How to quickly ramp up demand generation: An analytical framework for selecting the most effective channels

Here’s a conversation I have on a regular basis:

“Nobody knows about us. We need to double the number of new Sales Opportunities we’re creating.” — CEO

“Gotcha. In what time frame?” — me

“Now / yesterday / next week / this month / other very very short period” — CEO

For an even more interesting plot twist, add the following: “Oh, and we don’t have a marketing budget or headcount.”

My reply?

“No problem, I have precisely the marketing tactic for you!!! Have the CEO run naked in Times Square. You’ll get a ton of press immediately, for free, with minimal time investment.”

Short timeframe? Check. No budget? Check. No headcount? Check.

And back to reality…

In this post, I’m not going to share a magical (or asinine) strategy for doubling your demand generation volume in a week. Instead, I’ll describe an analytical framework for picking the most effective marketing activities according to constraints like time, money, and headcount.

Here’s a quick example: If you’re short on time, have limited marketing resources (headcount), but a sizable budget — in other words you can “throw money at the problem” — consider content syndication with a few leading industry publications.

Here are more examples of general and specific marketing channels and tactics, and their corresponding attributes.

B2B Marketing Channels and The Five Effectiveness Attributes Map

channel / tactic
Time to resultsResource investment (headcount)$ investmentCost effectiveness / ROIDemand volume (how many leads)
Need to wait for the right ones
Lots of work to do it right
The higher your ACV, the most cost-effective these can be. More here
Audience targeting is out of your control
Creating quality content takes time and can’t be outsourced
ABM / list building and outbound email prospectingShort
As short as 2-3 weeks for experienced marketers
With the right tools
Benchmarks and recommendations here
When it works. Sometimes it completely bombs
Content marketingLong
Producing a robust body of high-quality content can take months
If you’re after quality, you can’t outsource
Content syndication through industry publicationsShortLowHighLowHigh
Online advertising (PPC)ShortLow
“Roadshow” – send the sales team to a city and host a client / prospect dinnerShortMediumMediumHighLow
Community buildingLong
Plan for at least two quarters to start seeing any tangible results
Though rewards aren’t always clear, the ROI is there when done right

To use this framework, explicitly define your own attributes (e.g. Budget = Low, Headcount = Medium), and see which channels and tactics match them.

For example: If you need to significantly and immediately increase demand generation, have decent marketing headcount and limited marketing budget, you should look into webinars.

The tactics above are just a few examples, so you can and should consider additional ones (e.g. co-marketing partnerships, podcast advertising, influencers, analyst research reports, producing your own events, and many more).

Of course, there are other, specific factors to consider: Do you already have good content? Do you have good clients who can be webinar speakers? Are conferences particularly effective in your industry? Do your sales people absolutely despise conferences? All of these should be taken into account. But the five attributes described above are applicable across channels, and thus useful for high-level comparison.

The bottom line

“Email prospecting is amazing.” “Email prospecting sucks.” Neither statement is true or false – it depends on the context and your company’s constraints at a certain point in time.
Using the Five Effectiveness Attributes Framework will help you plan out a marketing strategy that’s most productive for your needs and circumstances. Give it a shot the next time you need to DOUBLE YOUR DEMOS, NOW.

Further reading

Netta is the founder and CEO of Blue Seedling. She loves third wave coffee, thin crust pizza, and B2B marketing.

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