Demand Generation refers to the comprehensive program of sales and marketing initiatives that aim to generate interest for your product or service, nurture high-fit prospects into customers and retain those customers for the long-term. Demand generation programs can help your organization reach new markets, promote new product features, build consumer buzz, generate PR, and re-engage existing customers.
A true demand generation strategy accounts for every touchpoint in the buyer’s journey — all the way from anonymous visitor to delighted customer. It leverages data in decision making to align your marketing and sales teams, track marketing's contribution to revenue and, most importantly, drive growth for your organization.
Unlike the traditional marketer, who is measured on the number of leads they bring in, the demand generation marketer is measured on their total contribution to revenue. In other words, the leads that a demand generation marketer passes over to sales must be a truly good fit for the company and therefore have a high likelihood of becoming customers.
How to increase demand and drive revenue?
Demand generation involves every stage of the marketing funnel - Marketers guide prospects through the conversion funnel. When prospects are ready to become customers, sales teams can take over to navigate logistics, build the business relationship, and get a deal signed. It requires complete visibility into your funnel to identify the gaps and opportunities that can be optimized for improved performance.
Since the demand generation process covers every single touchpoint (from building awareness through customer retention), they can be broken down into four manageable parts:
Brand Awareness: In order to generate demand, people have to know who you are. The first step is to develop brand awareness, the extent to which contacts and customers are able to recollect and recognize your brand. Common brand awareness tactics include the following methods:
- Building brand identity
- Properly identifying buyer persona
- Establishing thought leadership
- Leveraging a strong social media presence
Inbound Marketing: This distinction between demand generation and inbound marketing can be tough to readily see. Simply put, inbound marketing is one type of demand generation activity. Common demand gen tactics that are inbound include blogs, social media, videos, podcasts, newsletters, and ebooks - content-driven resources that establish your company as a thought leader, influencer, and information hub in your industry.
Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people towards your company. By aligning your content and messaging with your customers’ interests, you naturally attract audiences, connect with stakeholders, and build a culture around your brand.
Sales Enablement: Marketing and sales alignment is critical to the success of your entire business. Fortunately, sales enablement initiatives driven by a comprehensive demand generation strategy can promote unification across marketing and sales and, in turn, close more business.
Customer Retention: While acquiring new business is important, retaining, delighting and evangelizing your existing customers is critical for achieving sustained growth with your demand generation strategy.
You always want to go above and beyond for your customers, providing them with the ultimate impression of your company and your delivery. By under-promising and over-delivering, you can delight customers at every step of their journey. Of course, providing excellent customer service in this way is just one important method to fuel customer retention.