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August 17, 2023

Demand Creation: The New Frontier for B2B Marketing

In the ever-evolving world of business-to-business (B2B) marketing, there’s a new horizon that professionals are setting their sights on: demand creation. Gone are the days when marketing was solely focused on promoting existing products to existing customers or look-alike audiences showing signs of intent. In our rapidly changing marketplace, success hinges on our ability to create and cultivate demand, steering potential customers towards needs they might not yet even realize they have.

The Landscape of Demand Creation

So, what is demand creation exactly? At its core, it’s about generating demand for a product or service within a market, and it goes far beyond simple lead generation. Demand creation involves a deep and strategic approach, positioning your product or service as not just a solution, but the solution. It’s about educating and engaging with potential customers well before they’ve made the decision to buy.

Consider the approach of a tech company launching a new software suite for small businesses. Instead of only targeting businesses that are actively looking for new software, the company crafts insightful content about the challenges faced by small businesses. This content, replete with webinars, eBooks, and case studies, doesn’t just sell software; it sells a vision of a more efficient, profitable, and sustainable business. In this way, the company isn’t just finding customers; it’s creating them.

The Strategies: A Tapestry, Not a List

Now, let’s look into the strategies. These aren’t so much a checklist to tick off, but a rich tapestry of interconnected approaches that B2B marketers can weave into their broader strategy.

Storytelling and Vision Casting is crucial. Take Salesforce as an example. They didn’t just sell a CRM; they sold the vision of a completely connected business world through their “Customer Success Platform”. Salesforce used storytelling to paint a vivid picture of success for potential customers, positioning their platform as indispensable for achieving this vision.

Educational Content is another key strategy. It isn’t about your product or service; it’s about your audience’s pain points and how to solve them. This is where webinars, workshops, eBooks, and whitepapers come into play. Cisco, for instance, does this brilliantly with its extensive library of resources aimed at solving complex tech challenges.

Related Resources: Weaving Strategies: The Artful Approach to Demand Creation in B2B Marketing

Getting the Green Light: Convincing Upper Management

This all sounds great, but how does a marketing professional persuade upper management to pivot in this direction? It’s a significant shift, and the decision-makers will want to know if the move is worth the resources.

First and foremost, Data is Your Ally. Before presenting to management, gather evidence. Show them the numbers that underscore the potential ROI of demand creation strategies. For instance, how educational content not only attracts more leads but leads that convert at a higher rate.

Speak Their Language, too. Frame the conversation in terms of business objectives and strategic goals. It’s not just about ‘creating demand’; it’s about sustainable growth, market leadership, and long-term customer relationships.

And don’t forget the power of a Pilot Program. Propose a small-scale, low-risk demand creation campaign as a proof of concept. By showcasing the potential through a real-world example, you’re providing tangible evidence of the strategy’s effectiveness.

The New Frontier is Here

In this new frontier, B2B marketing becomes less about selling and more about relationship-building, less about responding to demand, and more about creating it. In a world where products are increasingly commoditized, demand creation offers a way to transcend the noise, to move from being just another vendor to becoming a trusted partner.

As we stand on the cusp of this exciting new era, the question for B2B marketing professionals is clear: Are you ready to lead the charge into the new frontier of demand creation? Because in today’s fast-paced, ever-evolving business landscape, those who can create demand—not just respond to it—are the ones who will truly thrive.

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