Brand And Demand Together

By Trusted CMO

Last fall, I was invited to speak at SaaStock in Dublin and B2B Rocks on topics related to developing a brand that can fuel growth and demand.

Young companies have limited resources (funding, people, timing, experience). And, they have ambitious expectations to acquire customers, double revenues, and build awareness—all at the same time. Focus is an imperative, but it’s  challenging for SaaS businesses because awareness and acquisition are interconnected.

How brand and demand work together

Brand is your company’s identity and personality. It is also the extension of your value proposition. Beyond logos and pixels on a page, your brand is the way your customers interact with you, how your products work, and even how bountiful your knowledge base is. Demand is how you appeal to and educate prospective customers so they try and buy your products. It’s how you pull them into your community, personalize their experience with you, and keep them engaged and active. Your marketing strategy and plan should define how your brand and demand can work together to meet  your goals.

Developing a strategy that serves both

Focus is your friend. Your marketing strategy should have only two parts: one for brand and one for demand. But your tactical plan should map out how the two intersect to serve both acquisition and awareness goals. I recommend that companies go through a series of questions and follow a sort of framework I’ve developed.

Many people conflate goals, strategies, and tactics. Here’s one post that helps explain the difference and another with funny pictures.

Step one: Warm-up and Recalibration Exercise

Have each team member respond honestly to these questions individually. Is everyone is on the same page?

  1. What is the company vision and mission?
  2. What are your business goals (revenues, customer count, profitability goals) for the next two years?
  3. Besides your “champion” customer, are there any other roles in an organization that would use or influence the purchase of your product or platform?
  4. What are the current strengths of your product set and solutions? What are your current weaknesses?  
  5. Why do you win against competitors? Why do you lose against them?
  6. What obstacles stand in your way, e.g. money, team, technology?
  7. Where do you have gaps in your understanding of the market? What do you need to research further?
  8. What opportunities do you see for your company and your technology that could add more value to your business (more customers, industries, technology)?

Step two: Setting the strategy

After you have completed your assessment, you can start to formulate your strategy using this simple outline.

GOAL: What are your goals? Be specific and include numbers. Why these goals over all others?

CHALLENGES:  What are the strengths and weaknesses you face relative to the goals? Can you surmount these with the support of your internal stakeholders?

INSIGHTS:  What are the obvious and non-obvious insights that relate to your goals and challenges? Detail persistent gaps in your understanding that you need to investigate or address.

STRATEGIES (set only 2):  What is your strategic approach to achieve your brand and demand goals given what you know and the challenges you face?

TACTICS: What are the concrete steps you will take to support your strategy? Detail timing, team, budget, resources, metrics etc. See this post for some tips.

KPIs: What are the KPIs (key performance indicators) that determine whether  your strategic plan was successful? How do those break down by quarter and year?

Friction vs. friction-free

Planning is one thing and implementation is another. One caution is ensuring that your brand and demand plans don’t accidentally cancel each other out.  Here’s one example: website demo requests.

  • The demand generation team wants to get leads to complete forms so SDRs have leads to call;
  • The product team is paranoid about showing competitors seeing how your product works.

But your product is branded as easy-to-use and faster to onboard than your competitor’s product. And yet, to see and how easy and how fast, you have to sign up for a demo with a salesperson. Do you see how these to things are not simpatico?

Instead, you should do what Gladly has done (click on Watch Demo). Create a demo video or a live demo session that requires few fields of information and self-scheduling. The prospect can watch it and either jump ship or request more info. You’ve made it easy and fast to get more information. And, you’ve qualified a new lead and improved sales efficiency by not requiring an immediate intervention from your sales team.  Easy-to-use and faster to onboard.  

If you’re interested in the rest of the playbook or pixels, you can watch the talk here or contact me for the presentation.

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