Demand generation marketers are tasked with navigating a never-ending stream of technological advancements in order to identify which strategies and tactics drive the best outcomes. As a result, marketers are taking creative new approaches that not only redefine the way we think of successful demand generation strategies, but inspire us to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and take risks. We want people to get excited about our products and services, we want them talking about us, and most importantly – we want them wanting more.
The challenge of demand generation is to not only keep up with the newest trends and strategic approaches, but to ensure that you are still connecting to your target accounts as part of an Account-Based Marketing approach. All of this, while still achieving the task at hand: to generate demand for your product or service in order to drive more business. So for marketers, the strategy begins by looking at what does and doesn’t work.
Field Events Lead the Pack
Following the close of one of our busiest event seasons, we crunched the numbers to get a clear picture of what demand generation channels generated the most business opportunities for Certain. Unsurprisingly, we found that field events were by far our most successful channel in this respect, which aligns with what we have seen in the past.
A 2017 event marketing survey by Certain revealed that 77% of enterprise marketers gave their events four or five stars (out of five) for driving demand generation. In this highly digital age, field events are uniquely effective in that they offer face-to-face interactions that enable companies to deepen relationships and accelerate the sales cycle. No campaign is as powerful as a shared story, common interest, or mutual pain point that you can hash out in person. Furthermore, all follow-up communication now comes with a face that your target can recognize by name, and a personalized approach that can often be the deciding factor between an unread email and a welcomed response.
It’s Not Just the Big Events
While tradeshows and conferences tend to be the primary source for opportunities, we’ve seen great results coming from smaller, more intimate field events such as dinners, happy hours, or other ancillary events that can be organized around these larger events. It’s these smaller events that allow you to really hone in on your target accounts and ensure that your efforts are best spent where they can be measured – in that ever-important, one-on-one engagement.
A Website That Pulls Its Weight
Going into 2018, Certain underwent a re-branding that inspired us to review and revamp our website. We took this opportunity to not only introduce our new branding, but to really develop what we see as the most important elements of a successful website. Our aim was to provide both prospects and customers with a seamless, personalized experience that was not only easy to navigate, but provided the most relevant information on our company and products with as few clicks as possible.
In our recent evaluation, we found that second to field events, our website was our next highest performing demand generation channel in terms of opportunity creation. This acts as a major signal to us that we have succeeded in delivering the goals we set out to achieve with our current website. The majority of our web-generated opportunities came to us through our “act now” form process, which involves clear and immediate access to contact and demo request forms. These call-to-action buttons are available through every page on our website, allowing prospects immediate access to initiate contact with someone from our team depending on their request.
The Dream Team
Certain’s outbound strategy of hosting in-person events (VIP dinners, booths, parties and case studies at trade shows, etc.) has significantly helped to generate awareness about our products, services and solutions. This increased awareness has successfully resulted in driving more traffic to our website, which ultimately optimizes our inbound strategy. Essentially, our top two demand generation channels – in-person events and website – work hand in hand to make Certain successful.
If one of the defining factors for a successful demand generation strategy is measured by the ability to connect with target customers, having this comprehensive understanding of our own successful channels helps to measure that success and contribute to future campaigns. The trick is to use this information to keep the engine moving forward, creating new opportunities with fresh and exciting ideas to help keep us ahead of the curve.