The Road To Content2Conversion: Content-Driven Demand Gen Gets Aggressive

Published: January 19, 2016

jimIn his upcoming presentation at the B2B Content2Conversion conference, Jim D’Arcangelo, SVP of Marketing at service commerce platform provider Booker, will be discussing the next generation content-driven demand gen during his presentation. Demand Gen Report, which hosts the conference, sat down with D’Arcangelo to talk about the tools and techniques needed to build a content-centric demand gen strategy.

Demand Gen Report: How do you see the future of demand gen?

Jim D’Arcangelo: As content and demand gen mature from purely “passive” to selectively “aggressive,” they can now be wielded in either or both passive and aggressive modes, depending on marketing and sales teams’ needs. Resulting in unprecedented personalization, together they can truly ignite demand (versus simply spark interest) and stoke those prospect embers to a blue heat.

Used in proper combination, the analytics, tech stack, and ever-more intelligent content enable proactive, dramatic acceleration of, and impact on, the prospect engagement process, sales’ efficiency and yield, velocity, and even organizational structure.

Get the latest B2B Marketing News & Trends delivered directly to your inbox!

Psychology has had a big hand in marketing as long as there has been marketing. But it has usually been applied in broad, general strokes. Content has always been a big part of marketing, but it is now being honed through data-driven analytics.

Applying a personalized “science’ to the oftentimes subconscious buyer mindset could dramatically alter our approach to personas, and, maybe, render them obsolete in the next decade.                

DGR: What do marketers need to do to take their content to the next level?

D’Arcangelo: The most dangerous thing successful content marketers can do is stand pat, and presume that past success will lead to future success. Compared to five years ago, content-driven marketing and demand gen is now widely accepted and being executed by B2B marketers.

A number of studies show that well over 60% of B2B marketers now engage in demand gen and content-driven marketing. Bottom line, this is a quickly crowding field. Regardless of your industry, you and a likely increasing number of your competitors are or will be going to market with fairly similar approaches, which will likely yield less and cost more in the long term.

Simply throwing technology solutions at content and demand gen can create an expensive, disconnected mess when not applied thoughtfully. There needs to be a planned, phased approach within the context of a healthy, smart marketing structure that integrates people, processes and technologies.

DGR: What technology innovations and emerging practices will help marketers create a more content-driven demand gen strategy?

D’Arcangelo: With a foundation of CRM and marketing automation, today’s ideal marketing tech stack includes:

  • Audience analytics and third-party web data;
  • Inbound acquisition advertising;
  • Web experience tools;
  • Content management platform;
  • Social media and web publishing and monitoring; and
  • Direct and event marketing.

Just like a workflow or an assembly line, a marketer must now use multiple technologies that all speak to each other on some level serving as the demand gen engine behind an organization’s marketing success. Tying these tools together in a continuous bi-directional synchronization provides the demand gen engine to run at peak performance without incurring stalls or rough spots.

Synchronizing is critical as, in just the past few years, we have seen massive, simultaneous progress across many marketing fronts, including:

  • Marketing automation;
  • CRM;
  • Content management, and fluid access/serving/distribution and yield;
  • Segmentation and targeting via deep profiling by business, individual, role and other attributes within target markets;
  • Yield measurement and optimization;
  • Real-time personalization;
  • Predictive lead scoring;
  • Search term and related content optimization; and
  • Attribution and content and channel yield by leads, deals close, sales effectiveness.

These innovations are helping content marketers and demand gen specialists become more scientific and more accountable in their approaches, more efficient and, ideally, more effective.

For those testing them, measuring them and using them in a thoughtful way, the latest tools and techniques are tremendous assets. They are state of the art, but in a fast-evolving space, they will fast become table stakes. It will be easy to be left behind. It is easier to just plan and stay in front.  

B2B Marketing Exchange
B2B Marketing Exchange East
Campaign Optimization Series
Buyer Insights & Intelligence Series
Strategy & Planning Series