Demand generation is often confused with lead generation; whilst they differ in method and goals, both these processes are equally key to B2B marketing and sales success. The process of demand generation puts your target audience in contact with your brand and product, drumming up an interest in what you can offer- creating a “demand” for your product/solution. Lead generation brings you new business opportunities, converting this demand and interest into details, enabling direct sales contact and a chance to gain new clients.
Without demand generation, business lead generation cannot exist. Many of us are already generating demand through B2B lead generation efforts, but without a demand generation strategy, you cannot hope to achieve your best new business results. Here’s 12 top tips to help you engage your target audience with advanced demand generation:
1) Understand your message
To create a strong demand for your product, a full understanding of your value proposition and what it says about your product is essential. If you cannot agree on this as an organization, then you’ll end up creating confusion instead of demand. Nail down what your product means, then live, breathe and preach this message in every piece of outreach you initiate. This will not only help people instantly understand what you do and boost demand generation success, it will make your brand and presence stronger, so the demand you create is more likely to produce high-quality and well-informed leads.
2) Maximize with use cases
Now your message is finalised, look to your product/solution’s use cases. There may be several ways you can take your product to market, helping you create demand in a wider audience of business decision makers. By only focusing on one use case, you fail to create demand in possible leads, depriving your team of new business opportunities. Fully apply your product to each identified use case then target your outreach efforts appropriately, maximizing your success in promoting brand engagement and generating leads further down the line.
3) Create smart content
In the world of demand generation, content is your secret weapon. Content has a wide reach and many decision makers are keen to engage with assets reflecting their current pain-points; this is where you need to be smart. Content offers you the perfect platform to create demand in your product without overtly shoving it in your audience’s face. Use your topical, relevant content to highlight those all-important use cases, placing your product seamlessly into the reader’s everyday life, helping them feel the demand and later converting.
4) Always be front-of-mind
It’s easier to create a demand if your audience have plenty of ways to discover and engage with your brand and product. For demand generation success, you need to think multi-channel (more on that here…). 72% of buyers prefer to engage with a brand through multiple channels, so explore all the options available to your team. Look to social media platforms, run PPC campaigns, maximize content with SEO and attend events- all this activity helps you boost demand generation by reaching more people and helping them discover you again and again (until they become a client!).
5) Remember your reputation
It’s easy to forget just how important your reputation is, especially in demand generation. When someone discovers your brand for the first time, the power of the internet makes it highly likely they’ll soon discover your reputation too. If this is negative, it can reduce demand and hurt your results. Carefully construct and implement a PR strategy, helping ensure your reputation is positive and powerful, so your brand maintains a world class image and boost the demand for your services.
6) Organize data collection
To better target your demand generation, spend time focusing on the gathering and processing of business data matching your ideal client. This will soon provide a list of businesses you can work with, and the audience in which you want to create a product interest and demand. With this valuable data, you can target campaigns to do just that. This will help your lead generation yes, but this focus on boosting demand will improve the quality of leads you successfully convert meaning they’re more likely to become clients, produce ROI and ultimately grow your business!
7) Do something different
If your demand generation is lacking causing results to drop, consider doing something totally different. As our connection to technology grows, the impossible is becoming possible, meaning our audiences are harder to impress. Discover guerrilla marketing, the new craze where businesses aim to do something show-stopping, literally making their audience stop and look. You’ll need to get creative, thinking of something clearly linked to your product that’s enticing enough to draw in a crowd at a business event, or create an internet sensation. Done well, you’ll see demand like never before- so get your thinking cap on!
8) Be buyer-centric
To create a high demand for your product, you need to understand you audience– who they are, what they want and how you can change their everyday life. For this to be effective you need to think buyer-centric, putting your audience first in every campaign. Placing yourself in the shoes of your buyer is a good start, but you need to go one step further; run questionnaires with current clients about how your product effects their daily business needs or ask unconverted leads to get in touch about why they didn’t follow through with a purchase. This will help your demand generation effort hugely and may even give your wider team some food for thought.
9) Love your product
Creating an excitement and demand for your product is easier when your whole team is behind it. If everyone loves the product and think’s its genuinely helpful, all your marketing efforts will be more successful, and your team will be keen to promote the launch of new additions. If your team don’t know anything about your product, nothing they do will be personal, and no matter how hard you work on a demand generation strategy, you won’t see the results your team are capable of. Help your team love your product!
10) Share your personality
If you’re in a competitive market, you’ll need to work even harder to boost successful demand generation due to the added pressure of creating a demand for your specific brand as well as your product. You need to stand out, and what better way to do so than by fuelling your outreach efforts with personality! We’re not suggesting you turn your brand into a person or mascot, but ask yourself- if you did, what sort of person they would be? Think of three defining traits your brand personality exudes, then use them to help your marketing be totally individual.
11) Think of the bigger picture
Measuring demand generation is difficult. Leads are called thus thanks to their palpable offering of details, allowing you to properly connect with your new business opportunities. Demand is not so easily calculated, so you need to think of the bigger picture. Look at your sales results, and your retention success to understand how well you’re currently creating demand. Think of your competitors, and how their activity effects the impact you have on your audience. Understanding your demand generation success is more than just measuring leads.
12) Understand your online audience
94% of buyer journeys start online. It’s safe to say your website is likely to be how many people discover your brand, therefore it should always aim to drive demand. You need to take full control of your online audience by understanding who they are, and how your team can convert them.
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With these 12 tips your demand generation will offer outstanding results, benefiting your entire business. Don’t just sit there waiting for business to find you, get out there and make it happen today!
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