Have you ever heard of demand generation? Depending on what business circles you mix in you might have a very good idea of what it is, or no clue at all. There’s been a lot of confusion in recent years about the difference between demand generation and lead generation, and more specifically whether they’re the same thing or not. And the answer is, no. They aren’t the same thing. If anything, demand generation is like lead generation’s big brother, paving the way for it’s success.
What Is Demand Generation?
If you have no one to sell your products to, do you have a business? No. And most businesses are born because their founders spotted a gap in the market and created something that could meet that demand. But in order to grow a healthy and thriving business, you need to do a little bit of work to increase that demand. That’s what demand generation does.
‘A data-driven marketing strategy focused on driving awareness and interest in an organisation’s products and services, with the ultimate goal of developing long-term customer engagement.’
That’s a bit long-winded for us though. Essentially demand generation works to build awareness of your products and services in the market, and capture the attention of people who know they have a problem but don’t have the solution yet. Your job is to highlight the problem they have and then point towards yourself as the solution. Sometimes this means solving the surface problem in order to expose the bigger problems beneath, which can be done in a number of ways that we’ll explain in detail later. Demand generation is the activity that gets you from a cold audience to people who are aware they need support and that you could be the answer.
How Is It Different From Lead Generation?
It’s easy to see why you may be confused about demand generation because they sound very similar on the surface. However, they both achieve very different things. While demand generation creates the demand for your product in the market, lead generation reaches out into the market and gathers information so that you can target consumers directly. One of the most common forms of lead generation is building an email list. Marketers use a series of tactics like giveaways, lead magnets, social media advertising and referral programmes to get the names and email addresses of people who are interested in what your business provides so that you can follow up, build a rapport and try to sell them your service. In this way, lead generation is the next step in the chain from demand generation, and it ultimately helps your sales funnels become more effective.
Why Do You Need Demand Generation?
There are a number of reasons demand generation is more important for your business than you would think. Because even if you have a captive audience right now, your growth capacity will always be capped by the number of people who actually know they have an issue to solve. That’s why even the biggest brands still engage in demand generation (which can also benefit smaller companies) on a regular basis.
For starters, demand generation increases brand awareness for you in the market. Even if you’re not directly selling anything, the fact that your branding and logo are out there on information puts you in their heads, which all adds up to that valuable 7-11 touchpoints. It’s a slow burn, but it can have big results down the line.
It will also significantly increase the number of leads your business gets since you are letting people know about the problem and your solution. If done properly, a good demand generation strategy can fill up the top of your sales funnel and create a healthy new stream of income for you. If done consistently, that stream should never dry up, leading to a permanent increase in revenue.
Building Your Demand Generation Strategy
So how do you actually generate demand in the market? The good news is, that there are literally hundreds of ways you can do this, so there’s bound to be an approach out there that matches your business and your target market’s needs. But for today, let’s just look at 3.
Who doesn’t love a freebie? It makes us feel like we’re getting the best deal ever, and it creates a positive association in our minds between the brand and ourselves. So consider what resources you could give away as a way to entice people to your business. It could be a content download, information in a blog, an infographic or a promotional campaign. Make the giveaways high-quality, and you will build a sense of trust in your audience and let them see how confident you are of your brand. Plus, if you’re willing to give information away for free, prospects are much more likely to part with their personal data to gain access to more, which is when they turn into a lead.
Webinars & Events
Webinars and events are a great way to build thought leadership and really cement yourself as the expert in your field by delivering real value to attendees. Webinars are essentially a way of giving your knowledge away for free by helping your audience overcome a common industry pain point, teaching them about new products or educating them on upcoming changes they need to be aware of. If you can, partner up with complementary businesses to create more impact and attract a much bigger audience with little to no effort.
Videos are one of the most popular forms of media on the internet, so getting on board can make a huge difference to your marketing. They are a rich, immersive way to connect with your audience, and you can tailor the content to inspire, educate, entertain and anything in between. Explainer videos, interviews with industry experts or even short animations can help people remember and recognise your brand and your knowledge on a subject they need support with.
At Lion Spirit Media, we love a good demand generation campaign, and we always enjoy the opportunity to work with our customers on generating interest for their business. Our services cover a wide range of both demand and lead generation strategies, giving you everything you need to get your ROAR heard throughout the business jungle. If you would like to know more, just get in touch with the team today.