With the market flooded with a huge array of products and services and with the influx of new technology coupled with extensive use of social media, the challenge for marketing and sales – in fact, for businesses in general, is how to attract new customers and maintain existing customers; both necessities for growth and success.
As a business owner how do you do this?
The key lies in creating brand awareness and driving interest for the product or service that you offer. This is called demand generation.
What is demand generation?
Demand generation is defined as the creation of interest for your products or service by spreading brand awareness for your company through targeted marketing campaigns. More commonly used in business to business, business to government and long term business to consumer sales, demand generation involves multiple areas of marketing and is a close collaboration of marketing programs and a structured sales process. It involves diverse areas that include sales intelligence, lead generation and online marketing, and more.
Why is demand generation important?
Companies that increase consumer consciousness of their product or service will have a much easier time convincing consumers to make a purchase. Furthermore, the systematic and continuous approach go a long way in creating a steady demand for your company’s products or services.
The 3 key components of a sound demand generation strategy?
There are several crucial components to a successful demand generation campaign:
Component 1: Identifying your niche and getting to know your target audience
In order to generate interest for your product or services, it is important to identify who you are targeting and thoroughly understand the group you are focusing your demand generation efforts on. Knowing the needs, objectives and the culture of your target audience will help you develop a cohesive campaign.
Component 2: Creating awareness by determining the right mix of content
After identifying and having a thorough understanding of who your target audience is and what your target needs, it is time to create content to generate interest and awareness for your product. It should not only be appealing, but also your content needs to be unique,attention worthy and provide value.
One important factor to remember at all times is that it is not about you; it is all about your customer targets. The internet is flooded with content and social media is overflowing with information that will be similar to yours. Yours needs to stand out.
To keep you audience engaged, consider these following tips:
- Put yourself in your reader’s shoes and write what you, as your reader would like to read. If the content bores you, most likely, it will bore anyone else reading what you wrote.
- Keep your company, your target customer and your marketing goals in mind when writing content. You cannot just write something just because it is interesting. It should align with your products and services and things your customers think about and worry about.
- Write to target not only readers but also casual “scanners”. Your content should be so attention grabbing that even people who just scan for information might be enticed to pause and actually read what you have to say.
However, it does not stop at just writing the “right” content. It is important that the content is put forth and distributed to your target audience through various channels:
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- Trade shows
- Dimensional mailers
Component 3: Performance Measurement
Once you have identified your niche and defined your target market and have determined the correct mix of content, the next step is determining the effectivity of your demand generation campaign. If sales teams are evaluated based on their ability to meet set sales quotas, the effectiveness of a demand generation campaign may be measured by how it contributes to revenue growth, more specifically the quality of leads it generates. Other factors that may be measured to evaluate campaign performance include quantity of leads, lead sources and rate of conversion of leads.
Demand generation, to be effective, is a never ending on-going continual process. An effective demand generation campaign provides compelling reasons for your customers to continuously reach out to you and buy the products and services that you offer. And it keeps you top of mind and your name the one they associate with being the experts in your field.
The last thought I will leave you with is that demand generation needs to be a consistent thread in your business planning and execution. As long as your business stands, you need to create awareness and nurture demand for your business’ products and services. Then everything else tends to fall into place.