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Are there specific channels you think are a foundation to a Demand Generation strategy?

Keara Cho
Keara Cho
Salesforce Sr. Director, Field MarketingAugust 17

Everything starts with a great organic strategy and an SEO friendly website. When I ran demand gen at a very small company, the sales team was just starting to ramp up and I didn’t have a budget so website/content was where I focused on first. In parallel, if you have a direct sales team outside of a product led selling motion, I would align with your sales leader and all the regional managers and individual AEs. Demand generation is an extension of your sales team and tight alignment between sales and marketing is a key ingrediant to your and your company's revenue goal success.

More tactically speaking, this is how I think about the foundation of my demand gen strategy in priority order:

  • Organic & Paid Channels: Organic is your website. It's a place where your prospects and customers learn about your brand, servces and offerings. It is also a place where you already have existing traffic. SEO is your friend. Often times we get stuck on talking about our products and we fail to do research on the terms our users use to search to get to our website. Keyword research is important because it allows you to do more with less. Make content for high search volume topics. If you have budget, that’s great! Paid digital tactics and SEM, where you can bid on competitors and keywords. Get reviews from customers on G2 Crowd and Capterra, and of course relevant content is always essential. Partnerships can also expand your reach.
  • Website optimization: An easy way to optimize your website is to start running A/B tests. Here at Salesforce we run a lot of A/B test on form pages, campaign pages, and different types of ads (message and copy) — to ensure we are using the best message and on-page functionality that is the most optimal for the conversion path.
  • Email: If you are just starting out, think of your demand gen strategy as these 3 lifecycles: pre-purchase (prospecting), in-trial/evaluation (purchase), and post sales (retention, loyalty, cross-sell, upsell, upgrades). You can start of with building 1 nurture for each of these stages and get more sophisticated once you understand your target audience and their buying behavior more. I would also consider having a different nurture for different selling motion, for example, a nurture for self-service/product led and a separate one for direct sales.
  • Outbound Campaigns & prospecting - One way to get help your sales team with outbound motion is to target top prospect accounts, use data science & lead scoring to pinpoint high quality leads. Send direct mailers to high propensity prospects and personalized 1:1 direct mailers. Keeping tabs on the competition is important, set up Competitive plays and review sites for compete signals.
  • A personalized experience - create this with real time customer interactions across all touchpoints. Connect digital interactions to online/office channels and functions. Design personalized journey’s based on prospects and industries. Use data science and give sales a recommendation action (i.e talk track, assets, data sheets, webinars, etc) to help with their selling cycle. 
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Moon Kang 🚀
Moon Kang 🚀
Showpad Director of Digital Marketing & ABMDecember 8

Programmatic display. 

You cannot GENERATE demand without properly getting in front of folks and visually displaying what you're about. You'd be wasting money without the capabilities to target the RIGHT people to create demand. The right combination of intent data, funnel-specific messaging, and analytics will create the best top-of-funnel experience for prospects you're looking to generate demand. 

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Erika Barbosa
Erika Barbosa
Counterpart Marketing LeadDecember 18

Specifically focusing on “foundational” channels, I would recommend three: SEO, email, and CRO. Depending on the business, there may be adjustments to this, but the channels I outlined below are applicable across the board.

  • Search engine optimization (SEO). Your SEO strategy is for playing the long game. You may be able to gain some quick wins depending on where your website is from an organic perspective, but it’s an investment in future wins. Produce content that adds value and is written for the users who would consume it - not just for the purpose of ranking. Write content in service of your customers and potential customers.
  • Email. Email is often underrated, but it is foundational to a demand generation strategy. Be sure the emails you send are valuable to the recipient. This branches out to lifecycle marketing motions, but email is the one tactic that I would say is a must.
  • Conversion rate optimization (CRO). I’m a firm believer in website testing. This may take the form of A/B testing or multivariate testing. Preferably this is done with a testing tool that can help you do smarter testing.

Sure there are other channels such as paid search, ABM, and out-of-home to name a few, but I wouldn’t consider those required or foundational. All other channels outside of SEO, email, and CRO would be additive depending on the demand gen strategy; they build upon the foundation you have established.

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