Adopting a Demand Generation Strategy
Installing a demand generation strategy is not the simplest of marketing activities. The strategy depends not only on a tight integration between recruiters (sales) and marketing but also on the ability and the conditioning of the business to measure a return at all stages of the demand generation process.
According to Hubspot, there are typically 4 stages a business can go through before achieving a revenue generation strategy through marketing efforts.
45% of companies never move beyond the 1st stage of adopting traditional marketing activity
45% of companies never move beyond the 1st stage of adopting traditional marketing activity – the type of activity which has given marketing the label of ‘the make it pretty department’. This equates to no real revenue being generated by the marketing function, who are blindly spending budgets.
25% of businesses move slightly beyond traditional marketing activity and create a lead generation function.
25% of businesses move slightly beyond traditional marketing activity and create a lead generation function. This often equates to any and all leads generated being sent to sales. The quality of the leads is not checked and sales quickly become disenfranchised leading to a total disconnect between marketing and sales. Culturally this is very hard to rectify. Financially it’s very difficult to record a return on investment; because although metrics such as emails sent, open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates and cost per lead can be measured, all insight is lost once handed over to sales.
The 3rd stage of marketing evolution is the toughest and only 25% of organisations make the leap to a demand generation strategy. This is the most difficult step to take as it requires strong leadership and a marketing team who are comfortable with revenue accountability.
At this stage, marketing automation and a CRM form the backbone of the closed-loop reporting system which is the foundation of the strategy. It’s at this stage we can start talking about funnel conversions: where marketing and sales work collaboratively to attract, engage, nurture, convert and retain.
The metrics in this stage differ significantly from prior stages: from activity-based metrics to revenue-based metrics. Key metrics here include the number of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) sent to sales, percent of MQLs that convert to opportunities and sales, and the number of days to close.
Once this level of activity is embedded into the business, it won’t take much to make the final leap to a revenue marketing strategy. Only 5% of businesses practice in this way. This is everything that exists in the demand generation strategy but with all the revenue generated and attributed to marketing, now delivered through a repeatable, predictable and scalable machine.
What value does a Demand Generation Strategy create?
To start with, you need to create a foundation via layers of traditional and demand generation strategies working together, but with metrics. The starting point essentially is creating an inbound strategy where personalised, relevant content is delivered to ideal prospects.
You should be able to attract, convert, close and delight visitors, leads and clients through a variety of channels like social media, blogs, SEO and email. At the centre of this marketing universe is your website, and this is where you should measure 5 key activities:
- Average monthly visitors
- Average number of leads per month
- Percentage of qualified leads
- Close rate
- Customer lifetime value
Once you have the data for the 5 points above, you can estimate the value a demand generation and revenue marketing strategy can bring to the business, using and online calculator.
Using the calculator, I created the following scenario:
- 10,000 visitors a month to the website,
- Generates 10 inbound prospects,
- Conversion rate at 30% to a marketing qualified lead (MQL)
- Close rate of 50%
- Customer lifetime value of £100,000
This equates to:
- 0.1% conversion rate
- 3 MQLs per month
- 1.5 new customers per month
- £150,000 generated per month
If we could just…
- Increase conversion by 1%, this would result in £1,500,000 in revenue on the bottom line
- Increase traffic to the website by 30%, would add a further £45,000 to the bottom line
- With both the 1% increase in conversion rates and the 30% more traffic to the site, you could add £1,995,000 to the bottom line.
By adopting and working to a content-led, demand generation strategy, recruitment agencies can simultaneously:
- Increase visibility and drive more legitimate interest to the business development organisation, via the website
- Increase engagement and reduce churn via high quality education and thought-leadership content
- Establish a voice as a thought-leader through increased visibility and online reputation management
The 5 Steps to Creating an Awesome Return
Transforming an agency’s marketing strategy into a revenue or demand generation strategy will take time, patience and an adoption of new technology or a really long hard look at the tech you’ve got in place.
As a minimum you will need:
- A dynamic website
- A marketing automation platform
- An email / social communications distribution service
- A reporting function that can measure impact across all systems
It’s important to ensure your website is dynamic, or that it sits on a dynamic platform and that you can measure visits and the journey, as well as be able to split-test content to find the best user experience.
For marketing automation, Candidate.ID is the most groundbreaking, recruitment specific tool on the market right now. There are of course the giants of marketing automation: Hubspot, Pardot and Marketo, to name but a few, which can and will work for you – it’s just that they don’t follow the recruitment process.
So, given the tech and process refinements that you’ve read about above, here’s our recommended steps to creating an awesome return on a Demand Generation Marketing Strategy.
1# Website optimisation
- Optimise the user experience (UX)
- Review and revise user journey
- Review and revise content
- Review and analyse traffic from owned, earned and paid for channels
2# Content strategy
- Analyse customer base, traits and needs, defining personas
- Review of channels to reach marketplace
- Create content schedule
- Content production
- Develop content promotion schedule
3# Marketing Technology
- Website, CMS, blog technology fit for purpose review
- Marketing automation workflow design
- Asset templates and delivery systems for landing pages, emails and social posts
- Social scheduling
- Analytics and insight for traffic and ROI
4# Digital Marketing Strategy
- Establish digital brand guidelines
- Develop 4 campaign concepts for next 12 months
- Map campaigns to channels and create budget outline for maximum exposure
5# Review and analytics
- Establish marketing reporting function and provide monthly reviews and suggestions for reform
Are You Ready to Make A Return on Your Marketing Efforts?
Get in touch with Talent Stories today to discuss how you can profit from a demand generation strategy.
Talent Stories believe that every recruitment business needs to align strategy, people and technology to scale, grow and succeed.
Talent Stories helps recruitment and talent technology businesses to excel through strategic consultation and effective marketing programs. We work with you to design, develop and deliver marketing strategies that optimise internal resources and maximise the use of relevant technology, to create revenue growth.
Talent Stories specialise in supporting in recruitment businesses to align marketing strategy, resources and technology to create amazing results.