B2B marketing often lags a decade behind B2C marketing. If you want to know where B2B is going, then just take cues from B2C. In fact, the lines are now more blurred together than ever before. Due to this trend, an important question remains: is demand generation or branding more important?
The answer now remains the same as it did years ago: stop thinking about demand generation and branding in silos. Simply put, you’re setting yourself up for failure if you do.
Brand not only drives demand but also now plays a role across the entire customer funnel. It’s time we took a page out of the B2C playbook and stopped treating these two very important facets of marketing separately.
Branding Is the Heartbeat of Demand Generation
An effective demand generation strategy means new eyeballs on your brand, so what do those leads see at first interaction? More importantly, how do they feel? If your brand isn’t a delightful experience out of the gate, that awareness is wasted.
The most thoughtful brand experiences first build trust and then win business. From your website to your blog content, every single touchpoint is a chance to communicate authenticity and value. Every inch of your brand efforts should help drive demand for your product. Investing in your brand now will literally pay off.
In today’s climate, customer retention is the new acquisition. Top of the funnel growth still matters, but keeping current customers happy provides the greatest opportunity for expansion. Marketers have shifted from a pure acquisition and growth marketing mindset to lifetime value. A brand built on delivering value and being a trusted partner will win demand long-term.
Customers Want a Trusted Partner, Not a Brand Promise
Stop leaning on mission and value statements to build trust with customers. Prove it instead!
Customers are seeking trusted partners. Expansion with current accounts is the best way to drive growth, but this is only possible when companies foster trust, earn credibility and actually deliver. Understanding your customers’ goals and needs, and then working with them to achieve them will outweigh lip-service about new features any day. When you play the long game, customers will remember how you respond.
To that end, we’re in the middle of a big shift. B2B marketers are making long-term platform bets with trusted partners over a cobblestone tech stack on solutions and integrations. The reality of today’s world means companies need to become more efficient in capturing demand and driving sales efficiency.
Create a Movement
Many consumer brands have created a cult-like following because they’ve started a meaningful movement. The truth is that consumers crave association with brands that stand for something.
B2B buyers increasingly desire the same relationship. Decision makers want to associate with meaningful brands so companies with an established and positive brand tend to have an advantage no matter the industry they belong to.
Your brand is not what you say it is. It’s the sum of the conversations happening around you. So, can you say with confidence that brand is your biggest demand driver?