Demand generation is the process marketers employ to make clients want to buy their product or service. This differs from lead generation, which is intended to make people want information about your offering.
It’s used mostly in B2B environments or long-term B2C sales, and requires a number of steps and components to make it successful, depending on the size and complexity of your average sale. These could include building awareness, achieving relevant positioning in your market, and “marrying” your marketing strategy with your sales process.
Demand Generation Tactics and Techniques
A robust, successful demand generation program requires several primary tactics, which include:
1. Quality Website Development
A quality website is vital for generating demand. It not only tells visitors about your product or service but helps you get found in search. It also enables you to track the digital fingerprints of people visiting your site to identify their interest, preferences and even the urgency with which they need a solution. There are multiple ways to get more traffic to your website, and, of course, the more visitors you receive the higher your demand generation success is likely to be.
2. Powerful Content Delivery
This is the fuel behind the fire powering your demand generation process. Responses to a DemandGen survey showed 75% of executives relied on content to discover solutions, and 64% indicated content had an impact on their purchase decision.
Content can include blog posts, eBooks, downloadable white papers, video footage, infographics, and email newsletters, among others. The important factor in making content work for you is matching it with your ideal prospect’s pain points, and offering information that corresponds with every stage of their buying journey.
3. Regular Social Media Presence
Social media plays a critical role in demand generation, in that it’s used in the B2B space for research, listening, and monitoring. Data mining tools used with insights from platforms such as Facebook are scalable across huge audiences, and give you intelligence such as trending topics, pain points driving conversations among your target audience, the viewpoint of target personas and how your competitors are reaching the market.
Use this data to determine who the influencers are in your niche, where the conversations are taking place and which vendors are being recommended most often by the audience.
4. Well-Orchestrated Media Buying Campaigns
Digital media buying strategies can play a significant role in generating demand in specific industry niches. You can engage your target buyer long before he or she is aware of their need for your product with well-timed programmatic advertising and paid search campaigns.
Use content, social media and marketing to attract potential buyers, personalize your marketing for the various stages of your sales funnel and apply predictive analytics to the bottom of the funnel to identify the leads most likely to buy from you.
Implement comprehensive digital advertising campaigns aimed at reaching prospects in each stage of the funnel, which ties the whole effort together into a robust demand generation program.
Best Practices for Managing Demand Generation
Managing a robust demand generation program requires marketers to focus on the components that deliver the best ROI. Best practices for achieving this include:
· Using Marketing Automation for TOF Processes
Top of funnel activities carry a lower likelihood of successful sale than those lower down in the funnel, so they are perfect candidates for automation. Statistics show 55% of B2B brands use automation for TOF activities, and that adoption of these can help companies improve the efficiency of lead management.
· Adopting Advanced Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Methods
Marketo reports that 97% of B2B marketers get a higher ROI from account-based marketing (ABM) methods. Since ABM focuses sales and marketing resources on a tightly-defined batch of prospects in a particular market niche, the resources and budget used to generate demand from this audience has a higher potential for success, a clear ROI and reduced waste.
· Collect Quality Data
B2B demand generation success depends on the accuracy of your efforts, and that is only possible if you’re basing them on high-quality data. If your marketing team has to spend a lot of time manually verifying or formatting data to be able to integrate it with your marketing automation or CRM system, you’re probably wasting both time and money. The results will be wasted budget, difficulty identifying warm leads for nurturing, and low sales conversions.
An Exact Science
Businesses in any for-profit environment rely on the existence of demand for their products and services, which can’t occur unless your target audience is aware of your product and the problem it solves.
Utilizing that demand depends on being able to raise awareness, address the prospect’s pain points, and provide reliable information about a solution. Getting that information out to your target audience is the cornerstone of demand generation, and it IS an exact science.