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The Evolved Model for ABX Campaigns

The Big A-Ha

CMOs need an evolved approach that balances demand creation and demand capture in generating pipelines through the ABX motion.

Why It Matters

The current intent-heavy ABX approach is underperforming, and CMOs are running out of time to fix this as they face increasing pressure to drive growth to get valuations back up. 

Go Deeper: Address Demand Creation and Demand Capture to Improve Pipeline Generation

Let’s start with a basic definition of Demand Creation and Demand Capture:

Demand Creation is the process of generating awareness, interest, and desire for a company’s products or services among potential business customers. It involves identifying the specific needs and pain points of the target audience and developing marketing strategies and campaigns that educate and persuade them about the value and benefits of the offered solutions. It lays the groundwork for the sales process by nurturing leads and creating demand for the products or services before initiating direct sales efforts.

Demand Capture is the process of identifying, engaging, and converting prospects who have already expressed interest or demand for a company’s products or services. Demand capture aims to efficiently and effectively guide these prospects through the sales funnel, providing them with relevant information, addressing their specific needs, and ultimately converting them into paying customers. It focuses on capitalizing on existing demand and ensuring a seamless and personalized experience for potential buyers throughout their journey.

The Issue: Too Much Focus on Demand Capture

Too many marketing teams today are fixated solely on demand capture, putting all their efforts into paid media, content syndication, and sales enablement plays that only target the subset of prospects already showing intent. While capitalizing on existing demand is crucial, this myopic focus means they are completely ignoring demand-creation activities.

A related issue is that this intent-heavy approach, while initially engaging, has led to a subsequent loss of faith from Sales teams. This loss of confidence stems from the inherent challenge of not understanding the source and motivation behind the observed intent, creating a significant gap in comprehension and relevant follow-up. Patience in the sales force runs out quickly when “Hot Leads” are resulting in weak prospect conversations. That trust is quickly eroded and sales will return to their old ways of prospecting themselves. 

The current intent-heavy approach is not only underperforming but also has a high opportunity cost in terms of ignoring campaigns that shape markets and seed new demand. Most Marketing teams today are fighting over a limited pool of already-aware buyers with their competitors, rather than expanding the total addressable market. Their focus is exclusively on the second half of the buying journey where buyers are less open to influence. 

This lopsided bias towards the bottom of the funnel is short-sighted and unsustainable. Marketers need to both expand the aperture of their campaign activities and get smarter about leveraging intent signals in their demand capture activities. CMOs are running out of time to get this right because though 2023 was a mulligan year, 2024 has brought back growth expectations from the Board and investors.

An Evolved Approach: Demand Creation and Demand Capture in Tandem

The most effective marketing engines have a healthy balance, deploying an always-on drumbeat of demand creation through thought leadership, category education, and innovative promotions to continuously fill the top of the funnel. This fuels future demand capture motions with a larger prospective universe. It’s a virtuous cycle – the best CMOs recognize you must invest in both dimensions synergistically to drive a consistent, cost-efficient pipeline.

Demand creation and demand capture work in tandem. Demand creation builds awareness and interest, while demand capture converts that interest into tangible leads and sales. Neglecting either aspect creates an imbalance and hinders the overall marketing effectiveness.

By strategically allocating resources and efforts to both demand creation and demand capture, a marketing team can effectively drive top-of-funnel awareness, nurture leads through the sales cycle, and ultimately maximize revenue generation and customer loyalty.

Next Installment: In our next post, we’ll break down how GTM leaders can focus on the right set of accounts for both Demand Creation and Demand Capture activities across the Sales and Marketing teams.

About: This is the first in a series of 3 blog posts based on a conversation between Bruce Eidsvik and Relevvo CEO, Aashish Dhamdhere. Bruce brings a wealth of experience as a seasoned management consultant specializing in B2B SaaS go-to-market strategies. With a stellar reputation for advancing Account-Based Marketing best practices, Bruce has consistently delivered outstanding results by aligning marketing, sales development, and sales operations. You can learn more about Bruce here.

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