What is Demand Generation?
Demand generation is a marketing strategy that focuses on generating interest and positive brand awareness in a company’s product. The key is to create sustainable, long-term demand that helps drive lead generation efforts and ultimately fills the prospect pool with potential customers who are genuinely interested in your product.
To implement effective demand generation, sales and marketing teams must be aligned.
Why is Demand Generation Important?
Demand generation is important for every business because it creates positive brand awareness. The goal of a demand generation strategy is to target ideal audiences with engaging marketing materials and content that not only resonates with them, but establishes your company (and its products) as reliable, trustworthy, and worth investing in.
People are more likely to purchase products they recognize and know are valuable. Referrals and positive reviews help, but aren’t guaranteed, so it’s important to implement an effective demand generation strategy as well.
If you don’t hype up your own company, who will? Whether you’re targeting new audiences or engaging with existing customers, make sure you communicate the unique features of your product, show off how it works, and prove that it’s the right choice.
The efforts put into creative demand generation are seen further down the sales pipeline when informed prospects convert to customers.
Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation
“Demand generation” and “lead generation” are two terms that are often used interchangeably but are different from one another.
As mentioned above, demand generation focuses specifically on using marketing tactics to get audiences interested in your product. This engagement may or may not convert people into qualified prospects. Demand generation occurs at the top of a sales funnel and bolsters interest.
Lead generation, in contrast, focuses specifically on creating relationships with the intent to convert leads into customers. The end goal of lead generation is to grow a customer base, and occurs at the bottom of a sales funnel.
Lead generation wouldn’t happen without demand generation. They’re both necessary for sales, but ultimately have different end goals.
Demand Generation Strategies
The following strategies can be used to increase and improve demand generation:
Create Meaningful Content
Engaging, memorable content is essential for demand generation. People need to recognize your brand and product, and be enticed to learn more about it. This can be done through social media channels, on your website, newsletters, or ads. You can also create video content to boost engagement.
Once people are interested in what you’re offering, sales reps can begin nurturing relationships and moving them through the sales cycle.
Create Ideal Customer Profiles and Personas
When creating demand, focus on targeting the right audiences. Otherwise your efforts are wasted. Use existing data to create ideal customer profiles and personas to outline the specific types of customers you’re looking for, and how to successfully interact with them.
Promote Free Trials and Tools
Offering a simplified version of your product on a free trial basis will attract potential customers and allow them to see exactly how it works. By ensuring a positive experience, demand to keep using the product will increase. This is an easy way to score new customers.
Like everything else in sales, demand generation tactics should always be measured. How many people are being reached, how are they engaging with your content, where are they engaging with it, and how are these actions converting to opportunities for the sales team?
All of this data will help sales reps make informed decisions, and also help pinpoint exactly how to successfully engage with audiences.