When you start researching marketing, there is a point at which you might roll your eyes and say ‘They just won’t stop with making up fancy names for good old marketing. Influence marketing, growth hacking marketing, and now…demand generation marketing, what even is that?!’
While we can sympathize with the struggle, the large variety of marketing directions merely shows the complexity of the customer’s journey from an unsuspecting lead to a loyal and interested customer. To make things easier for you, let’s break down the meaning of demand generation marketing and see why you should do it (and why you’re probably doing it right now).
What is demand generation marketing?
Demand generation marketing is an area of marketing that is specialized in the process of generating demand for services.
What does it stand for?
It explores precursors to a demand. When we talk about B2B and business 2 business sales in general, it takes more than a smart ad and a potential customer saying ‘I want it!’ to close a deal. Demand generation marketing is responsible for figuring out how and when your audience starts realizing that it needs your services. Does it occur after a particular season? Do they start looking for a vendor when they experience growing pains? Do they start considering employing a vendor after seeing an ad or participating in an event?
It helps to generate demand. Discovering the factors that motivate prospects to make a purchase is not the end. Next comes a set of strategies directed at your target audience. The goal of those strategies is to help your potential customers realize that they need a product that you provide, and to subtly introduce you like the best vendor for them.
It gives your customers a reason to stay around. B2B is based not on one-time purchases, but on long-time contracts and connections. So, a good chunk of marketing activities is directed at bringing churn rate down while providing your existing customers with a positive experience that convinces them to keep working with you.
Given all that, demand generation marketing is not a new trend or a cool name for good old marketing. It’s an essential part of your marketing efforts that covers everything related to demand. Therefore, the questions you shouldn’t ask yourself: ‘Do I need demand generation marketing?’ or ‘Am I doing demand generation marketing right?’
How is it different from lead generation?
‘Hold it right there! Doesn’t lead generation do all these things? Why do we need demand generation marketing then?’
This part leaves many people scratching their heads. True, these two directions are very similar, except for a couple of differences related to content and approach. And there is no reason for them to be different since lead generation is a subset of demand generation marketing.
|Demand generation marketing||Lead generation|
|Creates brand awareness. Demand generation marketing is directly responsible for making people recognize your company by building its presence on social media, industry-relevant platforms, events, blogging platforms, etc.||Builds connections. All lead generation channels follow the same objective: persuade people to leave their contact data. This way, sales teams gain an opportunity to start a dialogue and quickly find a price fit and a need fit.|
|Provides publicly available content. Following its goal to introduce potential customers to the values and assets of the company, demand generation marketing employs multiple creative channels for educating the target audience about every aspect of the company.||Creates gated content. In order to keep the conversation going, lead generation strategies include producing content that is exclusive to prospects only i.e. sales decks, e-books, tutorials, PDF forms, instructions, etc.|
|Establishes a network of customers. From referral programs to contests, events and free trial offer — demand generation marketing is in charge of rewarding existing customers for participation.||Focuses on lead nurturing. Lead generation is focused on keeping the leads going through the sales pipeline until they reach the final stage and turn from prospects into customers.|
Can you do lead generation without demand generation marketing?
Many startup companies that target B2B sales leads usually have a premade database of customers and make outreach their main source of new leads. For some time, it’s enough to get by. However, as a company enters a new stage of development or faces the necessity of exploring a new market, the lack of brand awareness comes back with a vengeance.
Imagine a company that tries to make a name for itself in a highly competitive industry but doesn’t have a LinkedIn account, not to mention a website. What chances does it have of succeeding?
If people can’t find proof of your company existing somewhere beyond your sales reps’ words and physical address on Google Maps, they won’t take their chances — their budget and their business are at stake. So even if your sales team consists of the most silver-tongued experts out there, they would still end up losing a number of potential customers during the B2B lead generation to a company with social proof and brand visibility.
With that being said, adding demand generation marketing to your B2B sales lead generation is like adding dressing to a veggie salad — giving all components a deeper taste, letting herbs and spices mix together and creating a flavor that leaves an impression.
So, what can we say about demand generation marketing?
If you’re invested in inbound strategies, work on your presence across all social media and platforms that are important to your industry, monitor your prospects’ behavior at each stage of the sales pipeline, congratulations! This is demand generation marketing and you’re doing it right!
Demand generation is your way to ensure that:
- You never run out of qualified and interested leads. It’s always easier in outside sales to speak with a prospect who has heard about you before. Even if your business leads mostly come across you as they explore LinkedIn, it makes a great difference when they receive a cold email from you. It eases the tension and removes friction from your initial conversation.
- You know how to sell to a new market. Whenever you sell to a new audience, it results in an extended sales cycle. Your new prospects need some time to adjust and get to know you. While it’s understandable, it can affect your close rate. Naturally, you’d want to spend less time on introductions and concentrate on closing deals and talking shop. With data gleaned via demand generation marketing, you can make it happen.
- You learn to think ahead. If your company is growing, you must be able to adapt to the changes. Markets mature, your audiences change and so do the factors that precede the generation of demand. The ability to notice the transformation and respond to it ultimately defines which businesses make it to Fortune 500 and which businesses fade into obscurity.
We hope you enjoyed that read. As always, more stuff is on the way. If you’re getting tired of refreshing the blog’s main page, subscribe to our newsletter — and have all updates delivered to your inbox!