Is Building a Demand Centre critical to your business growth?

The six stages to demand centre maturity is a model that has been developed with our clients in mind, based on taking them from where they are today and helping them move to the next level. The ultimate objective is to drive more revenue and more value to their business through the demand centre.

Last year at the SiriusDecision summit, Tony Jaros summed that “most, if not all B2B organisations will have or actively be on their way to adopting a demand centre in the next 2 to 3 years.” From first hand experience of my clients I can say that the majority have evolved the level of sophistication and scale they operate to over the past couple years. Also the number of organisations that have been adopting demand centres or equivalent under a different guise has increased again in the past 12–18 months quite significantly.

You can download the slides here.

The interesting thing is whilst they feel they are going through these challenges alone, most of the ceilings and problems they face are consistent with their peers. These six stages were developed to systemise what challenges someone faces and how we can move them onto the next stage. It is very very easy for progress to plateau and for people to get stuck in a delivery pattern where they are really not sure how one moves to the next level. How will I give my business more value than where I am today when I’ve got more pressures from the business to do more, and potentially not with an increase of resources? The key thing is it can be systemised, and there are sequential steps and initiatives that can be deployed that can really help take businesses from where it is and move it one step at a time to get it closer to where it wants to be.

I’ll introduce the six stages now and to try and help visually communicate these for you I’ll show these on two dimensions; the first one is the effectiveness and impact of activity for organisations, and the second running along the bottom focuses on the time the market takes to adopt some of these practices.

Stage One: Inception

The first stage is a proof of concept and it may involve one stakeholder, or a group of stakeholders, but what they really have to do here is to get the business to buy in and have the funding to go to a pilot or prototype. Basically, to make this model a reality for the business.

Stage Two: Standardisation

The second stage focuses on standardisation, because organisations adopting traditional marketing approaches with more complex technologies and data points could find that execution takes longer, and may not deliver increased ROI. Making this standardised is vital to creating a sustainable demand centre with increased value to the business.

The six stages of demand centre maturity that improve B2B marketing value and RoI.
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Stage Three: (Deeper) Integration

Stage three is all about having deeper integration so that more things done manually can be automated and work in the background without the need for manual interaction every time you want to execute a campaign. You want to trigger some of this, so it’s about how we can get to a point of ‘always on’ where the demand centre is offering a lot more scale for campaign activity.

Stage Four: Empowerment

Stage four is critical because until this point the demand centre has been responsible for all execution and prototyping that the business wants to deliver. This is when other users, business teams, regions, countries and stakeholders are effectively allowed to use the infrastructures that have been built around the demand centre. This is where the scale really increases for the value it offers the business — and the demand centre’s role goes from one of execution and building infrastructure to enabling the business to adopt the best practices, platforms and technologies that have been deployed in build-up — it’s a change to governance, process and enablement.

Stage Five: Scale

In stage five, organisations reach a point where the data that they hold, or the data they’re trying to purchase, isn’t giving them increased ROI and all the value they need on a monthly or quarterly basis. It’s vital to widen the top of the funnel and drive attraction at this level, which can then scale the pipeline, and the opportunities that marketing, and the demand centre are delivering.

Stage Six: Optimisation

In the final stages we focus on optimisation — i.e. how can you start to get more value out of what you’re doing? Because you probably have quite a robust pipeline at this stage, you’ll have good visibility and predictability around it. The challenge is how to get those incremental gains. Do you focus on the top of the funnel where you drive more conversions and reach? Or do you accelerate and grow value throughout the life-cycle at the bottom of the funnel and through customer bases?

So that’s how it works from a high level. If you want to hear each stage in more detail, just watch the video above.

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