Since customers are the lifeblood of any business, your goal as a startup or new business is to enhance brand-to-consumer relationships so that you can reach laser-targeted prospects across all digital touchpoints. One marketing concept sets the tone for your entire marketing strategy, and that is demand generation. That may leave you with the question, what is demand generation, and how does it work?
What Is Demand Generation?
Demand generation is the process of creating demand for a product or service by getting the right prospects interested in your offer. This strategy is designed to help businesses generate leads by nurturing targeted prospects until they turn into customers.
The goal is to retain those customers for the long-term. With an effective demand generation strategy, you won't just discover opportunities but also create them. It helps you make smarter marketing decisions by utilizing data to streamline your sales and marketing processes.
What Makes Demand Generation Different?
Unlike traditional marketing, where success is measured by the number of leads brought in, demand generation is measured by total revenue contribution. While conventional marketing generates leads that are not always pre-quailed, a demand generation strategy aims to find qualified leads that have a high chance of converting into customers.
Such a method works in close alignment with your sales funnel by helping you identify gaps and areas of improvement that could be holding you back from making sales.
Demand Generation vs Lead Generation
While demand generation focuses on developing targeted marketing initiatives to build brand awareness and establish trust with prospects, lead generation is only the act of initiating interest in a product or service, regardless of qualifications. Outbound marketing is the act of initiating a message or conversation with your prospects through techniques such as cold calling, social media advertising, pay-per-click ads, and email marketing.
An easy way to understand the differences is to look at demand generation as a strategy that encompasses lead generation and outbound marketing. In demand generation, each of these strategies works together to produce optimal results, focusing on finding prospects that can benefit from your products or services the most.
What Does a Demand Generation Strategy Include?
A typical demand generation strategy includes four manageable aspects that incorporate every touchpoint of the buyer's journey. These aspects are brand awareness, outbound marketing, sales, and customer retention.
Brand awareness consists of building your brand identity, identifying your ideal buyer persona, establishing thought leadership, social media leverage, and public relationships management.
Since you won't know what your audience will demand from you or how quickly people will trust your brand, demand growth serves as your initial benchmarking strategy. From there, you can use data from all of these sources to tweak your brand identity and buyer personas until you start getting better results.
Demand generation goes hand-in-hand with outbound marketing because you can use such a method to generate demand even after you've acquired customers. To implement an effective demand growth strategy, you will need to make sure you are also leveraging outbound strategies. For example, you can use email newsletters to tell existing customers about a new product or service or send a one-time email blast that includes a special offer for leads.
Outbound marketing also helps ensure that any inbound strategies you're using, such as blogging and gated content, don't just create demand for your content, but also for your products or services.
Strategic demand generation can streamline any gaps between your marketing and sales team, ultimately leading to more closed sales. Social proof techniques such as testimonials and case studies are a great way to build confidence and trust amongst your prospects by helping them come to their buying decision.
You can also use such data to create fact sheets for your sales reps so they can seamlessly close sales calls by communicating the value that prospects will get from partnering with your business.
A demand growth strategy can help you retain existing customers by keeping them updated on new products, offering loyalty discounts, and generating renewals and upsells. You can also track feedback and measure success at every step of your funnel to find improvement opportunities, which can help grow your customer base overall.
Signs That You Need a Demand Growth Strategy
Whenever there is a gap between your sales and marketing departments, the growth of your business usually suffers. Managing both teams can be overwhelming, and it's easy to overlook simple signs that your business could benefit from a demand growth strategy. Here are some common signs that indicate you may need to rethink your marketing techniques.
Your Website Isn't Getting Traffic
Suppose you check your website statistics only to see no changes in your amount of traffic. In that case, this is usually a huge indicator that you might benefit from implementing a demand generation strategy. Establishing a brand identity is the first step in such a system, which helps you communicate your unique selling proposition and create awareness among your prospects for continual sales.
You Don't Make Sales or Have High Customer Turnover
Another sign that your business may benefit from a demand growth strategy is if you do not see closed deals. Since such an approach leverages every touchpoint of your sales funnel, from the first point of contact to customer retention and upsells, there is a good chance that your ideal buyer profile needs an adjustment.
Likewise, if your leads are not making it through your sales funnel, it usually points to problems with your sales and marketing alignment. It could also be a sign that your marketing team is misunderstanding your customer. You can use the data produced from such a strategy to target your most ideal customer.
You Are Not Making Sales from Existing Customers
The buyer's journey does not end once you have turned a lead into a customer. With demand generation, the marketer's job is never done once a sale is closed. By marketing to existing customers, you can improve retention rates, decrease customer churn, and promote upsell offers. If you are currently marketing to existing customers but aren't seeing results, it is usually a good indicator that you could benefit from a demand growth strategy.
You Are Not Leveraging Existing Data
The only way to improve your marketing strategies is to know which tactics are working and which ones aren't. The most reliable way to figure out how effective your marketing plan is is to look at existing data, which should tell you the complete story. If you are not currently leveraging data and metrics, your business is sure to benefit from implementing such a strategy.
Using data to make your marketing decisions is essential because it helps you establish what your customers want so you can deliver every time. The first time you implement a demand generation strategy, it will serve as an experiment that you can test and build upon until you begin making more sales.
The Importance of Cross-Channel Analyses
All demand generation strategies should be optimized with a cross-channel analysis, which ties directly back to your overall marketing strategy. Such an analysis ensures that your campaigns are well-integrated and successfully deployed by measuring each channel's ROI. By aligning your sales and marketing teams with revenue objectives, you can create long-term contributions and a valuable sales and lead-nurturing process.
If you want to successfully generate an ongoing lead generation strategy that targets your best-fit prospects and leads to continually closed sales, consider implementing a demand strategy into your marketing initiatives. A well-thought demand generation strategy will provide you with the quality and quantity of leads needed to meet and exceed your sales goals.
Contact ProspectHunter today to learn more about how our technologically-advanced solutions can help supercharge your business and create demand where it is needed. Whether you need more qualified leads, a streamlined sales process, or help to develop a successful marketing campaign, we can help you fill in any gaps.