May 19, 2022

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What is demand generation? A guide for fintechs

11 min read


Advances in technology and lowered barriers to entry have caused a boom in competition in the fintech market. So much so that the market is expected to reach $324 billion by 2026. 

To secure sales and drive revenue, the pressure is on for fintechs to stand out. That’s why demand generation strategies have drastically increased in popularity in the last year alone. In fact, 70% of marketers are planning to increase their demand gen
budgets, and 34% say their spending will grow by more than 20%.

Why?

Demand gen strategies provide a streamlined, consistent, and highly effective strategy that’s built for the way B2B customers buy today. It also helps fintech businesses accelerate revenue, maximise ROI, and puts them at the forefront of marketing innovation.

 

In this complete guide to demand generation, we explore:

  • What exactly is demand generation?

  • Why is demand gen so popular?

  • Common misconceptions with demand gen

  • Key components of a successful demand gen campaign

  • Why a siloed demand gen strategy could cost you thousands

  • Checklist: How to boost demand generation today

  • Considering outsourcing demand gen? Top tips to find the right agency

 

What exactly is demand generation?

Demand genenation is the focus of targeted marketing campaigns to drive awareness and interest in your company’s products and services. It then nurtures high-fit prospects into customers and retains those customers for life. 

The focus is not on the volume of leads, it’s on how much direct revenue demand gen initiatives bring in. Therefore, the quality of leads is ideal for sales conversion. Essentially, this means the lead needs to be a true good fit for your fintech business,
and therefore have a high probability of becoming customers.

If one of the primary magnets is your website, you can deploy certain tactics to improve demand gen. For example, making sure you’re directing traffic to the right pages, and that those pages are aligned to target personas, and convert well with call-to-actions
in the right place. 

 

Why is demand gen so popular? 

For B2B fintechs the increase in popularity of demand generation is largely driven due to the strategy’s unique ability to deliver a stronger, more sustainable sales pipeline:

 

💡Top tip: There is an abundance of free/low-cost tools you can use to increase demand. Here are some examples:

Email – 79% of B2B marketers credit email as the most effective distribution channel for demand gen efforts. (Content Marketing Institute)

Social media – 59% of B2B marketers say LinkedIn generates leads for their business. (Demandwave)

Content marketing – 93% of B2B companies say content marketing generates more leads than traditional marketing strategies. (Marketo)

 

Common misconceptions with demand gen

The biggest myth with demand generation is that this marketing strategy is complicated. It doesn’t need to be. And for this reason, some fintechs falsely diagnose demand gen strategies as unsuccessful.

Here’s five of the most common misconceptions with demand gen:

Myth #1: Demand generation and lead generation are the same: Demand gen and lead gen are two different strategies. The easiest way to think of demand generation is to picture it as the umbrella term that encompasses lead generation and inbound
marketing.

Lead generation = This approach markets to the masses to increase interest in your products and services. Common tactics focus on gated content such as free guides that solve your audience’s problems. For example, creating a blog or webinar series are a
proven way to successfully attract leads to your brand.

Demand generation = This term covers a variety of sales and marketing actions that attract, convert and retain customers. It includes persona based un-gated content and activities much further down the sales funnel – such as lead nurturing.

With us referring to prospects as ‘leads’ – in both a lead gen and demand gen approach – it’s easy to see where the confusion comes from.

Myth #2: Demand generation is one approach: Demand gen is made up of multiple marketing activities. This is important because if one demand gen activity isn’t working for you, it doesn’t mean demand gen isn’t the right approach for your
fintech business.

Myth #3: This approach doesn’t work: Sometimes, an approach to demand gen may be neglected because it wasn’t a fair test – not because it wasn’t working. It’s an approach that takes time. That’s why it’s essential to ensure you allow sufficient
time to test an approach… And use the right metrics to assess whether it was effective.

Myth #4: Demand gen and content creation work in silo: Companies with blogs produce an average of 67% more monthly leads than companies that don’t blog. (DemandMetric). Stats like this emphasise how fundamental content is to demand gen.
It allows fintechs to communicate their value and contribution to the needs, wants and pain points of their prospects. That’s why it should be pivotal to demand gen. With this in mind, content creation and demand gen execution strategies should be created
together. In fact, they are a powerful force to be reckoned with.

