We all want to ungate because it is better for our prospects but for internal reasons we don’t.
Disclaimer: This post won’t cover everything you need to know about demand generation and ungating content assets but is an attempt to share recent successes and the reason behind our decisions.
The company wanted to scale and my role was to grow MQLs. We were doing typical content offer downloads to lead scored MQL. In my first week, I met with the sales team and they told me that all of our non-demo MQLs were garbage and wanted me to filter them out. Tough to do when the CEO wants to see the volume of MQLs increase. I wanted to begin building out a long-term education-focused demand creation strategy but needed to solidify the demand capture portion first.
We needed to review what worked and what didn’t to figure out how to scale. We started by analyzing our revenue by ICP structured tier, industry, and activity. We wanted to know what deals were closing and if there was something we could reverse engineer to scale.
We found the Grand Canyon between our purchase intent prospects and those that requested a content offer. Not surprising as most of us face this issue. Hundreds of content offer MQLs per month were turning into a handful of Opportunities. This led to a lot of time, energy, and effort being wasted by the sales team, not to mention the wasted ad spend.
Nurture sequences weren’t working but we controlled the scoring and with that, the volume. Marketing hit their MQL target but nothing was progressing.
With our lead gen efforts not generating quality for the sales team, we needed a way to generate conversations. We switched our focus from MQLs to conversations so we decided to begin the transformation of moving from lead scoring to hand-raisers only.
There isn’t an automatic lever to instantly drive more demo requests also we could make sure our process was as frictionless as possible. We started by sending demo and pricing requests directly to AEs and bypassing the BDR step. We then set up Chilipiper to reduce the friction of booking a meeting. Now people could set an appointment directly in the AEs calendar. No more wasting time going back and forth. These changes led to an increased conversion rate for buying intent activities. There was also the bonus of freeing up our inbound BDRs and allowing us to focus them on educating and supporting our audience.
With our inbound BDRs freed up and conversation generation set as our new focus, we proceeded to learn what it meant to support our audience.
We used feedback from our product marketing team and conversations with our customers to understand how we could best support our prospects. We landed on several activities that would help us grow now while building for the future. We created a podcast for our leadership persona and a newsletter that targeted our user persona to ad additional demand creation channels. We put lots of attention to organic growth and streamlining the journey. We then needed to determine how we would create conversations with people that weren’t ready to book a demo or get into a buying motion. We decided to use a CTA with the “better way” approach and show our prospects a comparison of “the old way” vs “our way”.
How could we deliver great content that could get our audience to engage and learn from us while not creating busy work for our BDR team? We decided to create new assets that fit three categories: problem awareness, solution awareness, and product awareness. While determining how we would implement these assets we decided to ungate them to share value and create awareness of a semi-new category. In an effort to manage internal expectations, we only ungated these assets through ads so the high volume of organic traffic to our site would still need to fill out a form. After seeing some success, we began to ungate all assets everywhere.
We created a podcast for our leadership persona and a newsletter that targeted our user persona to ad additional demand creation channels. We put lots of attention to organic growth and streamlining the journey. One thing we could’ve done a lot better was repurposing our content.
This isn’t perfect but hopefully will light a spark that helps you drive better successes. Hopefully, you can take some learnings from one of my experiences and create something new for your business.
Brian has 15+ years as a marketing strategist and visionary leader with a track record of transforming the marketing function and propelling it to new heights for several SaaS companies as an advisor, consultant, and employee. He has spearheaded highly successful campaigns that captivated target audiences, optimizing the marketing funnel to maximize conversion rates, and accelerate sales cycles.
Brian Cohen is also the Co-Founder and CEO at StoryLab.ai. You can find more info about Brian on LinkedIn.