Marketing

3-Step Demand Generation Framework to Drive More Revenue

Learn how to ace your demand gen game and drive revenue with the 3-step framework by George Coudounaris, founder of The B2B Playbook.

Written by
George Coudounaris
, Edited by
July 22, 2024
0 min read

George Coudounaris is the founder of The B2B Playbook and host of their top-rated B2B marketing podcast. Here’s his 3-step Demand Generation Framework to help marketers drive up to 80% more pipeline for their organization. 

Demand Generation is often vaguely described and confused with brand marketing, lead generation, and performance marketing. It has become a buzzword that leads to tactics that rarely drive consistent results. 

Demand Generation is a go-to-market strategy that builds an intense desire in a prospect to buy from you. It should do two things:

  1. Make your Dream Customer prioritize their problems in the way you solve it
  2. Lead them to the logical conclusion that you’re the perfect company to solve the problem for them

We show you how to do this with our 3-step Demand Generation Framework. It has taken companies from being largely sales-led to marketing, driving up to 80% of their pipeline.  

Step 1 - BE Ready: Deeply understand your customers

Every organization is limited by budget, resources, and time. If we are going to go deep into a market, get them to trust us, and convince them to buy from us - we need to go deep into a segment of a market. If we go wide and shallow across the whole market, we won’t have enough touchpoints to build that trust and get them to buy. This is backed by data from Dreamdata, which shows that the average B2B customer journey has 62.4 touches across 3.6 channels and involves 6.3 contacts over 192 days. 

That’s why step 1 of our Demand Generation framework starts with defining who your Ideal Customers are (your ICP). We recommend conducting an 80/20 analysis to identify who they are. 

Ask yourself, who are the 20% of customers driving 80% of our revenue or profit? Which ones are the best fit for our business? 

Identify their firmographics and demographics, with the goal of being able to find common traits. Once you identify who these best companies are, you should conduct customer interviews with them to understand:

  • What great pains do you help solve for them
  • How does it help with their jobs to be done (JTBD)
  • What does their buying journey look like 
  • Who is the buying committee made up of 
  • What sources of information do they trust 
  • Where do they hang out online and offline

From here, you should have the information you need to identify your best customers, why they chose you over the competition, what you had to say to them to make them a customer, and where more customers (just like them) are hanging out. 

Once you’ve done this, make sure that you document your ICP and the buying committee, and have noted what the typical buying journey looks like. This is your roadmap for winning new customers in the same segment as your ‘best’ customers. 

Your next steps should then be to reposition your brand to make it obvious that you’re the ‘perfect fit’ for your future prospects in the segment that you’ve targeted. Then, of course, update your messaging across all your assets to reflect this (your website, LinkedIn, case studies, sales enablement content, etc.). 

The comprehensive list of steps in stage 1: BE Ready are:

  • Conduct 80/20 analysis
  • Interview Dream Customers
  • Document Ideal Customer Profiles (ICP)
  • Update your Positioning and Messaging
  • Map the Buying Journey
  • Create your Dream 100 sources of influence

Step 2 - BE Helpful: Build relationships with helpful content

Once you’ve completed Stage 1 of our Demand Generation framework, you’ll have a deep understanding of the segment you’re targeting. You should also have gathered the information you need to build their trust and convert them from prospects to potential buyers. 

Stage 2 is where we build the content that guides them through the buying journey. Our favorite framework for this is called ‘The 5 Stages of Awareness’. It takes a prospect from being ‘unaware’ that they even need your product or service to being led to the logical conclusion that you’re the perfect fit for them. 

Your job is to create content that hits every stage of awareness. This should answer questions that they have at each stage and help them to progress to the next in their buying journey. 

The 5 Stages of Awareness are: 

Unaware: At this stage, potential customers are not even aware that they have a problem or a need that your product or service can address.

Problem Aware: Here, customers realize they have a problem but may not know the solutions available.

Solution Aware: Customers are aware of various solutions to their problem but may not be familiar with your specific product or service.

Product Aware: In this stage, customers know about your product or service but are still comparing it with other options in the market.

Most Aware: Finally, customers are fully aware of your product, including its benefits and how it compares to competitors. They are on the brink of making a purchase decision.

We highly recommend that you create this content in partnership with Subject Matter Experts. This will ensure that the content you create is of far higher quality than if you hired a freelancer with no industry or technical expertise to write it. 

The complete list of steps in Stage 2 - ‘BE Helpful’ is:

  • Understand how to help your ICP
  • Create helpful content that educates and entertains
  • Map your content to the 5 Stages of Awareness Framework
  • Use Subject Matter Experts to create pillar content with on a regular schedule
  • Repurpose this content to multiple channels for ease of consumption for your ICP
  • Distribute your helpful content wherever it is your ICP is present
  • Scale your content production
  • Improve with quantitative and qualitative data

The process of repurposing content is important to help scale this content production engine. It allows you to create a high volume of extremely useful and relevant content while using as few resources as possible. 

In my experience, most businesses don’t execute ‘Be Helpful’ properly because they miss one or several of these above key steps. 

Many marketers also have their demand generation programs canceled because they don’t understand how to measure the leading and lagging indicators of success. It is going to take some time before your Demand Generation Engine is driving consistent pipeline, so you need to know how to prove to leadership that you’re on the right track and should not give up. 

💡We give you our demand generation metrics to measure here. 

Step 3 - BE Seen: Accelerate demand with paid media & ABM

I get very excited for marketers and teams when they have done the hard work in stages 1 and 2 and then reach Stage 3 - BE Seen. That’s because ‘BE Seen’ is all about distributing your content in front of your prospects that you’re targeting. You should have a great idea of who they are (i.e., the buying committee) and where they’re hanging both online and offline based on the research you’ve done. 

There are 3 key ways that you can communicate with your future prospects:

  1. 1:Many (paid ads, organic social, YouTube, forums, etc.)
  2. 1:Few (conferences, round-tables, webinars, events, associations)
  3. 1:One (email, call, text)

The way I see it, marketing is typically equipped to handle 1:Many and 1:Few really well. Sales are normally best at 1:One. The content and messaging that you use across these, though, should largely be the same. You can just tailor the conversation further when you’re dealing with fewer people. 

At this stage, you can also accelerate demand with Account Based Marketing (ABM). This is about identifying companies that are expressing interest in your product but haven’t actively raised their hand for a demo. By placing them into an ABM sequence, you have a series of orchestrated actions between sales and marketing to try to accelerate their demand and turn them into paying customers. 

You can identify these companies based on their engagement in all of your different channels. We love using Factors.ai to help us get this information and then place these companies in an ABM motion. 

The complete list of steps in stage 3 are:

  • Use paid media to target the buying committee of key accounts
  • Push educational content mapped to 5 Stages of Awareness
  • Push product education content highlighting key benefits and features
  • Focus on target accounts with low budget, high touch Account Based Marketing (ABM) pilot program

A word of advice

This Demand Generation Framework forces you to do the ‘hard work’ that so many skip. Demand is not generated by testing a bunch of different tactics and hoping something works. It’s built by deeply understanding your segment and helping your Dream Customers get to where they need to go. 

This can be distilled into a plan to generate demand and a series of actions that the marketer must complete every week and commit to if they’re going to see results. 

If you’d like the in-depth strategy, templates, and tools to execute our Demand Gen Framework in your business, check out our 12-week demand generation course.

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