February 23, 2022
February 23, 2022
Contributor: Ashutosh Gupta
More marketing channels or calls to action (CTAs) don’t necessarily generate more qualified leads. Take these three steps to effectively use a balanced multichannel marketing mix for maximum results.
Despite pandemic-inflicted economic disruption, technology marketers saw stability in conversion rates across the funnel in 2021. While this is a good indicator of marketing program effectiveness, there is still scope to improve demand generation with a balanced multichannel approach.
“Many technology marketers invest in limited channels because they don’t want to spread their budgets too thin,” says Gartner Sr. Director Analyst Alan Antin. “But simply increasing the number of CTAs and marketing channels won’t drive demand generation either.”
These three steps can help you use a broader multichannel marketing mix that meets buyers’ needs and generates qualified leads across the three stages in the buying cycle — exploration, evaluation and engagement.
Download now: The Top 3 Strategic Priorities for Tech Product Marketers
Create CTAs that map to activity streams in the buying cycle.
In a 2021 survey of technology marketers, Gartner found that the most used CTAs were webinars, virtual events and content assets, particularly among respondents representing companies with annual revenue of $100 million or more. Certainly, the pandemic is the likely cause for the increased performance for virtual events, webinars and demonstrations. Content assets, on the other hand, saw a decrease in overall performance.
Learn more: What Is Digital Marketing Strategy — And What Are the Keys to Its Success?
Once you establish CTAs and content, earmark marketing channels that you will use to increase awareness and amplify content distribution.
The 2021 Gartner Technology Marketing Benchmarks Survey indicated a shift toward a diverse mix of marketing channels among tech marketers, who traditionally relied on in-person tradeshows and third-party events. In terms of channel performance or ability to generate leads, email was the best-performing channel, followed by social marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). However, the respondents did mention challenges in aligning their email strategy with the right messaging.
The key is not just to use low-cost channels, such as email, social media and organic traffic, but also assess channel performance based on objectives. For example, while certain channels, such as display advertising, retargeting and content syndication, require greater direct investments, the quality of marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) they generate is typically higher.
At the exploration stage of the buying cycle, ask these questions to identify the right channels:
At the evaluation stage, when the interest of potential buyers has been captured, your goal is to keep their attention and stay top of mind. To do so, leverage your owned channels (websites and social media pages) along with ad retargeting, display advertising, paid social and targeted emails.
Finally, at the engagement stage, it’s about understanding the level of engagement buyers are seeking. The most viable channels for this stage include outbound calling, industry events, and direct or partner channel sales. Content vehicles at this stage should focus on further educating the buyer. Gartner research shows that videos and case studies are among the most effective ways to do so.
Simply adding CTAs and marketing channels with limited understanding of buyers will not improve lead conversion. To optimize conversion rates, align marketing channels, CTAs and content to specific buyer personas at different stages of the buying cycle.
For example, a C-level executive in the exploration stage of the buying cycle may seek information around business processes to solve a problem by engaging with industry-specific digital communities. Meanwhile an IT leader within the same account may look for product solutions in the evaluation stage and use technology-specific websites or publications.
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Recommended resources for Gartner clients*:
Implement a Balanced Marketing Mix to Improve Demand Generation Conversion Rates
The B2B Customer Life Cycle for Technology Products and Services
Improve Demand Generation Targeting and Engagement Across the Buying Team With B2B Buyer Personas
Improving Buyer Engagement With Situationally Aware Calls to Action
*Note that some documents may not be available to all Gartner clients.