A Systematic Approach Is Critical for Demand Development Success

by Amy Bills

June 28, 2007

Bulldog SolutionsĀ’ 5Ms framework helpsbusiness-to-business marketers achievesustainable, measurable results designed to meetspecific sales and marketing goals.

PDF download

Bulldog Solutions’ 5Ms framework helps
business-to-business marketers achieve
sustainable, measurable results designed to meet
specific sales and marketing goals.

Most seasoned marketing executives have
come across the 4Ps at some point in their
careers: product, price, place and promotion.
This structure for the marketing mix, developed
many decades ago, has weathered the years well.

Of course, over the years the details and
instruments have changed, and business plans
today don’t necessarily follow this classic
structure. Marketing plans aren’t written in
a laboratory, after all. For example, today
competitive analysis is an important influence
on the planning process. But in a lot of ways,
the essence of the 4Ps remains – any marketing
strategy based on defining the right marketing
mix is based on those 4Ps.


But what about lead generation strategy?
Narrowly defined, lead generation is part of the
promotion “P.” In other words, a successful lead
generation strategy asks the questions, “How do I
find an audience for my products and solutions?”
and “How do I identify contacts for my sales
teams?” The answers to those questions have
changed dramatically over the years.

To accommodate this marketing evolution,
Bulldog Solutions has created a workable
framework for successful demand development.
We call it the 5Ms. Our products and services –
from media buying to prospect communications
to data collection and reporting – are consistent
with that framework, and it drives everything we
do for our clients and for our own company.

A Systematic Approach

The biggest evolution in marketing has been
in the area of business process management –
an evolution enabled primarily by the arrival
of information technology and online systems.
Measurement and feedback loop integration are
critical to understanding how your decisions
actually play out and how these results impact
the marketing mix going forward.

But there’s also a broader view. To be
successful, we must look holistically at the
entire process of demand development. We
need to learn from executing multiple lead
generation tactics. By establishing feedback
loops for a mix of various lead generation
tactics, product marketing and product
management departments can learn important
information about positioning, competitive
analysis, messaging and the sales model.

In other words, a systematic approach to lead
generation surmounts the initial tactical objective.
It becomes a process that influences the marketing
mix and associated go-to-market execution.

On a tactical level, we can define the
success of a lead generation tactic as the number
of responses to a tactic or the number of sales
engagements or proofs of concept. But demand
development today is also about both internal
operational organization and sales optimization:
The end game is to produce optimal top- and
bottom-line results. This means that closing the
loop, i.e., following a lead through all of the
stages of the sales cycle, is key. It also means that
the handover from marketing to sales is a critical
tipping point. It’s all about sales and marketing
alignment.

Case in point: A SiriusDecisions study found
that the conversion between a marketing-qualified
lead and a sales-qualified lead – in other words,
sales accepting a lead from marketing and taking
it to the next stages – ranges from 51.4 percent
to a high of 68.3 percent.[1] What these numbers
tell us, among other things, is that marketing has
spent dollars on projects, tactics and programs
that have not resulted in leads. That number
should be 100 percent.

The 5Ms framework is designed to achieve
that 100 percent marketing-to-sales conversion.

The 5Ms of Successful
Demand Development

Management

The 5Ms focus on demand development
management. Thus, the first M: management.
Management ties all of the elements together with
project management, outsourcing and coordination
activities required to make the other Ms work
seamlessly. For example, management may include
a Bulldog Solutions project manager accomplishing
a specific set of tasks, and the data analysis and
benchmarking features Bulldog brings to the table.
It may also include our proprietary Campaign
Management Center that allows our clients to access
data from among all of their campaigns.

This is where most lead generation programs
break down, and why the management “M” is so
important to the 5Ms framework. It manages all of
the other elements, essentially building the foundation
for a systematic approach to lead generation.

Mode

The second M is mode, the type of communication
chosen for a lead generation initiative.
Modes may include Webinars, podcasts, white
papers and blogs, but also may include classic
communications such as a phone call, traditional
mail or even a handwritten note.

Put another way, when you get a customer to
think about your product or brand (or a problem
your product would solve), you are using a mode.
Different modes can produce different results, so a
company’s mode mix will depend on its strategic
objectives: There may be primary modes (e.g., a
Webinar) and secondary modes (e.g., an RSS feed).
A sustainable lead generation program usually
incorporates multiple mode types to build a steady
stream of qualified, actionable leads.

Media

The third M is media; that is, how you connect
the dots between your company and the customer.
The media mix may include both internal
resources (newsletter subscribers) and external
resources (brokered media packages, search engine
optimization) and answers the question, “How do
I cross the divide between a prospect and sales?”
The number and type of
people you attract is often
a function of the type of
media you employ. Media
performance is closely
integrated with both
message and mode, both
in terms of theme and
timing.

At Bulldog Solutions,
the media “M” is enabled
in large part by the Bulldog
Solutions Publisher
Network, a network of
B-to-B media companies
with whom we work to offer a range of media
options to help B-to-B marketers reach their goals.
Our media planning and buying capabilities help us
develop media plans designed to achieve tactical and
strategic goals.

Message

The fourth M, message, is both what you say and
how you say it. Message encompasses both tone and
look-and-feel. It includes copywriting, design, color
and images. If you’re using a Webinar or podcast
as your mode, message can also include the subject
matter expert or experts delivering the information.
Ultimately, efforts to ensure that the prospect “gets
the message” fall into this category.

Metrics

The final M, metrics, is the periodic, integrated measurement
of all the components of a lead generation
program. Metrics use performance measurement and
identified trends to compare to performance benchmarks
and trends relating to strategic goals. They may
include open and clickthrough rates on promotion
emails for a lead generation Webinar; performance of
specific third-party media
buys, based on the quality of
prospects the various buys
pulled in; and measurement
of lead quality and comparison
to the lead quality of
previous initiatives.

Metrics are critical to
the systematic approach to
demand development herein
discussed. With metrics you
can measure your return
on investment and close
the loop on analyzing the
success of your efforts. You
can answer the questions, “How many deals did I
close that can be tied back to a specific campaign?”
and “How effective has a third-party promotion been,
over a series of campaigns, compared with other
promotions?” At Bulldog Solutions, we’ve developed
easy-to-use dashboards to make metrics accessible
and understandable, increasing the likelihood they can
be used to drive future action.

The 5Ms – management, mode, media, message
and metrics – help companies develop and maintain
best-practice demand-development programs that
provide sustainable, measurable results designed to
meet specific strategic goals.

Share Button

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.