It’s always a “crapshoot” when you start a blog post with a question like this one. Why? Well, in this case, it’s because it’s presently impossible to know whether someone’s digital footprint is indeed indicating intent or if they are just curious.
The answer to the question for most marketers in the past, in my opinion, was obtaining a complete set of form fields from a landing page or microsite. That was the literal definition of demand in marketing for decades. That belief myopically focused on the “where” of when demand begins instead of the “why.”
Yet, with the advent of buying groups and prospect self-education, form completions have become scarcer. Can we gauge when early demand truly begins? More importantly, how much sooner could we have engaged all the competitors who didn’t snag the form completion?
Cue intent data. Cue the capture of click data.
Now you can see how early demand (be it intent data, clicks, ad views, etc) can be “poured” into the top of the waterfall to accelerate Forrester’s Target Demand segment. That is, as long as you have the crucial ability to unify the data from those diverse channels.
(Here, we pause for a moment to appreciate how much the tech stack you use influences successful demand gen outcomes. Collecting the data is one step in a long journey that arrives at data integration before seamless delivery into another tech stack. I can’t emphasize enough that a great strategy will still fail if sufficient technology planning for data capture, validation, integration, and delivery is not done.)
So, WHY does demand start here?
If ALL demand is a subset of Target Demand, and if you agree with my assertion about early demand, you have to agree that demand begins, at least, from a commercial point of view. (And with the competitive intensity we see across all technology sectors, it’s nothing short of squander to fail to secure this data and eventually convert it into revenue.)
Target Demand is the universe of prospect data, shy of the surrendered form completion that we have available to mine. Intent helps us understand domain-level behavior inside of Target Demand. Prospect-level actions (first-party data) that range beyond opens and impressions into measurable engagement such as the heretofore “lowly” click have to be captured from Target Demand.
That gives us part of the answer now. It begins here, in part, because this is when we are first able to identify and quantify prospect activity.
And that activity is all around us, digitally speaking; the “impressions intelligence” this generates is fragmented across billions of digital actions from a myriad of channels.
Multichannel campaigns have attempted to optimize the collective demand gen effort across channels. Still, with poor planning (no real strategy), siloed execution, and data “disconnection,” they cannot identify, capture, and unify prospect activity data at scale.
But omnichannel demand gen soothes all of those paint points. Strategic planning for executing concurrent campaigns in two or more channels, matched with carefully aligned messaging, results in a 35%+ lift in all demand gen outcomes and channels used.
It could be said that another part of the answer to “why does demand start here?” is because that’s where omnichannel demand gen most efficiently monetizes early demand across multiple channels.
In summary, demand starts here because it is where Target Demand meets Omnichannel Demand Gen.
So the question I have for you is: are you ready to undertake omnichannel demand gen?
As a coda to this blog, I thought I’d share some of the miscellaneous stuff we’ve learned about omnichannel demand gen. These added points illustrate tangible ways that omnichannel answers the question of “Why Does Demand Start Here?”:
- Two or more channels, matched with carefully aligned messaging, result in a 35%+ lift in all demand gen outcomes and channels used.
- Running concurrent campaigns in multiple channels reduces the need to secure as many leads via one channel.
- While a client may still dictate allowable leads per account, the likelihood of leads engaging at all is significantly increased through unified campaigns.
- Some campaigns have durations as brief as two weeks; others are much longer. Ad campaigns can achieve results within one week or be scaled to run alongside email campaigns for 4+ weeks. The outcomes and intel captured from each channel inform your next moves in real-time.
- The likelihood of a lead engaging via more than one channel is increased. In terms of UX, a prospect can engage and become a lead in either or both channels.
- To secure more significant funding for omnichannel demand gen, demand generators have to be able to secure at least a commensurate CPL for the added lead volume and perceive “impressions intelligence” as vital to both ABM and persona-driven campaigns.
- A finite prospect universe is always an obstacle to overcome. Through the messaging reinforcement provided through coordinated, concurrent campaigns, more is accomplished in both channels, regardless.
- “Impressions intelligence” includes job title/function/level/department and company employee count and industry, as well as domain-specific performance metrics and location segments down to the MSA.