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6 Ways B2B Demand Generation Teams Can Start 2017 Strong

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Dec 20, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Start-2017-strong.jpgWOW! We are less than two weeks away from 2017. It’s hard to believe that another full year has passed. I feel like it was just a few months ago when we were planning for 2016.

At Imagine, as we reflect on 2016, we can pat ourselves on the back for a few things but like many of you, we’re also painfully aware of the things that didn’t go quite right or even surprised us.

In 2017, we’re anxious to get started on the right foot. We spent Q4 doing things to help position us for success but there’s still a lot of work to be done in the first quarter if 2017 is going to start strong.

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Topics: Demand Generation

5 Key Takeaways from Inbound 2016

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Nov 23, 2016 2:30:00 PM

Inbound2016-cropped.jpgAnother year, another Inbound conference. This year’s gathering of inbound marketers and salespeople topped the 18,000- person mark, making it clearly the largest marketing conference in the world. Once again HubSpot did a great job of putting on a show, building the community and enabling great conversation to occur.

In an earlier post, I shared the product announcements HubSpot made. Today, now that I’ve had some time to ponder the event, I’d like to share my key takeaways from Inbound 2016. Overall, I was struck by the growing maturity of inbound marketing and how fresh and new it remains at the same time.

It is increasingly clear that inbound marketing and demand generation are becoming core disciplines to the modern growth playbook. While the importance is clear, the success formulas are still being created.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Demand Generation

3 Components Required to Scale Growth for Any B2B Organization

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Oct 14, 2016 4:30:00 PM

Imagine_Inbound_Scale_Growth2.pngI just finished my new presentation for Inbound 16 on sales enablement and it’s growing importance in successful sales, demand and revenue generation strategies (you are coming, right?). The focus of my presentation is on how sales enablement is crucial to bridging the divide between sales and marketing.

I kind of laugh when I hear people talking about sales and marketing alignment (and, yes, that means I laugh a lot these days). While alignment is certainly not a new issue, it’s prevalence has grown tremendously. It’s become so common, that while everybody agrees that it’s a worthy objective, very few have actually stopped to consider why it’s important.

The answer is actually quite simple. It’s important (and frankly, it’s only important) if predictable and sustainable growth - what we call scaling growth - is an objective. So, it’s a worthy effort.

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Topics: Demand Generation

3 Reasons Not to Pursue Demand Generation-Inbound Marketing

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Sep 30, 2016 2:00:00 PM

3-reasons-not-to-pursue-demand-generation.jpgAnyone who knows me knows that I'm a BIG fan of demand generation and inbound marketing. The only thing I may like more is baseball. 

Readers of this blog know that one reason for my fondness is that Imagine provides services in these areas. What many may not know is that we didn't actually start as an inbound marketing or demand generation agency. When Imagine was founded, we actually focused on solving the bottom-of-funnel sales problem. We practiced demand generation and inbound marketing for ourselves but it wasn't included in the services we provided to our clients. 

We were such fans of the impact it was having on our business that we decided to focus our entire business on creating the same success for others. While I firmly believe that the strategies and tactics associated with inbound marketing and demand generation can benefit every company, my experience has taught me that not every company should go down that path. 

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Demand Generation

4 Inbound Tactics that Can Impact Trade Show Success

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Sep 27, 2016 2:00:00 PM

tradeshowfloor.jpgUntil about two years ago, I was what is called today, a traditional marketer. I was responsible for a wide range of things. My days were filled with things like writing case studies and ad copy, branding initiatives, graphics support, direct mail campaigns, anything and everything associated with the website…the list goes on and on.

One of my favorite things from my life as a traditional marketer is trade show coordination. I love everything about it. From planning how things will look to executing pre and post show activities to working with staff to target specific attendees…I love it all.

The question is does making the transition to inbound marketing mean that I have to leave trade shows behind?

