Demand generation is a type of marketing program that helps drive long-term\nawareness and engagement throughout the entire customer lifecycle. While focused\non generating revenue, aspects can include awareness, inbound marketing, lead\ngeneration, sales, and retention.\n\nToday, demand generation goes beyond generating leads to support sales. Instead,\nit focuses on providing information and supporting people to help them make the\nright decision for themselves at the right time while encouraging them to\nconsider your brand as the perfect fit for their needs.\n\nUnderstanding demand generation marketing and the top strategies for a\nsuccessful demand generation program can help your brand be more successful\nthroughout the customer journey. Read on for a quick guide to get you started.\n\nWhat is demand generation?\nEssentially, every touchpoint in the consumer journey from prospect to retention\nand upselling can be included in the term “demand generation.” Each activity\nthat helps to drive awareness and interest in your brand, product, or service,\nto generate leads that can help close the business is considered demand\ngeneration.\n\nDemand generation and lead generation are often used interchangeably, but they\nare in fact, different. Lead generation focuses on converting new prospects,\nwhile demand generation builds awareness, generates leads, converts those leads,\nand retains them as long-term customers.\n\nKey aspects of a demand generation strategy\nBrand awareness\nTo create demand, people need to know who you are and start creating a\nrelationship with your brand. Developing brand awareness with your primary\naudiences can help ensure they can recognize your brand and start building trust\nwith what you have to say and offer.\n\n * Start by identifying and building your brand identity, which is how your\n business differentiates itself from competitors. Use these tactics to drive\n recognition and affinity to your brand.\n * Identify opportunities to establish thought leadership so that people will\n consider you an expert and authority in your industry. When you are seen as\n an expert, people will be more apt to think of your brand when trying to\n solve a problem.\n * Be active on social media and other platforms to communicate your brand and\n engage with followers. This includes using public relations strategies to\n develop a relationship between the public and your brand.\n\nCapturing demand\nCall this lead generation or inbound marketing, but once you create a demand for\nyour brand through brand awareness, you need to be able to capture those who are\ninterested. These tactics can help convert visitors into leads and leads into\ncustomers while creating ongoing demand for your product or service.\n\nExamples of tactics to capture demand include blogging/content marketing, paid\nadvertising, conversational marketing, email marketing, website conversions, and\nmore, which we will detail later.\n\nAccelerating sales\nOnce you’ve generated and captured demand, there are tactics you can use to help\nclose sales. Sales agents are an obvious answer, but other examples of tactics\nthat can help close the gap between marketing and sales include testimonials,\ncase studies, fact sheets and FAQs, estimate calculators, and more.\n\nOnce you’re able to capture contact information, you can send emails or other\npersonalized outreach to your leads, answer their specific questions, and help\nthem understand why they need your product or service.\n\nBe sure any tactics you have (other than sales agents) to close sales are easy\nto use and functioning as expected; otherwise, you could risk losing sales.\n\nRetention\nTo achieve sustained growth, you must retain the customers you worked so hard to\nacquire. Demand generation isn’t just about generating demand until the sale but\nalso about continuing to generate demand to retain the customer long-term. You\nshould always provide your customers a positive impression of your brand,\nincluding exceptional customer service.\n\nSome tactics to help with retention include client marketing, ensuring customers\nknow of any new products or services, are educated with “how to” and “help”\ncontent, and ultimately getting value out of their ongoing relationship with\nyou. Show you appreciate them, encourage feedback, and constantly optimize the\ncustomer journey.\n\nYou should also use this as an opportunity to generate up-sells and renewals,\ngenerating even more opportunities. Keep the conversation, and two-way\nengagement opportunities open here to help ensure this growth and retention.\n\n5 strategies for a successful demand generation marketing program\nYou can use several tactics for demand generation programs, many of which you\nmay already be using strictly as a lead generation or retention strategy. With\nsome tweaking, you can use these strategies across the entire lifecycle of the\ncustomer.\n\n1. Content marketing\nContent can be just about anything, including blogs, videos, ebooks, podcasts,\nwebinars, social media posts, infographics, whitepapers, case studies, etc. You\ncan then use this content on your website or social media channels, emails,\nblogs, paid TV or radio advertising, etc.\n\nContent marketing should be a key piece of your demand generation program\nbecause you can use content to answer your audience’s questions, build trust,\ndevelop relationships, generate interest and engagement, and retain existing\ncustomers. By informing, persuading, or entertaining your audiences with\ncontent, you create a bond with your brand.\n\n2. Paid advertising\n * Amplify your content with paid search ads, helping get your content and\n website in front of people actively searching for related terms and keywords.\n * Use display advertising, including images and videos, to get your brand in\n front of specific audiences in targeted areas. Optimize for click-throughs or\n view-throughs with ads using text, images, and links to your website.\n * Social media platforms also provide paid advertising opportunities to ensure\n your ads get in front of the right people at the right time. Integrate\n remarketing or lead generation tactics to make your dollars go further.