Dos and Don’ts for Balancing Your B2B Demand Generation Portfolio

Don't put all your eggs in one basket

Here’s how it pays to apply risk/reward and asset allocation strategies to B2B marketing.

Recently, I met with a long-time client to review demand generation campaign results. We were in the thick of the campaign and were conducting a lot of testing (and leveraging some tried and true channels/tactics, too).

Nothing unusual there…until he shared a heightened appetite for risk.

Naturally, I was delighted! It was a wonderful and potentially highly rewarding opportunity.

And then I steered us toward the asset allocation conversation.

Asset allocation for marketers

I believe an effective integrated marketing campaign is like a good investment portfolio: it benefits from a balanced approach, with a variability of risk.

If demand generation tactics are the assets, then our strategy for deploying them requires balanced allocation to maintain a consistent yet superior rate of return.

Regardless of your organization’s propensity for risk, here are a few marketing allocation “do’s and “don’ts” to consider:

  • Do: Understand who your audience is, and the various channels they engage with regularly (e.g. websites, communities, email, direct mail, search engines). Spread your marketing dollars across these various channels. This approach gives you multiple lines of access to your audience and will quickly expose the channels that provide the highest returns at the lowest costs.
  • Don’t: Put all your assets against one channel and hope it will work. This approach is unecessarily high-risk , and doesn’t provide insight for long-term effectiveness.
  • Do: Consider a mix of high-volume/broader-based efforts (e.g. publisher guarantee programs) along with lower-volume/laser targeted efforts such as direct mail. This will allow you to manage for long-term effectiveness while creating opportunities for short term gain.
  • Don’t: Forget to track EVERY aspect of your campaign so that you can optimize on your learning later.
  • Do (MOST important): Remember it’s FAR more cost-effective to cultivate prospects than it is to acquire new prospects. Make sure you build out a nurture plan that enables you to keep prospects warm and move them through the sales cycle.

And remember…it’s always okay to revisit your appetite for risk!

I didn’t put the brakes on my client’s refreshingly risky ideas, but I didn’t let him swerve the whole campaign wideload into the fast lane, either.

We consulted the campaign GPS and “recalculated.”

Do you have allocation do’s and don’ts to share—or maybe a completely different take on demand generation risk? Let’s chat in the comments.

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