B2B companies thrive on the ability to build scalable and sustainable demand generation programs. The challenge, however, is that many organizations are competing for the same audiences — which makes it a challenge to stand out and convert audiences into leads.

In the B2B space especially, audiences are growing less and less tolerant of aggressive sales tactics like one-size-fits-all pop-ups. They’re also hesitant to sign up for email lists or download ‘free’ offers, for fear that they will be spammed indefinitely.

To create an effective demand generation strategy, marketers need to step up their game to understand their target customers’ biggest needs, challenges, and pain points. This knowledge should guide the development of incentives, offers, and resources. Rely on the following four steps to guide you:

Step 1: Build customer development into your marketing process

You may think you know what your target customers want, but without a direct line of communication to your audience, you’re simply throwing darts in the dark. To build a high-performing demand generation strategy, your marketing team needs to maintain an open line of communication with your customers and prospects.

One way to accomplish this goal is to conduct case study interviews. This information, in addition to facilitating your team’s learning process, will generate a wealth of customer education and PR material.

You can also ask your marketing team to take turns commanding your company’s live chat and customer support phone lines. Eventbrite’s client service team, for instance, hosts ‘learning’ sessions for employees in product, marketing, and engineering to engage with customers directly.

Step 2: Figure out your sales team's pain points

When B2B organizations begin to scale, sales teams are often the first to ‘feel’ the pressure. In high-growth organizations, sales and client service team members will need to optimize the time that they’re spending with individual customers.

One way to learn your sales team’s pain points is to gain an understanding of their prospects’ frequently asked questions. Your marketing team can respond by producing collateral that answers these questions and empowers online audiences to self-direct their learning processes.

Step 3: Create a customer advisory board

The best way to drive demand for your product is to give your customers a stake in what you’re building. A customer advisory board can help you achieve this goals by creating a direct bridge between your target audiences and product teams.

Your advisory board will serve as a core group of stakeholders -- who will ultimately become a referral engine for your company. The best way to build an engaged customer base is to build a product that is tailored, authentically, to their needs.

The end result will be a product that markets itself.

Step 4: Personalize offers, incentives, and calls to action

No two customers are the same. When prospects visit your website, they are coming to you to solve a unique set of challenges. In some cases, your one-size-fits-all lead magnets will be relevant, but in some cases, they won’t.

Your marketing messages need to be relevant at every audience touchpoint, and there are two ways to accomplish this goal:

1. Target audiences with offers based on their interests and
2. Target audiences based on specific actions that they're taking on your website

Marketers can use tools like the Progressive CTA to reach audiences based on their precise needs and interests, with messaging and incentives that reach them at the ‘right’ times in their buying journeys. By targeting audiences more precisely and ‘in the moment,’ Progressive CTAs will increase conversions and consequently reduce churn.

Final Thoughts

Healthy B2B brands are built on close relationships with customers. Your demand generation strategy will help you scale these key connections -- but only if you’re able to maintain a high level of personalization. Make sure you’re reaching audiences in the moment, 1:1.