Marketing is in a constant state of flux and with that comes new approaches and terms. An example of this is demand generation, which encompasses the entire process involved in creating demand among your audience for your product or service. Here’s a guide to the process of creating a strategy to successfully help your business increase the desire for your products and services.
Understanding Demand Generation
In most cases, demand needs to be generated - it does not simply exist. Your target audience needs to discover your product or service, have a need for it and decide that your offering is better than all of the competing products and services. Traditionally, when working with a marketing agency, the numbers said it all - the higher the number of people reached, the better. When it comes to demand generation, it’s all about the quality of those numbers. After all, marketing that’s seen by the wrong audience is inconsequential.
Demand generation is therefore an approach to marketing based on a strategy that employs specific techniques. It is all about making people want to buy what you’re offering through building awareness and interest. This requires time and commitment to put into place, from having a deep understanding of your audience to providing a consistent message, branding, leads and eventually sales.
Demand generation is an approach to marketing that considers the sales funnel in its entirety. The main goal is to drum up awareness among targeted audiences, then to convert passive, potential customers into qualified leads and customers into loyal ambassadors. You will therefore need to have the following in place:
- Goals: As with any strategy, you need to have goals firmly in place. With demand generation, it's simple: create demand that leads people down the sales funnel.
- Team: This approach requires a team effort. It is a combination of marketing and sales, where the best outcomes are built on various parts of your business working together. Sales and marketing team members provide each other with key information that can improve the demand generation process.
- Channel considerations: You need to meet your audience where they are and increase your visibility by having a multifaceted approach to content distribution. This includes social media, website, email, online advertising and forums.
- Tools: Utilising tools can assist you in carrying out the strategy, by using techniques to the best of your ability. This includes software to optimise and share your marketing, such as website and CRM services.
Demand Generation Strategy
- Identify how to reach your audience: There is a lot of research and understanding that precedes this step. Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a useful technique to use in order to create in depth studies on your targeted audience and to build personas. The more detailed the better, as having several niche target audiences allows you to have a more personalised approach, leading to increased effectiveness.
- Determine the message: The key is to create messaging that will create interest among your target audiences. The content and campaigns you develop needs to resonate with them. It also needs to communicate what your business’s unique selling point is and how your business beats competitor offers.
- Lead generation: Lead generation is a key element of demand generation. There are various techniques to encourage your audience to share their details with you, and this is often dependent on the content you have offered them in exchange, as well as the generation of enough interest. Once you have the leads, it is important to utilise customer relationship management tools that can safely organise and store this data. Another key part of demand generation is evaluating the leads you generate. You should filter these by qualifying them. This will determine where they are in the sales funnel and how you should approach them going forward.
- Reaching out: Once you’ve determined where your leads stand in terms of interest, you can approach them in order to encourage them to take the next step. ABM comes into play here again, as you research based on the profiles of these leads will steer you towards the best methods to approach them. Some leads will simply need to be retargeted to remain front of mind, others will be ready to begin a free trial and some may be ready to engage with a sales team member to make a purchase. For leads who need time to progress, you will need to nurture them by continuing to follow up with them and guide them through the steps.
- Relationship marketing: Once you have your customer base, it is important that you don’t simply stop at the sale. You need to continue to engage with customers as this community has the potential to develop long term loyalty toward your brand and have the potential power of referral marketing.
To wrap things up
Demand generation is an overarching approach to marketing that focuses on creating qualified leads. With that in mind, businesses should absolutely implement this strategy. With demand comes leads and with leads comes sales.
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Book a virtual meeting with us at Nexa to discuss your demand generation strategy.