How to Create a B2B Brand Awareness Strategy That Creates Urgency & Drives Demand

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Lesley Crews talks with Jay Baron, CEO of Elevate Demand. 

Jay and Lesley discuss growth marketing vs. demand generation, creating a B2B brand awareness strategy that drives demand, buyer-led growth, and more.

Yeah what is up everybody welcome back to be to be growth. I'm Leslie Cruise with sweet fish media and we are continuing our deep dive into the topic of demand generation. I'm joined today by jay Baron Ceo at elevate demand J thanks so much for joining us today. Awesome. I'm glad to be here. This is going to be fun. Yeah me too. I'm stoked so I have to start out by asking the question you know because everyone has a different answer and the approach. I think it's important for anyone listening to get kind of the full effect here. So how did you, in your own words define demand generation? Yeah this is an interesting topic and I think it's hotly debated. It seems like on linkedin. What I see as demand generation is it focuses on the top of the funnel awareness and acquisition essentially. So you're building awareness with your target I. C. P. And then marketing's job is to acquire customers. That's like traditional demand generation. To me what I have...

...really started to really focus on his growth marketing honestly and growth marketing and this is kind of where people, I think the debate starts is I actually start moving down the funnel right? So it's awareness acquisition but then you start getting into referral revenue retention and things like that. And to me that's kind of the difference between like uh demand generation and growth marketing is your focus on the top of the funnel with demand gen and trying to create demand and growth marketing focuses on the entire funnel all the way through. Yeah let's break that down a little bit and talk you know demand in versus growth marketing. Can you kind of break down some key differences there? Yeah So the best way to think about it is with growth marketing, how I approach it is we're looking for growth throughout the entire funnel. Right? So another way is, as I think about, as I work with the customers that we are now, elevate, what's really happening is Most B to B...

...companies now, we're honestly willing to spend 100 of their LTV to acquire new customers. So the battle no longer to me is at awareness and acquisition, your battle starts to come down into having a better retention with your customers. How you can actually Upsell and cross sell your customers like that's the next battleground for me, it's not The awareness aspect and acquiring the customer is actually down the funnel is where companies are really placing their bets and really looking to win right now, because if you're willing to find 100 of LTV to acquire a customer, you have to make the money somewhere. Yeah, for sure. Um let's talk a little bit about brand awareness as a whole. Um you know, lately in the B two B space, there's been this topic really around demand gen that says, you know, oh you have good brand marketing, okay, here's your revenue and that's just not how it works obviously. Um and you wrote a blog post that was really insightful to me and my team here at Sweet Fish about how to create an effective B two B...

...awareness strategy that builds urgency and demand. So can you break down that formula that you talk about in that blog post? Yeah, it's interesting too. And it's good to maybe talk about my journey a little bit because what I've gone through and what I look at and linked in, I've gone through that journey, right? So I have done, you know what I would call tactical marketing, I think that's where everybody starts. And I finally realized that where everybody gets stuck and when that's not working, right? So everybody thinks they have an ad problem, they have a content problem, then they start looking for better ads and better content. And then when that doesn't work, what's happening, there's a lot of companies and start transitioning their tactics. So they go from lead based right to account based and everybody tries to count based, you get maybe a small uptick in and results and then that from there I've actually done gone to brand. So I have done brand marketing and building brand awareness. And what I found typically this is where a lot of companies get stuck is if your lead based approach...

...isn't working and your account based approach is not working and your entire marketing team is stuck in what I call the false struggle, right? You're updating And you assume you have an ad problem in a content problem switch into running building brand awareness and brand marketing isn't going to solve your problem. What I've found is you can create all the content in the world, you can build all the brand awareness in the world. I've done this, I have created valuable content, I have run paid ads around it, I have done s ceo around it, I generated all this additional awareness. And what I realized is awareness doesn't actually create demand that everybody talks about, right, build awareness to create demand, capture The other 1%. What happens really is buyers become you where where you exist and that's about it. You know, you're still waiting for that need to develop, so you're not really creating new demand with brand awareness, your capture an existing demand a little bit better. And what I finally realizes, I wrote that blog...

