For many B2B marketers, continuously creating demand generation campaigns has become the go-to strategy in our marketing toolkit. It’s often the first and only strategy that sales leaders want from the marketing team. This makes sense. They want to get in front of as many eyeballs as possible to increase interest in the company’s products and services. But heavily focusing on a demand strategy comes with some risks – from the inevitable deprecation of third-party cookies to consumer adoption of ad blocking solutions.
With so much working against demand generation, perhaps it’s time to diversify your strategy. Creating an informed and consistent brand awareness campaign can keep your brand top of mind with your current and potential audiences, build brand equity and improve customer loyalty. But how do you know if you should focus your efforts around demand generation or brand awareness? A customer-first approach can elevate both strategies.
Develop a Customer-First Mindset
A customer-focused mindset is especially important for marketing to developers, who tend to be skeptical of traditional marketing campaign messaging. Here’s how you can incorporate this approach and create a loyal customer base across every stage of the buyers’ journey:
- Understand your audience – You need to deeply understand your target audience and how your product makes their job easier, better, or faster.
- Identify opportunities to provide value – Find what your customers care about and deliver that. This is especially true for technical audiences who want to know: “What’s in it for me?”
- Develop content that consistently connects – Don’t just show them your product capabilities. Show them why they should purchase it.
- Optimize your branding – Review customer data from multiple perspectives. Looking at some of the softer metrics can provide valuable clues for positioning your brand and generating content.
- Engage with your customers – You can’t truly know what your customers are thinking unless you ask them.
Experiment with New Customer-First Strategies
Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ways to reach your audience. For example, contextual targeting shows ads to users browsing sites that are directly relevant to your product, increasing the likelihood that they'll be more receptive to your message. Plus, contextual advertising is not constrained by privacy regulations because it does not download any software (such as cookies) to the user’s computer. Therefore, it does not rely on obtaining a consumer’s personal details to serve ads.
Some technology companies are leveraging communities to meet users where they are. To facilitate those interactions, Stack Overflow created Collectives™. A collective on Stack Overflow provides an opportunity to build trust, convey value, and empower the community that already exists around your technologies on Stack Overflow.
As the marketing landscape shifts away from invasive tracking techniques to become more responsive to privacy concerns, digital marketers have the opportunity to get creative. For some marketers, this change may feel a little destabilizing, but the most seasoned marketers acknowledge that you can never go wrong by making the customer your North Star.