Nothing beats scoring a marketing goal and producing effective, quality leads with a demand generation campaign. But these goals become far easier to achieve if you’ve already built a strong connection to your brand. Without the right balance between the two, it’s easy for B2B companies to focus too heavily on one at the expense of the other.
It’s easy to understand why many B2B marketers rely heavily on demand generation. It drives fast, measurable sales in the short term and plays an essential role in generating demand, revenue and growth.
But you won’t build a loyal following that way.
As effective as this kind of tactical activity is for short-term selling, it’s rarely very memorable. Its effects don’t last long and do little to foster long-term growth. If you focus exclusively on demand, you’ll struggle with a constant need to pursue fresh leads and get in front of new buyers.
Brand awareness is the ideal teammate to demand generation because it establishes your brand as trustworthy and knowledgeable in your field. It helps to create a positive perception of your company and its offerings, making it more likely that customers will turn to you when they’re ready to buy. This approach delivers positive experiences across the entire buyer journey — before, during and after the sale — rather than focusing on a single conversion point. This approach not only builds loyalty and repeat sales, it encourages referral business, generating new customers with much less effort on your part.
So what’s the right balance? Research by Les Binet and Peter Field identified that B2B marketers following a mix of 46% brand and 54% demand had the highest rate of “goal completion” by working together to target and nurture audiences.