...post and I've been working with BB SAAS Companies is your brand awareness. And when you do brand and brand marketing should actually be creating demand number one. But number two, before you start developing and creating brand awareness and brand marketing, there's typically a lot bigger issues that you need to solve. So like I said, if you're lead based isn't working, your question should be, we're getting leads there right fit leads. Why are they not turning to revenue? The answer isn't. So we need to go build brand and that's kind of like the essence of what I'm trying to get at with. This is brand marketing, the way it's being prescribed, create valuable content, push that content to your target. I see if he doesn't actually create demand. I read 100 Lincoln post today, I don't know how many blog posts and I have zero interest in buying for most of those companies. Yeah, that's really interesting because it's so true and you know, a lot of people that I've talked to have said, you know, yeah, like make yourself known, make yourself the key person in this industry. Like you know, sweet fish make yourself the...

...key person podcasting. But that doesn't always work because that doesn't drive demand right away. It just makes you it puts you out there. Makes you known. Yeah. And I think, you know, my biggest fear for a lot of companies that are getting into the brand creates demand. We're going to go do brand marketing to build awareness is number one. Most GMOs don't have enough time, right. If you're going to go that approach, it takes 12, 18 24 months to even probably start seeing any real demand. The other thing too, the way it's being prescribed, right, create case studies, push content out, you typically either a really small company so you see it or you're really large company who can put a lot of money behind it and you see it that way. But for the average B two B company right there, you know, they're growing, it's not 10 X. Doing brand awareness isn't going to be there next growth lever and that's kind of like the big mess. I think a lot of who I'm talking to is the average marketing team, the average marketer. They're doing great work, but they're not like...

...high growth, right? Doing brand marketing. A brand awareness is putting fuel on the fire for an existing growth lever. If you haven't found that growth lever, if you haven't fixed friction in your buyer's journey, If you haven't actually created a brand deserving of growth, building awareness isn't gonna do anything for you. As a marketer, you're probably brainstorming outside the box ideas to engage your prospects and customers working remotely, and you've probably thought about sending them direct mail to break through the zoom fatigue. But how do you ship personalized gifts to remote decision makers when you have no idea where they're sitting at B two B growth, we use the craft and platform to send hyper personalized gifts to anyone working from anywhere. Crafting makes it easy for your prospects and customers to pick and personalize their own gift in real time and offers highly secure data capture. So decision makers feel comfortable submitting their home addresses for shipping purposes. To get your own personalized craft and gift. Go to craft um dot io slash growth to schedule a demo and receive a...

...complimentary personalized gift from craft. Um to claim your personalized gift go to craft um dot io slash growth. Can you share an example of a good brand narrative that has actually worked? Yeah. So there's a few examples that I always come top of mind of companies that have built like great grand narratives, the one I like a lot is actually open view partners, their brand narratives around product like growth. So like they're the creator of that, right? They actually have, if you follow me on linkedin and talk about the start here page and things like that. They have something like that as a concept in their main navigation called product. Like growth. I believe you should call the start here page, but that's splitting hairs. So they have a narrative on this shift that's happening, right? And the the narrative they need you to believe is that you need to switch to product led growth, right? And then once you believe that you're already starting to create urgency and demand other great companies that do this right drift Has...

...done a great job of this was their revenue acceleration platform, right, convincing B2B marketers, the way that they're operating now is going to be obsolete. I am actually amazed at what drift is done. So you wanna talk about how to build brand awareness that creates demand. To me drift is their chatbots, like like we don't want to really admit that, but that's honestly all they are is a chat pot and they built a brand narrative that's so strong that they've created all this demand with it gong, does it as well, revenue intel, right? You can talk about refined labs and chris, like what he preaches and everybody says brand creates demand. They want to replicate. Like chris's model. Chris has created a brand narrative that lead base no longer works demand jin is the new way to win, right? Like he's actually built a branded narrative, he didn't build awareness and and do brand marketing. He built a narrative and built a brand deserving of growth. Yeah. Yeah, that's...

