The Demand Generation Disconnect
Key opportunities for b-to-b publishers in content marketing.
Only 20 percent of sales and marketing executives are confident that their current demand generation campaigns are effective, according to recently released research from Corporate Visions, Inc., a leading sales and marketing messaging company.
Based on a poll of more than 440 b-to-b sales and marketing professionals around the globe, the survey results aren’t really surprising and highlight both a challenge and opportunity for publishers and their clients.
While there is a lot of great data, which is detailed in Corporate Visions’ Q2 2012 Sales and Marketing Messaging Report, I suggest publishing executives focus on three key takeaways:
• The Content Gap: When asked to name the biggest barrier to successful demand generation campaigns, 37 percent of respondents said their content isn’t engaging enough. This represents a prime opportunity for publishers to help their clients upgrade their content campaigns with offers that are relevant to their prospects.
• Off-Base Offers: 60 percent of respondents said their organizations’ demand generation campaigns focus too heavily on their own products, features and services, rather than focusing on their customers’ pain points.
With many of our clients in the high tech sector, we refer to this as “speeds and feeds” disease. The natural inclination for sales and marketing is to talk about how much better their solution is, but prospects are more interested in talking about their own business challenges and how to solve them.
According to the results of our recent 2012 Content Preferences Survey, 75 percent of the respondents want companies to curb the sales messaging in their content. Another 60 percent said they’re placing a greater emphasis on the trustworthiness of the source when they assess the value of a piece of content.
Because publishers are dialed in to the issues that are top of mind within their communities and have experts on the topics, this represents another perfect opportunity to step in and bridge the gap from publishing one-way narratives to establishing a real dialogue with prospects.
• The Disconnect Between Sales And Marketing: 65 percent of respondents said their sales teams use less than half of the demand generation content their marketing department produces.
Over the years, I’ve worked on a lot of business publications where our sales reps were only talking to marketing executives. When publishers get closer to the sales team at their clients they can identify the pain points and gaps where the sales team feels like they need new and improved messaging.
With many of our current clients, we’ve been able to create e-books that are wildly popular with sales teams, in addition to being used as bait for lead generation campaigns. This should be the goal for publishers: Become a partner in driving the messaging that will help drive revenue.
I’d recommend checking out the full survey from Corporate Visions, as well as some of the content work the company is doing. There are ideas publishers will want to adopt and bring to their customers.
Andrew Gaffney is the President of G3 Communications, Inc., a firm specializing in digital media and custom contnent. G3 Communications publishes DemandGen Report, Retail TouchPoints and Channel Marketer Report. In addition to its digital publications, G3’s Content4Demand marketing services division creates custom content optimized for lead generation and lead nurturing campaigns for more than 100 different clients ranging from Fortune 100 firms to venture-backed startups.