b2b demand generation

B2B Demand Generation: The Only Guide You’ll Need This Year

Key points

  1. B2B demand generation refers to the marketing strategies used to create awareness, interest, and ultimately drive demand for a company’s products or services, with expected trends in 2024 including further integration of artificial intelligence and shifts to more brand-oriented tactics.
  2. Popular strategies for B2B demand generation now include personalization, account-based marketing, collaboration with industry influencers, SEO and content marketing, social media advertising, and exploring cookie-less advertising methods due to rising privacy regulations.
  3. As businesses adapt to technological advancements and stricter privacy regulations, it’s crucial to build trust with their audience through personalized, ethical marketing approaches, and focus on strategies that address their customers’ pain points and needs.

“Build it and they will come” tends to be the kind of marketing advice everyone shares—and incorrectly so. Sure, good products tend to do a lot of marketing for themselves. But if you want people to actually know your great product or service exists, you need to engage in demand gen. This is particularly true in B2B, where many times, customers don’t know they need the services they do.

Thousands of businesses are born every day, around the world. Demand generation helps you make sure yours stands out from the crowd.

What are the trends that will dominate business to business lead generation in 2024?

What is B2B demand generation in 2024?

B2B demand generation refers to the marketing strategies and tactics businesses use to create awareness, generate interest, and ultimately drive demand for the products or services they sell.

The term has been around for several years, and although the specific tactics associated with it may have shifted significantly, the overall goal remains the same: to attract and engage potential customers and ultimately convert them into paying clients.

In 2024, B2B demand generation is set to continue evolving as companies adapt to changing consumer behaviors, an increasingly digital marketplace, and artificial intelligence advancements.

To see what’s really going on in B2B demand generation, I took a look at Act-On’s The State of Marketing Automation: New Research for the B2B Marketer, as well as other market signals I’ve been noticing over the last year.

Top 3 reasons one third of B2B marketers implement automation

Implementing automation has been on the lips of demand generation marketing teams for a long time. But the aforementioned research paper shows the top three most common reasons for implementing automation:

  1. streamlining marketing and sales efforts

  2. improving customer experience

  3. minimizing manual tasks

There’s room for improvement in how successful automation is

Only 22% of respondents believe their automation implementation is the best in class. The majority (more than 60%) feels there’s room for improvement, as they thought their automation implementation is only somewhat successful.

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On the bright side, only 16% of respondents think their automations are completely unsuccessful.

More than half of marketers think better data = better chance of success

To be more specific, 58% of B2B marketers think one of the keys to success is having better quality data. Strategic execution and alignment between sales and marketing came in as the next two tactics that influence success, with 49%, respectively 46% of respondents marking these as important efforts.

Email marketing reigns supreme in B2B marketing automation

Automation seems to be everywhere, but if you ever wonder what, more specifically, are marketers doing with it—it’s email marketing. Most of the respondents (71%) are using automation to fuel their email marketing efforts.

Artificial intelligence is becoming unavoidable

In 2023, 63% of marketers used artificial intelligence, at least to some extent. Considering this was the year generative AI actually took the world by storm, that’s a pretty high number—which can only mean one thing: we’re about to see more AI in the coming years.

There’s a shift in playbooks and attribution models

The emergence of AI has supercharged content creation and social media efforts, but it has also forced marketers to face the challenges of attribution and accurate data collection. As Jon Miller, co-founder at Marketo (and inventor of the current B2B playbook) puts it, we might (very soon) have to revert to more brand-oriented tactics.

As the technology evolves, so do marketing playbooks and attribution models. Expect to see more changes in this area as B2B demand generation continues to evolve.

6 B2B demand generation strategies to try

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to demand generation. But there are strategies, tactics, and best practices bound to help you get started.

Related

Personalization

simple in-app personalization

With advancements in technology and data collection, personalization has become a key tactic for successful demand generation. By tailoring content and messaging to specific audiences and individuals, B2B companies can increase engagement and conversions. This could include personalized emails, targeted advertisements, and customized landing pages.

Account-based marketing

Instead of targeting a wide audience, account-based marketing focuses on specific high-value accounts and tailors messaging and tactics to them. This approach allows for more precise targeting and personalization, resulting in higher conversion rates.

Creator marketing

Collaborating with industry influencers can help businesses gain credibility and reach new audiences. By partnering with relevant influencers, B2B companies can tap into their existing followers and leverage their expertise to promote their products or services.

Think of it as sharing trust. Creators have built relationships with their followers and have earned their trust. By partnering with them, businesses can leverage that trust to gain attention and ultimately drive demand for their offerings.

SEO and content marketing

Creating high-quality, informative content and optimizing it for search engines is crucial in driving organic traffic and establishing thought leadership. Many have foreseen the death of content and SEO, particularly in an AI-driven world. So far, AI has only been proven to help content marketers, rather than hinder their efforts.

Good to know

Whatever the impact of emerging tech will be on content marketing, one thing’s for certain: it does remain one of the least expensive and most effective means of building an audience, driving attention, and gaining your audience’s trust (and business).

Social media advertising

With the majority of B2B buyers using social media to research products and services, advertising on platforms like LinkedIn can be highly effective in reaching and engaging potential customers. By targeting specific job titles and industries, businesses can increase their chances of reaching decision-makers within their target audience.

Cookies and reckless data collection are having their final moments in digital marketing. With major privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA already in place and Google planning to end cookies, businesses need to start exploring cookie-less advertising solutions. This may include alternative targeting methods such as contextual advertising or first-party data collection through website interactions.

Marketers won’t have access to as much data as they did until now, but, in the end, that’s a good thing. Yes, you will have access to less data—but that means it’ll be much more precious. And you can finally regain your audience’s trust with marketing tactics that are more ethical. 

B2B demand generation FAQ

What is the job of the B2B demand generation function?

The main job of the B2B demand generation function is to drive interest and demand for a company’s products or services among potential customers. This involves creating and implementing strategies, tactics, and demand generation campaigns that aim to attract and engage target audiences and ultimately convert them into leads or customers.

How to increase B2B demand generation?

There are many ways to increase B2B demand generation, but some of the most effective strategies include personalization, account-based marketing, collaborating with industry influencers, and utilizing SEO and social media advertising. It’s essential to constantly analyze and adjust your tactics to find what works best for your target audience.

Kick-start your demand generation campaign

B2B demand generation has changed. As AI becomes more prevalent and privacy regulations tighten, marketers need to adapt their tactics and focus on building trust with their audience through personalized, ethical approaches.

Despite the shift, the main idea behind it will always stay the same: be where your customers are, craft strategies that address their pain points and needs, and create demand for your offerings. And lastly, make sure that the demand you generate fits into your B2B lead generation funnel.

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