...great. That's great examples. Can you talk a little bit about the difference between, you know, product versus buyer led growth? Yeah, there's a lot of a lot of similarities. So buyer led growth is honestly something that I've come up with and really there's this fundamental shift that has happened in marketing and like this is to me like the shift that marketers honestly have to be making, which is the seller no longer has any of the power the buyer now has all the power in the engagement and you need to shift how you go to market To the way B2B buyers want to buy. And that's what buyer like growth is honestly all about. So it's, well, there's a few things if we talk about the shifts, right? So the shifts I finally realized, which is number one, the job of marketing has changed. So we talked about your first question was demand jin right? It was building awareness in acquiring customers, right,...

...well you get a demo form, they would then go into sales, sales would create urgency and demand sales, woodcraft the offer, sales would give them price and get them to close, right? The shift now is the buyer has all the power and they're not reaching out to sales to have that happen. So you actually need to be doing that with your marketing now. And that's when we talk about brand narrative being a part of buyer like growth. That's the key when we think about building brand marketing, your job now in marketing is to shift the beliefs of your buyers to actually create the urgency of demand. You need to change their narrative into the narrative, you need your buyers to believe. And that's how we start with brand is figuring out what that brand narrative is and that's the crux of violent growth. Then you go right down the funnel, you start working with sales. Okay, How do B two b buyers want to biceps products and working with sales? And then again we follow that...

...same concept through retention uh and everything. And that's like when you hear me talk about brand narrative fire, like growth, like that's the shift that I keep talking about. And then there's also other two big shifts and I keep saying the seller and the company no longer has the power. It's the buyer. The other two is, there's so many alternatives. Now. There's hundreds of alternatives to sweet fish. There's thousands to me like it's not even direct competitors. The alternatives to your solution. Again, that gives the buyer more control and I actually completely forgot my point of friction. The other big killer that we're finding again to be by your focus is removing friction from the buyer's journey. Lot of marketers look at as well. We're going to reduce fields on our form and things like that. The reality is friction is a lot deeper than that. Friction is confusing value proposition. If I have to reach out to sales to understand the value of your product,...

...right? That's a friction problem, not putting pricing on your website, creates friction, doing a view demo button, somebody clicks it and it's actually get a demo button, right? That's friction lead handoff optimization. Again, looking for friction through the entire funnel retention. Things like that is how we, that's what violet growth is all about. Is those three buckets brand narrative to create demand, shifting your buyers beliefs and irony. I fell there. It's all stop. No, no, that's great. I think the topic of friction is really important because it's something that people don't often think about and it's just honestly making it simple, like making it easier. It's like, I'm personally like I am a really easy sell right? Like you can sell me anything, but if I can't get to it easily, if I can't find it, if I can't see the price I'm not sold because it, that makes it difficult for me. So that is a huge, huge pain point and a lot of companies do that wrong. So yeah, and I think as we keep thinking about, you know,...

...demand jin and does brand create demand, right? And I talked about this fall struggle, that's really what I'm getting at is companies now are building brand awareness and brand marketing, they have a high friction brand, right? They're not solving the right problem that the company is facing, they're not building the brand narrative, they're not removing friction from their buyers journey, so they're going out and they're building brand, they have a confusing value proposition that's not creating any urgency and demand and then that buyers met with high friction. Again, it's kind of like what I said before, if you're generating leads at a good clip and those aren't turning to revenue, your issue is not go build brand, how do you get those leads to turn to revenue, start looking for friction throughout your buyer's journey and that's really the missing pieces, friction is the number one growth killer. It's not like I said, building awareness. Absolutely, totally agree sweet. Well J this has been so insightful for me and I know our listeners will take it as well and run with it. So thank you. If anyone is interested in hearing more from you or...

...learning more about elevate, where can they find you online? I'm all over linkedin, connecting on linkedin. Otherwise elevate the man dot com. Awesome. Thanks again for joining me on GDP growth. Thanks. Mhm One of the things we've learned about podcast audience growth is that word of mouth works. It works really, really well actually. So if you love this show, it would be awesome if you texted a friend to tell them about it. And if you send me a text with a screenshot of the text you sent to your friend meta, I know I'll send you a copy of my book, Content based networking how to instantly connect with anyone you want to know. My cell phone number is 4074933-8. Happy texting.

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