Why Your Tech Company Should Focus on Digital Demand Generation
By Ronan Keane
January 18, 2018
If your technology company’s digital marketing budget doesn’t include room for digital demand generation strategies, you risk falling seriously behind.
Demand generation and filling your funnel with a big volume of sales leads is where good sales people die.
In the world of digital relationship marketing, customers in both the B2B and B2C sectors are looking for services and products that add real value to their lives.
Cold calls and basic e-mail blasts (see unsubscribe rate below) just don’t cut it anymore—potential customers are out there right now looking for quality information in different media types that connects with them and a brand, product or service, and digital demand generation is the best way to do just that.
56% of email users unsubscribe from a business email subscription because of content that is no longer relevant (Source: ChadwickMartinBailey).
When you see all the different ways that digital lead generation for technology companies can grow your business and increase sales long-term, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t start investing in this strategy years ago.
Pro Tip Segment your prospects into Groups within your email marketing or marketing automation platform. A group can be based upon their title, topic of the content they downloaded, a web form on a specific product or service page they completed.
1. Generate More Sales-Qualified Leads
At the end of the day, every company has the same goal: to increase sales. But a lead isn’t an automatic sale, just like someone who walks into a retail store doesn’t always buy something.
Lead generation is only the crucial first step—you can’t convert potential customers if they aren’t even familiar with your company’s brand to begin with.
Digital lead generation for technology companies, SaaS or software companies is an effective strategy for attracting more marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) and sales-qualified leads (SQLs).
MQLs find your content engaging and are interested in learning more—SQLs are opportunities (prospects who have indicated that they’re very interested in your solution/service) or are ready to buy. See the Buyer's Journey map below.
Pro Tip Be sure to use lead scoring so you can easily define an MQL from a SQL. Keep your lead scoring simple. Include your prospect's title, their industry, their location, online behavior and content engagement.
2. Differentiate Your Software/SaaS/IT Company from the Competition
The majority of software, SaaS and IT businesses are small, most with less than 100 employees. Because of this, competition is tough, and if you’re new to the market, attracting potential customers can feel like climbing up a metal slide with socks on.
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Strategic digital lead generation and brand building using inbound marketing can help yours differentiate itself from the pack and gain much-needed traction in a highly competitive market.
By switching to an inbound, content-driven marketing strategy, you can prove to potential customers that your business is one worth investing in.
How do you that? You do it by developing content that speaks to all the most serious issues your prospects face and questions they need answered as they launch initiatives that they provide IT-related services for.
In other words, you need to develop a buyer’s journey map that includes content in the Entertain, Guides, Persuade, Convert and Keep stages.
Content Map for Your Buyer's Journey
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Some of the content listed above can be interchangeable depending upon the technology, decision maker’s title and cost of the solution.
3. Strengthen Prospect Relationships
Marketing isn’t a one-way street anymore—today, there’s a constant back and forth between companies. For B2B tech companies, investing in digital lead generation and nurture strategies is an effective way to foster strong relationships with prospects.
Unlike other marketing methods that simply seek to raise awareness for a product or service, digital lead generation and nurture has the potential to actually add value to prospects’ lives.
Through information sites, how-to blog posts, service/product reviews, remarketing and predictive modeling, digital lead generation can provide valuable information that your prospects actually want to engage with.
And because your interactions with leads are based on their interests, behaviors, and activities, you can personalize your content to maximize sales.
Technologies used to increase relevancy include retargeting as well as data-driven artificial intelligence (AI) marketing platforms like Clearbit, Everstring and a growing number of others. Read this case study to learn more.
You can drop a cookie for 90 days on a visitor’s browser and then subsequently deliver customized content on third party sites.
You can customize the content they see depending upon the pages they visited on your website.
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Content Management System websites like WordPress, Joomla or Drupal are particularly helpful for presenting a visitor with customized content reflective of the prospect’s browsing and self-selected interest via pages visited and content downloaded.
Pro Tip Use a combination of retargeting with cookies and user website tracking to determine interest-level of a prospect. Match user tracking to email open rate by that user and determine if they're still an MQL or now an SQL.
4. 24/7 Marketing Opportunities
One of digital media’s greatest advantages is that it’s always available anytime, anywhere, and to anyone with an internet connection. Whether you’re aware of it or not, with digital lead generation you’re marketing your tech company 24/7.
When it comes to lead generation for tech companies, your strategy should include a consistent content publishing cycle in order to position yourself at the top of your prospects’ minds.
You don't need a lot of content but it needs to be top shelf. That's how you differentiate your company from your competitors. Focus on developing content that educates and surprises.
Again, that publishing cycle can consist of customized content based upon website browsing behavior, specific topic subscriptions delivered by email, remarketing on third party websites and search engine search queries.
There isn’t a software, SaaS or IT company in the world that isn’t interested in increasing lead volume and, in turn, increasing sales.
So as you decide how to allocate your digital marketing budget, keep the benefits of lead generation strategies in mind.
If you're interested in learning more about digital lead generation and effective inbound marketing schedule a 30 minute call with me, Ronan Keane.