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Demand Generation

[VIDEO PREVIEW] 5 Growth Strategies to Finish the Year Strong

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Sep 21, 2016 4:00:00 PM

IMG-1667_LandingPage_Webinar-5_Growth_Strategies_Wide-1.pngWelcome to fall! It is hard to believe that we're only days away from the 4th quarter. How has your year gone so far? Is your organization ahead of plan? Behind plan? Somewhere close? 

How is your team approaching the 4th quarter? Are you looking at it as the last chance to "save" 2016? While these next 90 days can definitely impact overall results for the current calendar year, they can impact your 2017 results even more. No matter how the year has gone to date, the 4th quarter is the time to not only close business for this year but more importantly, it is time to start building a foundation for 2017.

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Topics: B2B Sales Strategy, Demand Generation

5 Keys to a Balanced B2B Sales Pipeline

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Sep 7, 2016 3:00:00 PM

declining-results.jpgA couple of weeks ago, I was catching up with a CEO I'd met through the speaking I do. He runs a mid-market company and several months ago he told me that he was implementing inbound marketing at his company. He was excited about the potential it brought and had credited the presentation I made to leading to the decision.

So I was checking-in with him to see how things were going. Unfortunately, I wasn't surprised with what he said. He told me, "Doug, we're still committed to inbound, but frankly we need to get our deal pipeline in order first. Sales are not where they need to be, and we are 'all hands on deck' to driving sales over the next 90 days."

I laughed (on the inside) when I heard this. I thought to myself, "Really...you've done little to no work on the top of your funnel in years, and your pipeline is weak. Who'da thought." I wished him luck, knowing that if I check back with him in 6 - 12 months his company will be weaker than it is today (which is weaker than it was 6 - 12 months ago). What's worse, he won't even realize that he's sealing his own fate.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, B2B Sales Strategy, Demand Generation

How To Define Your Ideal Client Profile

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Aug 25, 2016 3:00:00 PM

ideal-client-profile.jpgThe single most important question you can answer as a business leader, marketing or sales executive is, “Who do we want to be a hero to?” The question, even in its simplest form, is quite difficult to answer and the implications of that answer have huge impacts on your business.

If you’re involved in complex, high consideration B2B sales, the question is even more complex, because you must answer it from two distinct perspectives:

  • The types of companies you want to do business with, or what I call your Ideal Client Profile (ICP).
  • The people who you must influence and connect with to make consistent sales and to delight as customers, or what I call Buyer Personas.

As the idea of buyer personas grows, I’m seeing with increased frequency a blur between the two, resulting in greater ambiguity and wasted growth resources. When the goal is creating sales and marketing alignment to enable consistent, scalable growth, creating clarity behind both is important to success.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Demand Generation

Messaging Can Make or Break Your Demand Generation Strategy

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Aug 1, 2016 4:00:00 PM


beach-vacation-messaging.jpgHola from a beach in Mexico! That's right...I'm taking a vacation. Today's blog post is "my message in a bottle" to you from that beach and coincidentally, it's all about messaging.

Messaging has never been more important than it is today. To get the attention (and keep it) of your audience, it's imperative that you are crafting and delivering the right messages to the right people at the right time. There's a lot of hard work that goes into developing your message. If you don't get it right, your entire demand generation strategy will be in jeopardy.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Demand Generation

4 Tips to Go from Traditional Marketer to Demand Generation Super Hero

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Jul 19, 2016 2:00:00 PM

demand-generation-super-hero.jpgIf you’re like me, you’ve spent the majority of your career to date as a “traditional” marketer. Meaning that your days have been spent executing a wide range of marketing tactics…everything from copywriting to event planning to public relations to advertising. These tactics supported the overall strategy of the marketing department and the organization with the end goal of creating awareness and driving sales.

Today marketing is much different than it was even five years ago. It’s not even referred to the same way. We have content marketing, inbound marketing and digital marketing…just to name a few. And to complicate things further, much of the marketing conversation now revolves around demand generation.

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Topics: Demand Generation