\n * Don’t forget about traditional media tactics such as TV, radio, billboards\n (out-of-home), and newspaper or magazine (print) ads. While these aren’t\n effective for all audiences or brands, utilize them if they are right for\n you.\n\nThese are only a few examples of paid advertising opportunities. The key is to\nknow your audience and understand where they spend their time and are most\nlikely to engage with your ads. Then, develop paid advertising opportunities to\nensure you are in that space.\n\n3. Email marketing\nOnce you’ve captured an email address and opt-in, you are free to email those\nleads or customers.\n\n * Leads: You must continue to generate demand for your product or service.\n While they have shown interest, you must continue to engage. Use\n attention-grabbing subject lines and offer engaging content. Be sure to\n always include a call to action. \n \n Offer content that convinces the leads they need your product or service.\n Answer their questions and show how your company can resolve their pain\n points. Use this as an opportunity to develop a relationship with the lead.\n The important thing is to always provide value; otherwise, they will\n unsubscribe.\n \n * Customers: Even after a person has become a customer, you can use email\n marketing to continue to engage with them, retain them as a customer, and\n even develop opportunities for upselling. Share company updates, teach them\n how to take advantage of your product or service, give them an inside look at\n your company, and make it personable. \n \n Personalize content to speak to them at a deeper level. Use the information\n you have about your customers to your advantage.\n\n4. Conversational marketing\nLive chat and chatbots are great tactics to deploy conversational marketing.\nProspects, leads, and customers want to know you are available to them to answer\ntheir questions and solve their problems whenever they need it. When that\nhappens, it helps generate demand for your brand over competitors. Use these AI\ntools to make consumers feel they have access whenever they need it.\n\nHowever, other forms of conversational marketing can include social media, phone\ncalls, and even email depending on your email strategy. Any way consumers can\nhave a two-way conversation with you can be a great strategy.\n\n5. Website\nWhile your paid ads may be the first introduction audiences have to your brand,\nyour website is the front door that truly opens up the opportunity for demand\ngeneration. Your website should showcase your brand, culture, mission, and\nvalues.\n\n * Information about products and services should be easy to navigate.\n * Have direct, easy-to-find calls to action to make conversion simple.\n * Utilize search engine optimization tactics so that your website ranks and is\n visible.\n * Showcase the content developed in your content marketing strategy.\n * Have forms or gated assets to encourage prospects to become leads.\n\nThese are just a few examples to get you started, but remember, your website\nshould be an extension of your company and brand while having everything someone\nneeds to become a lead, then customer, then retained customer.\n\nTips for successful demand generation\nBecause demand generation involves various activities, it’s important to be\nflexible with your program and tactics. But, here are a few tips to help your\nprograms be more successful.\n\n1. Have clear goals\nIt’s important to identify the end goals of your campaigns in the beginning.\nWhat does success look like? What are you trying to accomplish? What are your\nrevenue or sales goals? Are there specific KPIs you want to achieve?\n\nWhen you answer these questions and have solid goals outlined, you can work\nbackwards to figure out the opportunities and tactics you’ll need to meet those\ntargets.\n\n2. Understand your audience\nIt’s challenging to develop a successful strategy and tactics if you don’t\nunderstand as much as possible about your ideal customer and existing customers.\nNot only should you have demographic information like age, gender, household\nincome, education level, etc., but also psychographic data like lifestyles,\ninterests, beliefs and values, etc.\n\nYou should also be able to answer questions like what are their challenges or\npain points, especially when it relates to your product or service. The more you\nknow about your audience, the more specific you can get with messaging that\nspeaks to them.\n\n3. Be authentic, engaging, and creative\nWhen creating content or launching these demand generation tactics, it’s\ncritical to be authentic to your brand, engaging to your audiences, and\ncreative. Be original and do what you can to stand out from your competitors.\nCapture and keep your audience’s attention. Help them realize you’re the answer\nto their problems, and they need your product or service, but do it in a way\nthat will make them feel good about engaging with your brand.\n\n4. Analyze and optimize\nYou should be measuring as much as you can, as often as you can. KPIs to track\ncan include:\n\n * Cost per acquisition\n * Customer lifetime value\n * Cost per click\n * Cost per impression\n * Cost per lead\n * Conversion rates\n * Close rate per channel\n\nYou can also use channel-specific KPIs like impressions, clicks, time on site,\nclick rate, click to open rate, etc.\n\nReviewing and analyzing the performance of your tactics regularly can help\nensure you’re continuing to optimize for the best performance possible.\n\n5. Test\nYou may not know what works perfectly the first time. So, as you analyze and\noptimize, work to test different hypotheses, tactics, messaging, and creativity.\nUse A/B testing strategies to find out what works best for your audiences.\n\nWhile you think you may know what’s best for these tactics, some of it will\nalways be unknown. Use A/B testing to understand what your audience responds to\nwhile increasing engagement, improving effectiveness, and making your campaigns\nmore successful.