Many B2B marketing teams start with demand generation as the first broad program to implement. This may be a function of all the marketing automation tool sellers pounding into our brain the value of inbound marketing. But this couldn’t be further from reality. There are 3 frameworks your team must develop prior to starting a scaled demand gen program.
Framework #1: Message Planning by ICP Sub-Segment
Initially when we start developing our marketing strategy, most of us develop messaging and ideal customer profiles. But for solid demand generation programs we must dig a little deeper and build messaging variations for each ICP (or persona) sub-segment. This is important because it will create the messaging variations you’ll need to implement multivariate copy testing at scale.
It is this level of granular planning that will ensure that all your email drips, landing pages, and other communications are built in a way to support your not only your overall messaging but the specific nuance you want to communicate to each ICP sub-segment. Also, by building out these messaging frameworks (at TBM we use pinwheels to visualize this messaging detail), you also be able to see messaging alignment up down and across our ICPs.
Framework #2: Content Planning by ICP Sub-Segment
It’s not enough to have a content marketing plan or editorial calendar. Like we did with our messaging planning, we need to build variations for each ICP or Persona sub-segment. From a content perspective, this means creating variations for the exec summary or introduction for each ICP Sub-Segment. For example, you may have a 10 page white paper on interesting custom research, but the 2 page executive summary at the front of that white paper must be specifically written for that persona sub-segment to make it relevant to that niche audience.
The net, net is you want to modularize all your content creation so that its aligned to your brand (the core material) but it also speaks to each audience a unique way. And this is the skill that only a few writers have.
Framework #3: Branding by Persona
It is not only our language that must be modularized, but so too must our design. Design is now variations of a theme. Maybe each persona gets a slightly different color palette, or maybe a differing set of font treatments. But each of your persona need an authentic experience that aligns to their mindset, firmographics or whatever your segmentation strategy.
But isn’t this antithetical to branding 101 that we learned in b-school? You betcha, branding is now an experience not just a logo or typeface. And to make that experience as authentic as possible it needs to align to the audience that we are speaking to — at that moment. At TBM, we use a “hub and spoke” branding implementation model to visualize how our clients’ brand’s design frameworks are implemented.
So do you see a theme here? Well really there are two: All work is modular and all work needs to be done at the persona and sub-persona (ICP) level.