To drive effective and cost-efficient buyer engagement through demand marketing, marketers must build programs with clear goals tied to business objectives and a long-term campaign theme linked to buyer needs. So why do marketers have so much trouble with demand program planning? Demand program owners need a repeatable approach to program creation.

The Forrester Marketing Program Planning Framework provides a process for planning, designing, and executing effective marketing programs that drive business results.

While the fundamental process for program development is the same across all program families — reputation, demand, and engagement — demand programs have a unique level of complexity.

B2B demand marketing programs have defined audiences and organize a set of inbound and outbound tactics to achieve a quantifiable objective to activate, validate, or accelerate demand. Demand programs are complex because they must align to an individual’s tactic preferences and buyer’s journey needs in addition to comprehending the individual buying group members attached to an opportunity moving through the Forrester B2B Revenue Waterfall.

When demand marketing programs fail to comprehend foundational marketing inputs and key inputs at each stage of the demand program planning process, the result is noise in the market. To avoid inconsistent performance and limited insight into how to improve, B2B demand marketers must have a consistent and repeatable process for planning, designing, and executing demand marketing programs that drive business results.

We find that there are at least seven common friction points in demand program planning, including:

  1. A lack of cascading marketing and campaign planning inputs.
  2. Poor interlock across functions.
  3. An absence of audience insights into tactic preferences.
  4. An inability to operationalize buying signals in real time.
  5. Lack of visibility and socialization of program and tactic performance.
  6. The need to upskill program owners.
  7. An overreliance on “safe tactics” that have always been used instead of creating pilots to test hypotheses.

In our session, Working In Harmony: A Thoughtful Approach To Demand Marketing Programs, at Forrester’s B2B Summit North America on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, Carrie Rediker and I will share an essential set of inputs for each phase of demand program planning. We’ll talk about why incorporating these inputs creates a harmonious process to keep the organization in sync and achieve demand program success.