The meaning of demand generation is right there in the name. A bit anticlimactic, I know, but this article is more about how to do demand generation rather than what it is.
When using this strategy, you are creating demand for your service or product which the audience is not necessarily aware of beforehand. Let’s not oversimplify the matter but take a closer look.
In marketing circles, demand generation is a catch-all term for different marketing activities. These activities are those that look to create awareness around your brand, bring more traffic towards your website, and ultimately, interest in your product or service.
The process of demand generation is not a one-stop thing but a long-term strategic process. In essence, you are looking to set your brand name as a leader and trusted advisor in your niche. This can include multiple campaigns and content designed specifically to generate awareness around your brand.
Ultimately, you want your customers to be aware of the problem, make them know of your brand’s solution, and ultimately, set yourself up as a genuine expert in the field. Even if your prospective customer is not yet willing to make a purchase, once they do, your name will be on the top of their list. It is about letting them know you are out there.
Demand generation best practices
It is important to remember that demand generation is a part of something bigger, it is the top-of-the-funnel process. You aren’t necessarily looking to outright sell your product, but to set yourself up as an expert in the field that your audience will look to.
Although demand generation has you make different formats and touchpoints to target a variety of audiences, you want to keep a similar voice across them.
For this, you will have to generate a consistent brand identity that translates into making your brand easily identifiable. The more recognizable, the more the brand can be remembered, which ultimately can result in your brand being favored over the competition.
It is essential for any team that is working on-demand generation to work closely with the sales department. Simply pumping your marketing to anyone without this converting to quality leads is entirely detrimental.
The challenge is to be able to target your audience properly. This is why a good demand generation strategy relies on different personas.
Different prospects will have different needs. These will be different issues they care about most and different pain points. Knowing this is imperative towards being able to offer your service to them in a more engaging way.
Demand generation strategies are also highly data-driven. You want to be able to see what strategies worked best and provided more useful traffic towards your business. Now, this is an iterative process.
Which campaigns were most effective? Which activities provided better outcomes? Once you know this information, you can put more focus on these while discontinuing the less successful ones.
Some strategies to keep an eye on
Let’s see a few strategies that can be successful for demand generation. What can we be looking out for when answering the question ‘What is Demand Generation?.
Provide free resources
As you want to promote your brand, you want to prove your value to prospective customers. This is easily done by providing free and useful resources that can be actively used by the target audience.
While providing free stuff may seem counter-intuitive, this has proven to work. With the current environment of a plethora of free resources being available, you want to provide yours to establish active engagement.
Your audience is not just consuming your marketing passively but actively making use of it. While this may not be cheap, time and time again, it has proven to be incredibly useful.
Partnering with industry influencers in webinars
Webinars and events are perfect means of gaining the attention of your audience. These are perfect for putting your solution to industry problems out there and creating brand awareness.
Partnering with industry influencers will help you associate your brand with the positive standing that these influencers already have. This can also let them highlight the benefits of your service.
While this may be difficult, given the demand that these industry leaders may have, you want to still establish relationships.
Webinars are also an excellent tool to generate learning resources and active engagement with your target audience. They are a great means to highlight and discuss your audience’s pain points.
Having a strong social media presence is essential in the current internet world. You want to connect your brand with the audience directly and demonstrate a positive attitude. Your brand should be associated with providing solutions to issues and solving user problems instead of creating them.
You also want to monitor the sentiment of your user base towards your brand. Keeping an eye on pain points is essential to being able to address them.
To use social media effectively, it is extremely important to take full advantage of the platform social media provides to generate a strong campaign with which to drive interest. Having a good social media campaign with events, educational resources, content, and similar strategies can easily drive traffic towards your site.
While these are simply examples of different strategies that have been proven to work, there are many more out there. With new technologies and platforms being developed every day, your creativity is the limit. You must make use of a multitude of different strategies and avenues to reach your different target personas.
Now you should have plenty of insight into the question of “What is Demand Generation?”
And it should be easy to see why it is imperative to have a strong demand generation platform. Not only is it essential towards creating those leads that can end up becoming customers but also a useful tool for optimizing your marketing funnel or flywheel.
Making marketing a generator of revenue instead of simply being a useless cost is the determining factor of a good demand generation campaign. Your product or service exists for a reason—let the world know what that reason is!