If so, what is it?
But before that, what have the previous eras of B2B marketing actually been?
Google it and you’ll find a mess.
There’s no consensus. Even for just these past few decades. It’s all over the place.
What you’ll really find is marketing tactics.
Packaged up as strategic approaches.
And elevated up into so-called eras.
Even worse, most of the writing about eras is driven by companies that clearly operate with their own agendas.
Companies like Elevate Demand present a frame for thinking about the world that “just happens” to map to what they’re selling.
That’s marketing though. And legitimately, it’s a huge part of what every business should do.
So what’s the actual lesson here then?
Don’t. Get. Distracted!
While there’s of course value in a lot of the talk about what era we might be in, there’s also a pretty good chance you’ll end up in a rabbit hole – without different results.
That’s what’s happened for so many of us in recent years.
Regardless of what we’d call the most recent era, Demand Generation has clearly dominated the conversation around B2B marketing over the past handful of years.
Loud voices have been telling us about all the changes we’ve needed to make.
“You now need to do X, Y and Z in order to be a legitimate marketer.”
New eras apparently come with judgment too.
“Wait, you’re still gating your content? Disgusting!”
It’s not that the movement didn’t include valid advice. It had plenty of that.
But most marketers tripped themselves up while fumbling through dark social.
And now that the lights are on, everybody can see just how hard it is to create demand.
Rather than chasing all these updated tactics…
What if we would have just put our heads down and spent the past few years working to solve the most critical problem for our business:
How to actually acquire new customers in a way that can sustain and compound.
Even – or perhaps especially – when times are tough.
Sure, demand generation wanted to accomplish that too. Of course!
But all the talk about just “getting a message out there” and starting a podcast and all kinds of experimental stuff distracted so many of us.
Tough to admit? Maybe.
That said, the effort involved with all the tactical changes proposed by the “create demand” wave wasn’t necessarily ROI positive.
By the way, it’s mostly the same stuff. Waves, movements, eras…
We were about to present a new era ourselves actually.
You may have noticed us talking about low friction acquisition as part of our belief that the most important thing for B2B marketing teams is to get really good at one thing:
An upgraded form of customer acquisition.
But thankfully we’re stopping short of proclaiming loudly from a balcony somewhere:
We’re now in the customer acquisition era!
See how silly it sounds?
But the essence is actually right. In our humble opinion. We’ve gotten too far away from figuring out how to acquire new customers when times are tough.
As much as we believe our thinking will help you, we’re mostly hoping you’ll focus all the way in on whatever is the biggest growth opportunity for your business.
- Your partners in growth at Elevate Demand
PS: This is totally unrelated, but if you have an appreciation for the OG of all marketing OGs, Seth Godin, and you haven’t tuned in to him much lately, he recently came on The Tim Ferris Show and dropped some real knowledge.