Demand generation is solving a problem many marketers have and that is the ability to get customers to come to you. This is a departure from the usual strategies of pushing messages. All with the hope that it will land in the right ears or eyes.
Think about it this way. Which customer is more likely to buy from a brand? The one who receives information through advertising or other marketing strategies. Or, the customer who seeks out a brand because they have a genuine interest in it?
Demand generation focuses on the top of the sales funnel. At this point, the customer is still in the awareness or knowledge-seeking phase. It would be wrong to assume that anyone visiting your website is ready to buy. Some of them are still browsing before making a decision.
With demand generation, the aim is to capture the potential customer at the top of the funnel. Yet, many B2B salespeople focus on lead generation. Indeed it is one of the most critical tasks for up to 70% of companies.
Yet, only 56% of organizations will verify leads before passing them to sales teams. It makes the work of the sales team more complex. This often leads to conflict between marketing and sales. The latter has to take on the onerous task of verifying the leads. That delays from starting on the conversion process.
Our article explores how to use demand-generation tactics to increase sales. You will get practical, workable tips you can use in your organization.
Understanding the Demand Generation Marketing Concept
Demand generation is about creating demand for your products or services. It needs proper planning and implementation of marketing strategies. The concept is simple. People are more likely to buy if they are aware of the brand.
That means the focus for demand generation is increasing brand awareness or visibility. There are different metrics for measuring a successful demand generation campaign. These are:-
- The quality of leads you collect at the end.
- The number of conversions you can achieve, thus a direct impact on revenue. The ability to keep customers, thus more revenue from return purchases.
- Please note demand generation and lead generation are two different strategies. Remember, demand generation is getting people interested in your brand, products, or services.
Lead generation now captures those interested individuals and turns them into leads. There is also the aspect of capturing customer information with lead generation. Demand generation does not capture such data.
Demand Generation Tactics to Increase Sales
Pull Marketing to Fuel Sales
Do you know why salespeople have a bad reputation? Think about it. Do you like it when a salesperson shelves a product or service in your face? Unless you are unlike many customers, the answer is no.
Salespeople come across as only interested in the bottom line. The aim is to sell and not relationships. Even some of the tactics they use are a turn-off for some customers.
Don’t you hate it when brands bombard you with emails? Or, you log on to the website, and there are many pop-ups and advertisements.
Demand generation is about creating excitement and interest in products. It changes the element of push marketing to pull marketing. In the case of the latter, you intend to draw the customers to your products or services. You do this with interesting, engaging, and solution-providing content or tactics.
You can position the brand as a solution provider to identified needs. The chances of building a loyal customer base are much higher this way. Interactions are a crucial ingredient for relationship building. In the end, the beneficiary is the company.
Initial Leads Qualification with Appointment Setters
Forward-looking companies use an appointment setter when dealing with prospective B2B clients. The appointment setter contacts potential clients and scheduled meetings.
The role is not the same as for the sales team. Appointment setters lay the groundwork. They must have excellent communication skills. It helps to have the ability to spot that initial interest and the products or services.
The conversations reveal a lot. The appointment setter will, for instance, know if the lead is worth pursuing.
We shared statistics about unqualified leads being a source of conflict between marketing and sales. A conversation between an appointment setter and a prospect can address such issues. The sales team then spends time chasing leads that can convert into business for the company.
Empowering Customers with Content
The reality for marketers is that they’re dealing with an empowered customer base. The typical customer will research a product or service before initiating contact. Research shows that B2B customers can complete 57%-70% of the purchasing decision on their own. They will not even speak to a salesperson at this time.
With information everywhere, customers understand their problems better. They also carry out research on solutions before speaking to a seller.
Yet, therein lies an opportunity with the use of demand generation tactics. Content is such a critical part of decision-making. Then it makes sense to become the source of that information.
Content generation is a critical demand generation tactic. The company needs to look at the sales funnel and provide the correct information.
At the very top of the funnel is that customer looking for information. The brand can use demand-generation tactics like videos or blogs to provide answers.
In the middle of the funnel is the opportunity to educate. The customer understands their pain points. They are also taking the time to check different solutions. Think about uploading eBooks, whitepapers, and product tutorials.
Webinars are also fantastic for nurturing prospects. It also provides a tremendous opportunity to further engage with prospects. That could be the first step to establishing relationships. You can also show that you are an authority in the niche.
By the time the buyer reaches the bottom of the funnel, they may be leaning towards buying from you. Now is the time to close the deal with case studies, live demos, and consultation.
Whatever content you put up must be relevant. Further, it should consider each part of the buyer’s journey.
Email Marketing For Targeted Communication
What do you do when you receive an email from a brand you do not know? For many people, it would be to trash it. Others will even divert such communication to the spam folder. One thing for sure is that you will not be reaching your target audiences with the communication.
Yet email marketing is a fantastic demand generation tactic. You must lay the groundwork by coming up with a segmented list. It helps to have an excellent understanding of your audience. And that entails quite a bit of research.
Proper segmentation has several advantages. It becomes easy to target the audiences with communication that is relevant to them.
Further, proper segmentation allows for the personalization of email communication. Research shows that if you use a personal name on an email, you increase open rates by up to 35%.
It is also essential to ensure that you optimize the emails for mobile. 80% of recipients will delete emails they cannot access on their mobile devices.
Segmentation is also excellent for remarketing. A prospect may show interest in a particular product but not buy it at that time. That provides the marketing team with the chance to develop personalized messages. It could be reminders or offers/promotions that entice potential customers to buy.
Build Trust with Thought Leadership
We talked about a crucial demand-generation tactic, which is content generation. Content makes you a thought leader and information source. Posting relevant or insightful blogs shows authority in your niche. Contributing to publications, guest posting, and even link building also helps.
Other effective tactics are eBooks, how-to guides, webinars, newsletters, and videos. The trick is to repurpose your content in a way that different audiences can get access to it.
Some will prefer video content to text. So, repurpose the text into a video for such demographics. Give snippets or summaries of the content on social media to generate interest. Link it to the website for anyone who wants more information. The goal is to engage with audiences at many touch points.
When people see that you are knowledgeable, they will start to trust your brand. The same happens when you get a mention in other publications, forums, or networks.
It does take time and concerted effort to become a thought leader. It did not happen overnight for the investment Guru Warren Buffett. So you should not expect anything different.
Get ready for a lot of work but remain consistent. The results will be worth the sweat. When people trust your brand, you can be sure of loyal, lifelong customers.
Demand generation is changing the way marketers think. It is not about tactics whose end goal is to sell. Rather, demand generation aims at creating interest so that customers come to you. That is why brand awareness is the most fundamental part of demand generation.
Potential customers need to know that you exist. Second, they need to trust your brand as a critical step to becoming loyal customers.
Demand generation tactics like blogs, webinars, videos, and personalized emails can increase sales. But, you must be consistent, relevant, and provide solutions to identified customer needs.
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