The Demand Generation category encompasses a wide range of marketing and sales activities. It overlaps with many other categories such as Campaign Management Software, Content Marketing Software, Marketing Automation Software, Lead Management software, and so on. The first step then is to be clear on the business needs, and then, to focus on the software category.
For instance, Demand Generation Software can aid in cleaning up and deduplication of customer databases by analyzing data from responses, participation in market surveys, user campaigns, and inbound marketing. The emphasis you will place on this capability is necessarily different for different businesses. Bringing clarity to the processes that need to be addressed is the first step in software selection.
Once the list of capabilities is well established, each of the process areas would have its own demands on software capabilities. For example, being able to access the data in your databases (data import) is a critical requirement to deliver clean and deduplicated datasets.
Similarly, for managing any customer engagement, you may need to ensure that the software is GDPR compliant.
Since Demand Generation Software covers a fairly intensive process spanning pretty much all customer interaction interfaces, deploying it is quite an involved commitment. It is important to assess the need and extent of business process migration, including change management.
You will also need to assess the integration needs with your existing marketing stack.
Many software products address a specific set of industry verticals well. Demand Generation software is no different. Similarly, the size of the business can be a determining factor for the kind of software required. It is important to prioritize the products that have a significant presence in your industry and segment.
Given the sensitive nature of the data managed by the software, security considerations play a significant role.
Other common considerations for all software product purchases include the total cost of ownership (including costs beyond price, such as implementation costs, training costs), support capabilities of the vendors, and Cloud versus on-site implementation.
ROI of Demand Management Software
The best way to arrive at ROI calculations for Demand Generation Software could be to compare the traditional and automated modes of the sales process, starting from lead generation and extending all the way to closure. The metrics that could be taken into consideration are success percentage, average lead cost, the average cost per acquisition, average deal size, and the time taken to close a deal. Another important factor that could be taken into consideration is Customer Lifetime Value representing the amount of money that a customer might spend on the company’s products during their ‘customer lifetime’.
It would also be ideal to classify the deals by their size and the kind of campaigns run to close such deals. This will give a clear picture to arrive at insights into which modes of campaign work the best, and will also help in terms of customer profiling for building future sales strategies.
Trends and AI in Demand Generation Software
Moving forward, B2B Marketing Teams will leverage the power of technology in personalizing content to resonate with the needs of the customer to make it more relevant for a faster decision-making process.
Use of a combination of Machine Learning, AI, Social Media, modern and evolving technology tools will be the new means for lead generation, and this will happen at a fraction of the investment with a better rate of success than the traditional model.
AI solutions help in analyzing large sets of data to create solutions that can be independent and can improve productivity by offloading tasks to bots, such as handling messenger queries through chatbots through predictive algorithms on a 24*7 basis thereby reducing the cost of trained executives.
Instead of white papers and brochures, Video Marketing will be a new trend for educating audiences about products and solutions. It is suggested that Videos will make 80% of the consumer online traffic, with some platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube taking the lead among social media platforms for Video Marketing.
Since all customers may not be on the same platform, the use of multi-channel strategies will be adopted for effective reach. The content will be amplified across multiple channels like Social Media, Email Newsletters, Content Distribution Platforms, Online Ads, Online Groups.