Myth #5: It’s great to hire multiple channel specialists to execute demand gen: Using a specialist is a great way to ensure the best expertise and know-how is brought in to grow your B2B fintech business. However, specialists are exactly
that. They focus on one element and do it really well.Successful demand gen strategies require experts that can see the bigger picture and understand the overall demand gen strategy – the correct messaging, how channels work together, the best ways to measure
campaigns – for it to be successful.

 

6 steps to a successful demand gen campaign

To take your fintech’s growth to the next level, you need a skilled team to deliver several key components of a demand gen campaign:

Step 1: Identify the target audience

The best place to start is with your existing customer base. This helps to understand who is most likely to purchase your products/services, with the propensity to spend higher or repeat purchase. You will want more of these types of customers. It’s beneficial
to conduct research to understand how many fit this profile and what your competitors are doing.

Step 2: Create buyer personas

Once you’ve identified your target audience, you need to fully understand what turns them on, what keeps them awake at night, what their goals are.

Step 3: Create content

Content is THE key ingredient to driving the initial engagement to nurture them towards a sale. It builds credibility, trust and provides value. There are many types of content you could choose to create:

  • Blogs – articles on your website that educate your audience and help you get found on Google/other search engines.

  • Videos – YouTube/Vimeo content that explores your product or topics relevant to your target audience.

  • eBooks/whitepapers/guides – long-form guides that you can give away on your site, either gated (behind a form) or ungated.

  • Webinars/virtual roundtables – to deep dive into specific industry themes or product features, normally with external guest speakers. 

  • Industry insights – inviting industry influencers to contribute to your content and promote it to their networks.

  • Social posts – company and individuals’ social posts that engage your audience on the channel they already spend time on.

 

One thing these pieces of content should have in common, is that they provide free value. One way to do this is by addressing your target audience’s key challenges and offering tips and guidance to solve them.

When writing educational content, make sure you explain it in the simplest terms you can so that it’s accessible and easy to understand. Given the complex nature of fintech, this can be a tricky one and takes real understanding of the topic and your audience’s
pain points. Once it becomes difficult to digest, it turns people off and the value and effort is lost.

Step 4: Identify channels

To get your message in front of your audience, you need to know which channels they most frequently engage with. This helps with maximising ROI. Consistency is vital. You should be communicating with your audience at least 2-3 times a week through something
as simple as social posting.

Step 5: Leverage marketing tech to support

There’s an abundance of tools out there to make your life easier and maximise the results of your demand gen campaigns. These can be used for each of the steps in this process – for example, Ahrefs for content strategy and creation. This can help understand
keywords and popularity of the search terms that your target audience uses so that your fintech content resonates and ranks better in search engines.

Step 6: Measure performance

Sadly, this bit is often missed by marketing teams and even agencies that are paid to manage campaigns on your behalf. But knowing how your demand gen campaigns perform helps to pause, tweak and continue – which is pivotal for ROI and driving revenue. You
can use KPIs to measure the impact of your content and the distribution channels. Piecing all this insight together and running additional research such as customer surveys can help understand which steps need improvement – could it even be a service delivery
issue?

  • Basic KPIs for content – website traffic, search rankings

  • Basic KPIs for distribution channels – email clicks, social media post shares and likes, PR media coverage

  • Revenue, however, is the ultimate measure for demand generation 

 

Why a siloed demand gen strategy could cost you thousands

Most fintechs separate functions into different departments and don’t communicate well across them. This means that insights and learnings aren’t often shared and leveraged across sales, marketing and product.

With demand generation, it’s all about alignment. Sales should feed marketing with insights into the buyer personas to help tailor campaigns. And marketing should feed sales with engagement insights to shape sales conversations and ensure timely follow-up.

If sales and marketing alone aren’t working together, there’s so many missed opportunities for sales conversion and revenue growth.

