Are you looking for ways to generate leads and increase demand for your products or services? It’s a question most businesses struggle with every year. We all want to increase sales and get our brand out there. How do we generate demand and make more people want our products? Whether you’re dealing with B2C or B2B, filling the pipeline is something we’ve all got to do. And it’s critical if you’re involved at all with marketing and sales.
Demand generation marketing deals with the question of how to fill our databases with opportunities. We all know what a dead lead looks like. Someone’s ticking a box just to tick it. It’s not a real sales opportunity capture by a creative marketing campaign. Ross Kernez of Hpone says “that you want actual leads ready to buy, who come to the table to learn about what you have to offer.” Demand generation’s role in this equation is finding ways to raise awareness of what you’re selling and how to make more people want what you can deliver. Current demand generation marketing is about delivering the right ad to people who are ready to buy or sign up for a service. Moving people to that point more quickly is what demand generation marketing’s all about.
Lead Generation vs. Demand Generation
Every salesperson knows the difference between a good lead and a bad lead. They can tell within seconds of looking at it. What’s the difference? Well, the main difference is the quality of information that comes along with the lead. Bad leads have very limited information. Maybe just a name and a phone number and nothing else. Anyone who’s ever done cold-calling knows what it’s like dealing with bad leads. Yes, sales can often be a numbers game, but bad leads mean you have to make many more attempts to get deals done. Leads were gathered by farming databases and collecting publicly-available information. There were databases you could pay for, but the information was limited.
There are still companies that do this type of lead generation, but the marketing industry has largely moved on. These days, lead generation is typically referred to as demand generation. The distinction is that lead generation provides leads that are prepared and likely to take some form of a desired action. The information is pertinent, and selling is much easier. Demand generation is concerned with marketing to an audience throughout the entire sales cycle. It walks people through the complete funnel.
The Power of Data Makes Demand Generation Possible
Digital marketing is the key to effective demand generation. Billions of dollars are invested every year to improve online tools that gather data for marketers to use.
Popular demand generation tools include:
- Online forms
- Email lists
- Social media outlets
- Subscriber lists
- Keyword search results
Learning how to use these tools makes marketing easier than ever. Most of the time your leads will do most of the heavy lifting, filling out personal information, or buying interests that you can use to target them with advertising more effectively.
Quality Content for Lasting Demand Generation
As mentioned, demand generation is about hitting a marketing campaign on multiple channels and throughout the sales cycle. One piece of awesome content is going to have limited effect. It will certainly drive traffic and affect sales numbers, but lead generations are about doing more. You want a sustained level of demand that lasts long-term. Think about the marketing you’re doing now and how it’s impacting your audience.
- Is the content I’m publishing bringing people back to my site/blog/channel?
- Does my content engage my customers meaningfully?
- Does the content generate buy-in and increase interest?
One of the best things about demand generation is that you can see its impact immediately. A great way to do this is to branch out into new marketing channels previously unexplored by your company. If you’ve never done video ads on Instagram, for example, then making a content calendar and publishing there, it’s easy to measure how much demand is generated.
The availability of data analytics tools can help you keep track of performance while you’re trying to generate better leads. Soon, you’ll have a dedicated audience full of partners or people who want to see you succeed. That’s when business becomes easy and your products start selling themselves.