Marketing has always been something of a devil’s art. As much as anyone purports to have cracked the secret to selling (or nurturing leads, or creating always-win campaigns…) the truth is that people are, at the end of the day, people. And that means there will always be an element of both the rational and the emotional in every buying decision.
Add to that the significantly higher costs that come with making a B2B purchase along with the asynchronous nature of the modern buying journey, and it’s no surprise that the B2B buying journey is more Ferris wheel than funnel.
Which leads us to the big challenge marketers face: Most traditional campaigns still operate with the linear sales funnel in mind.
In this article, we delve into the traditional campaign and its limitations — and explore the shift to an always-on approach to marketing and how you can establish your own perpetual motion machine* of leads.
* As much as a machine can be in perpetual motion, anyway. (i.e. Some maintenance needed.)
The limitations of traditional campaigns
The traditional approach to marketing campaigns is very linear. There’s a start point and a finish line, and everything that happens between those two goalposts is assessed to decide whether the campaign was A Success or A Failure.
While effective in generating immediate leads, these limited campaigns often lack the sustainability needed for continuous growth. They’re only effective in the short term, with people who are already in the market for the solution or service in question. (Right place, right person, right time. Goal.)
But for those who aren’t ready to buy, these campaigns — brilliantly crafted, lovingly devised, expertly targeted (and, often, with the price tag to match) — are like a flash fire. They arrive with a bang, leave with a whimper, and are relegated to the ‘Cool Campaigns We Did’ archive.
Neat, but not the most effective use of your time or investment.
Traditional marketing campaigns also have a finite lifespan. Their impact lasts only as long as you’re manually cranking the engine (read: injecting funding). The moment you stop, impact drops off. Those people who you caught at the right time become leads, while anyone else who may have seen your ads continues scrolling and is promptly courted by another business vying for their attention.
It can be disheartening, for businesses. But, most importantly, it means you miss out on courting prospects that aren’t quite there yet. And those are the ones that would have made up most of your future sales.
The vast majority of your future buyers are not currently in the market for your solution.
According to LinkedIn, for every 100 potential customers your messaging reaches, only five will be actively looking to buy. That means that, at any time, your campaigns are only getting a handful of the right people at the right time.
Which is why we posit a shift in mindset: a move from one-off campaigns to the always-on demand engine.
Shifting mindsets: The case for demand engines
Transitioning from goalpost marketing to always-on has become a necessity to get your message perpetually in front of target prospects at the right time. Which means having the right content available for people whenever they need it, wherever they are on their buying journey.
Unlike traditional campaigns, demand engines focus on continuous lead generation, fuelled by data and requiring minimal ongoing effort. Demand engines work at their best when they are iteratively optimised.
By adopting demand engines, businesses can envision sustained growth and long-term success. It's not just about generating leads; it's about achieving marketing efficiency and unlocking the full potential of your strategies.
There will always be a place for traditional marketing campaigns. They remain the best way to get solid leads to start with at any moment. But introducing an always-on demand engine element to your marketing effort has the potential to be transformative for your business.
By creating a nurture journey that is suited to the asynchronous nature of modern B2B buying, you can make a continuous drip flow of leads with minimal effort not just a dream but a tangible reality.
Download our guide to creating a marketing demand engine to learn how you can start building your own perpetual motion machine of leads.
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