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B2B SaaS demand generation explained

One of the best visuals I’ve seen on how the demand gen workflow ties with lead gen activities.

At its core, demand gen is an orchestration of marketing and sales tactics to drive awareness.

These cross-functional efforts occur at the top of the funnel to build an audience around your product and problem space.

  • Outbound marketing emails
  • Inbound marketing efforts (organic, paid, referrals)
  • Retargeting ads and email nurtures
  • Top-of-funnel programs (webinars and events)

Alex Kracov @ Kracov Co demand-gen

Thought leadership for demand generation

Thought leadership and brand awareness go hand in hand when it comes to demand gen.

I often say that building trust is the battle that comes before adoption. And the quickest way to earn trust is to provide value consistently.

Here are three Thought Leadership campaign types to help you build trust.

👉 Newsletter-led / Blog-led (optimizes for a subscriber base, but has a long ramp time to stand out)

👉 Podcast / Interviews-led (optimizes for building intimacy, but difficult to measure attribution)

👉 Events-led (optimizes for building community, but time intensive)

Ayush Poddar @ StartupGTM demand-gen

How to run effective campaigns

A masterclass on building, testing, and optimizing campaigns!

Whether you’re building demand gen or lead gen, running campaigns is core to your GTM initiatives. And to run them well, three layers need to work together. Here are a few questions to ask to set yourself up for success.

👉 What funnel stage are you using to define your success criteria – moving MQLs into first calls?

👉 What segments are you targeting – is it a new market or are there specific criteria?

👉 What channels are you using to engage with prospects – how are you reinforcing your messaging across mediums?

Emily Kramer @ MKT1 Newsletter demand-gen

Gong’s LinkedIn takeovers playbook

Follow this playbook to grow your company’s LinkedIn page to 200K followers.

Through a combination of company, employee, and paid social posts, Gong layered different mindshare tactics to drive brand awareness.

Here’s the breakdown.
👉 Encourage employee takeovers – share new hires, personal milestones, and regular updates to drive engagement and visibility

👉 Build a brand voice for your company page – use “edutainment” to personalize your content – your posts should read like a human, not a corporation

👉 Compliment your posts with thought leader ads – use specific persona targeting to boost organic posts through LinkedIn’s Thought Leader Ads

Matteo Tittarelli @ HyperGrowth Partners growth

Kong Inc. captures customers with content and community

Community building is an essential accelerator for the demand-gen flywheel.

A great example is Kong Inc., an API management platform. The company used three community tactics to capture the attention and engage with the developer community (not an easy segment to build rapport with).

👉 Highlight top contributors on your community page and through social media shout-outs

👉 Regularly host events such as technical webinars, workshops, local meetups, and hackathons

👉 Gather feedback from your community through forums, surveys, and direct customer calls

Ethan Crump @ Foundation growth

Does outbound still work?

The short answer is – Yes, buyers still respond to great emails. However, it’s true that the traditional playbook where dedicated SDRs send mass generic emails doesn’t work today.

Instead, sales teams need to revisit the primary reason we send outbound emails – to add value to the reader. Here’s a tip, subscribe to your company’s outbound emails. Would you find them valuable or do they read like spam?

Jason Lemkin @ SaaStr outbound

How to automate signal-based selling

Traditional GTM motions started by buying target account lists, adding them to your CRM, and sequencing them. The accounts are cold and the messaging is the same. Generic.

However, there’s a new way to sell into markets today. Start by prioritizing companies that have expressed some signal that they could be a customer. There are two types of intent signals.

  • First-party signals – the company takes actions directly on your website, blog, or free tier
  • Third-party signals – the company has a recent event or announcement that's related to your value-prop (e.g., hiring for a new role, launching a new product, posting about a topic)
Once an intent signal takes place, the account is immediately sequenced in an outbound campaign.

Brendan Short @ The Signal Club outbound

Your guide to outbound automation

The modern outbound tech stack has these three layers.

  1. Intent Signal Provider/ Account builder (e.g., Koala OR Keyplay)
  2. Data Orchestrator (e.g., Clay)
  3. Email Sequencer (e.g., Outreach)
With these three tools, your sales team can scale outbound emails – all without an SDR team. This is exactly what Thenam, an AI-powered customer success platform, did to revamp its GTM motion.

Here’s a quick rundown.
👉 Thena used a tool like Keyplay to continuously refresh and prioritize account lists for the sales team

👉 Then, with a data orchestrator like Clay, the company sent targeted outbound emails on behalf of AEs (replacing SDRs)

👉 At the same time, the AEs would send custom personalized emails to high-priority accounts

Kyle Poyar @ Growth Unhinged outbound

Growth at Dropbox

A successful growth motion extends beyond just PLG plays but relies on the right culture and team setup to enable it.

Here’s a breakdown of the Growth team at Dropbox and the metrics they track.

  • Acquisition – total sign-ups
  • Activation – number of sign-ups that reach set up/ reach the first habit loop
  • Monetization – conversions from free to paid + retention + sales-handoff
  • Engagement – weekly active users + 12 month retention

Elena Verna @ Elena's Growth Scoop growth

The marketing strategy behind AppsFlyer’s rise to $2 billion

The multi-channel playbook that helped AppsFlyer, a marketing analytics platform, scale. Here’s the rundown of the different channels.

  • LinkedIn – the main channel, posts slideshows, and frequent long-form text
  • Facebook/Meta – not a priority channel, posts infrequent videos
  • Instagram – multiple handles, posts images and short videos multiple times a week
  • Twitter/X – cross-promotion posts from LinkedIn, emphasizes comments and replies
  • YouTube – saw some success with commercial-type videos
  • Medium – caters to a technical audience, the main channel for DevRel

Chris Meabe @ Foundation growth

So you think you’re ready to hire a marketer? Read this first

Every SaaS founder eventually asks this question – when is the right time to hire a marketer? While there is no silver bullet to timing, there are some common mistakes you can avoid.

👉 One piece of advice is to align the timing of your marketing hire with your company’s growth stage. For B2B SaaS companies, that means waiting until you have a repeatable sales model before amplifying your messaging.

@ First Round Review marketing

How to hire your first marketer

Once you’ve decided to hire your first marketer, the next step is to define the right profile. Someone who has a mix of product, content, and growth marketing experience would be the perfect candidate. However, unicorns do exist (at least in tech) but they are hard to find.

👉 Instead, look for someone who has strategy and execution skills at a minimum, with a blend of product and growth marketing experience.

Emily Kramer @ MKT1 Newsletter marketing

Your first 90 days as a growth Mmrketer – what you need to know

What are the next steps after hiring a marketer? Aligning an action plan early into onboarding is one way to set them up for success.

Aside from familiarizing themselves with the current tech stack, observing the company culture is an important step that's often overlooked. This article covers what the first 7, 30, and 90 days should look like.

Daniel Johnson @ GrowthMentor

Do people still SEO? 🐸

The short answer is “Yes, SaaS startups are still SEO-ing.” However, with the rise of AI content and chatbots for quick question-and-answer interactions, multi-touch media is becoming increasingly important for discovery.

👉 For instance, consider diversifying your marketing efforts across various channels—such as email, social media, and partnerships–to help maximize visibility and engagement.

Kevan Lee @ Kevan Lee seo

Should you use AI for SEO content?

As marketing teams increasingly adopt LLMs for content creation, startups should shift their focus from 'should we use AI?' to 'where should we use AI?'

👉 Use GenAI to write top-of-funnel content, adding to your keyword profile and building topical authority. At the same time, allocate more effort and (human) expertise to crafting engaging content for high-intent keywords.

Ben Goodey @ How the F*ck seo

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