 

Checklist: How to boost demand generation today

Here’s a handful of marketing tactics you can implement today to drive demand gen…

1) Give away your best stuff – for FREE: People don’t engage with your content with intent to buy — they come to learn and educate themselves. By sharing your thought leadership for free you can build trust, add value to them and showcase your expertise
without screaming “we are the best tech supplier and here’s why”.

2) Use targeted ads on social media: For B2B businesses, LinkedIn is the go-to – 59% of B2B marketers say LinkedIn generates leads for their business. And 80% of B2B leads generated on social media come from LinkedIn. The ability to target industries, job
titles, company sizes and more make it efficient and allow you to personalise to resonate with your audience better.

3) Partner with industry pros: Industry pros have the data and strength of relationship with your target audience already – something which you may not have yet and can be a huge blocker to gaining engagements. That’s because people simply won’t commit their
time to reading guides or attending webinars if they don’t recognise/yet trust your brand.

4) Invest more in content creation: Content marketing is fundamental to demand generation. In fact, the top two methods to nurture contacts towards a sale are email (87%) and educational content (77%). To stand out amongst the abundance of content, yours
needs to really add value to your audience by sharing your knowledge (for free), and writing in a way that’s engaging. And to support sales, your content should appeal to different stages of the sales funnel so that you capture the interest of those not ready
to buy yet (c.97% of your audience).

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Good quality content has recently helped our clients:

🙌 One client rank #1 organically in Google for their top keyword.

👊 Sent another client’s content viral, getting their brand in front of thousands of their ideal customers.

😁 And helped another generate direct meeting requests from C-Suite Enterprise accounts.

——————————————————————————

5) Optimise your email strategies: Whilst your contact may have gone cold following the initial engagement, it just may not be quite the right time for them to buy. And that’s ok. You can nurture these contacts towards a sale by drip-feeding your brilliantly
engaging, value-adding content to them – and reminding them that you are here for when they ARE ready to buy. Email is one of the best tactics for this. In fact, 79% of B2B marketers credit email as the most effective distribution channel for demand gen efforts.

6) Consider implementing lead scoring: Lead scoring works by building a view of engagements over time for one particular individual, and at a company level. You can score engagements differently and the accumulation of these engagements builds an overall
score. For example, you may score a guide download as a 0.2 engagement and an event attendance a 0.8. Over time, this may accumulate to a score of 2 for one individual and that may be where you get in touch with the contact. If they engage with multiple pieces
on the same topic, you know they are more likely primed to that topic and your relevant products and services so you can tailor the meeting.

 

Considering outsourcing demand gen? Top tips to find the right agency

If you’ve tried demand generation and struggled, don’t feel like a failure! 1 in 5 companies says their current approach to demand generation isn’t working and this is often because creating the strategy can be difficult and executing it requires specific
skills. This can be costly to have in-house.

But luckily, there are plenty of companies out there that can support you. Take a look at this quick demand gen checklist to find the right support for your B2B fintech business:

⬜ Make sure their proposal is tailored specifically to you and the business challenges and needs that you’ve flagged in the initial meet and greet sessions.

⬜ Checking in on timelines – They should already flag project timelines to you ahead of starting so you know when your demand journey begins.

⬜ Make sure they are commercially driven and focus on reporting and results.

⬜ Make sure they can do everything from strategy to execution – and are happy to access your systems to manage it for you.

⬜ Make sure they don’t just focus on one area of marketing. There are a lot of niche companies out there that specialise in say paid social media and so don’t consider/haven’t got experience in the wider demand gen marketing plan.

⬜ Make sure they fit your budget. It’s often best to flag how much you are prepared to spend upfront to save everyone’s time.

 

Summary

The ultimate way to create demand is to turn your vision, positioning and customer knowledge into a comprehensive growth strategy. 

Once you change how you approach marketing, it opens up an incredible amount of opportunities for B2B fintechs. Investing in demand generation strategies is crucial to making the right impression with today’s considered buyers. 

The aim is to be consistent and always front-of-mind for when a contact is ready to buy. We never know when that may be, which is why consistency is key.

 

 



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