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Lead generation is easy and demand generation is hard

Are you asking the right questions when it comes to demand generation?

If your marketing team’s primary focus is on lead generation, rather than engaging with qualified accounts, it’s time to challenge the status quo with account-based marketing (ABM). This article discusses how to go beyond email with ABM for B2B demand generation campaigns.

Account-based marketing campaigns take an omnichannel approach. While it incorporates email as a channel, you’re also employing advertising, social media, and additional content to extend your reach within an account.

Let’s look at two of the biggest questions marketers have about demand generation and how to frame those questions in an account-based way.

Lead Generation vs. Demand Generation

First off: what’s the difference between lead generation and demand generation?

Lead generation is simply that: doing whatever it takes to generate as many sales leads as possible and hoping enough of those leads are a good fit for your solution. Demand generation, however, is about getting the right companies in your pipeline and not just any old leads.

Wrong Question: How do I generate more marketing qualified leads (MQLs)?

Right Question: How do I generate more demand in best-fit accounts (MQAs)?

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The goal of account-based marketing is to generate demand that turns into revenue — not to generate leads. That’s because over 99% of marketing generated leads never become customers. It’s exponentially more effective to focus your efforts on selling to companies that you know are a good fit for your solution.

In other words, with ABM you prequalify your accounts and then market to them, rather than having to disqualify the majority of accounts that enter your pipeline.

Why Email Nurturing Isn’t Enough

Since the advent of marketing automation, email nurturing has been the primary way to engage with prospective buyers. They fill out a form or otherwise provide you with their email address, and then your marketing team sends them automated drip emails to nurture them and (hopefully) get them sales-ready.

Wrong Question: How can I use emails to nurture and engage my leads?

Right Question: How can I reach more stakeholders at my target accounts and nurture them on their own terms?

According to KnowledgeTree, the average B2B buying committee is made up of seven to 20 stakeholders — not just one individual. When is the last time you had twenty key contacts for an early-stage prospect’s account in your CRM? If you don’t have the data, you can’t send the emails.

You don’t have to stop using marketing automation platform to nurture leads via email, but taking an email first approach to marketing is no longer enough.

Beyond Email: ABM for Demand Generation

It’s time to start using account-based marketing and sales development tactics to generate demand at target accounts. In addition to traditional email marketing, you can take an account-based approach using tactics like:

Digital Advertisements

Digital ads are scalable, versatile, and unobtrusive. Best of all, with account-based advertising technology you can to reach more contacts at your target accounts even if you don’t have their contact information in your CRM. Digital ads are now more focused and targeted than ever, and you no longer have to waste money advertising to people who are poor fits for your solution.

Web Personalization

When someone visits your account, make them more likely to convert by personalizing your website using dynamic content or variable tags. This can be as simple as calling out the page visitor’s company name or industry, or as complex as showing custom web pages to visitors from your target accounts.

Custom Content

If you’re doing one-to-one account-based marketing in which you treat each account as its own market, you can generate demand in target accounts by providing them with truly unique, customized content that you created just for them. You can also approach content in a programmatic way and display different highly relevant content based on the viewer’s job title, industry, company size, and so on.

When you create custom content for each target account, contacts at those accounts are more likely to share that content with their colleagues — because it is novel, highly relevant, or both! You have the opportunity to create an advocate for your brand who will then spread the word in their company.

Wrapping Up

Once we start asking the right questions about demand generation, it only makes sense to do account-based marketing. Because emails have limited reach and are so often ignored, it’s time for B2B marketers to bring account-based tactics into the demand gen mix. When this is done right using tools like digital advertisements, ABM technology, and custom content, it’s easier and more cost-effective to generate demand for your product and create opportunities for your sales team.