is king when it comes to attracting new leads. It’s your “offer” to get the opt-in and stay in front of leads. Ultimately, you’ll need even more content to have a robust and successful nurture program as well.
We’ve seen a lot of programs struggle with not being able to pump out enough content to support marketing budgets, causing fatigue in the market. Often, you are working with a very finite universe of companies and once they’ve seen your LinkedIn ad 10x times, you begin to see a diminishing return before you’ve even spent much of your budget.
Planning ahead is what allows you to have some diversity in your offerings and take some bigger swings. It’s good to map out the content and assign resourcing to it. If you have a content team, great. If not, asking each team member to commit to a few efforts a year works, too.
5. Ensure tight coordination with sales
With longer sales cycles, ensuring sales is enabled with the materials they need, and that marketing has a clear indication of where each lead is within the pipeline to communicate accordingly, are more important than ever.
Consider helping sales draft the communications in each step of the journey and then allowing them to add personalization where needed for a more 1:1 approach. Plus, include general marketing centric communications with further content to address questions, hurdles, and differentiators. Segment by value or vertical for continued optimization over time.
Paying close attention to when leads engage with the content and having sales follow up immediately when it’s top of mind can be a great one-two punch that yields better results.
With our consultative approach at Pragmatic, we love to partner with our clients to create a roadmap for the year. Don’t hesitate to reach out if we can help you build a plan that aligns to your goals and addresses your challenges for 2023.