How Defense Contractors Can Find New Customers

Posted by douglasburdett

Defense contractors can find new customers by adopting demand generation tactics such as providing educational content, making their website an educational hub, using marketing automation software and nurturing decision makers until they are ready.

Demand generation is the focus of targeted marketing programs to drive awareness and interest in a company's products and/or services. Commonly used in business to business, business to government, or longer business to consumer sales cycles, demand generation involves multiple areas of marketing and is really the marriage of marketing programs coupled with a structured sales process. WIKIPEDIA

Demand generation as a marketing approach is becoming more popular because of the changing nature of the buying and decision-making process.

In the past, prospects relied heavily on salespeople for information. Sellers would provide the salespeople with marketing "air cover" like advertising, trade shows, brochures, direct mail, etc.

However, with the emergence of broadband and the easy availability of information online, prospects now do research on their own and contact a salesperson much later in the process. This diminished the power of the sales person and put the buyer more firmly in control.

Today, buyers find sellers. In a MarketingSherpa study where the question was asked, "In the most recent purchase, who found whom?"  in 80% of deals, the buyer found the seller. Only 20% had salespeople find the deal.

This seismic change to the buying process has resulted in a new approach - demand generation.

In a whitepaper, Jeff Ogden, President of The Fearless Competitor, describes demand generation this way:

The process of creating and nurturing (Generating) interest (Demand) in the products and services that your company offers.

Does demand generation work? In a recent study of B2B marketers, Rubicon Marketing Group found that marketers using demand generation best practices had:

  • 18% higher revenue.
  • 9.3% higher sales quota achievement.
  • 7% higher win rates.
  • 100% increase in deal size.

Ogden summarizes how defense contractors can get an effective demand generation program underway in 6 steps:

  • Turn your website into an educational hub.
  • Put great content everywhere prospects might look.
  • Stay in touch with those not yet ready to buy.
  • Personalize the content and react to their online behavior.
  • Use objective criteria to determine who is ready to buy and who is not.
  • Develop metrics to measure our programs and prove their value.

Question: what demand generation tactics have you used?

Click here to download a copy of the 41-page whitepaper (including a Demand Generation Toolkit) "How to Find New Customers: The Definitive Guide to Driving Demand for your Company’s Products and Services." or view the SlideShare presentation below.

[slideshare id=14264726&doc=howtofindnewcustomers-120912110225-phpapp01&type=d]

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