Every business out there is intent at driving sales which in turn drives ROI. Apart from using the right marketing strategies to prospect the right audience and nurturing them, there’s a secret ingredient that holds it all together.
This ingredient is what gets your prospect to read your blog to the very end, search for reviews of your product/service, look out for offers and keep coming back to your website. When implemented rightly, your prospect will even be selling your product/service to colleagues or decision-makers in the industry.
Curious as yet? The magic lies in generating demand.
Demand goes beyond interest. It can power a buyer’s journey all by itself. Right from bringing in potential prospects to building lasting business relationships with the audience, demand generation can shorten the sales cycle and help you power through.
What is Demand Generation?
Demand generation is the invisible thread that runs through every marketing and sales funnel. If the buyer’s journey is the umbrella that covers a business’ marketing and sales strategies, demand generation is the stalk that glues and holds the two together. Generating demand happens when these strategies work in tandem to highlight customer pain points while providing value.
Demand generation strategies are implemented so that you can qualify and build trust with your prospects while driving demand for sales. So, it’s undeniable that demand generation extends through both marketing and sales.
How is demand generation different from lead generation?
Through personalised messaging and building trust, demand generation campaigns push the prospect into the next step where they try to book a sales call.
LinkedIn differentiates the two in simple words:
“Demand generation is the process of getting people interested in what you have to sell (creating demand); lead generation is the task of turning that interest into names and contact details (leads) that you or your sales teams can follow up with.”
The aim of demand generation is to build trusted relationships with customers in the long run. This includes creating a checkpoint at every stage of the buyer’s journey that imposes specific demand for the product/service you offer.
The Touch-point Strategy
Demand generation is an ongoing process. It doesn’t stop once a potential prospect has been nurtured from a cold lead and you close a sale with them. It goes on to staying connected with your customer, sending them valuable thought leadership content, and continuing to gain their trust.
Position yourselves as experts in the field and be resourceful. This builds a solid foundation that leads them to make another purchase from you. Hence, it’s vital to flag your touch points with each step your buyer takes through the sales or marketing funnel. Planning your demand generation this way will also bring your content, inbound and outbound strategies in line.
How To Generate Demand
A good demand generation framework should include the following:
- Understanding the prospect
- Building your prospect network
- Strengthening your relationship with the prospect
- Not neglecting demand through the sales process
Let’s look at each in detail.
#1. Understanding the prospect
We know you’ve heard this a lot, but it’s crucial to stick to the basics! Knowing your audience and prospects will help you understand what motivates them and how you can keep them interested at every stage along their buying journey.
Be sure to understand their demographics (where they’re from, what they do, etc.) and more importantly their pain points. Addressing their pain points through your content will allow you to resonate with your prospective clients. This generates interest and in turn demand.
To understand your prospect’s pain points, get to know what they mean to the individual, their team, and their company. It’s also essential to know how often they might require your service or a product upgrade- every day, monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
#2. Building your prospect network
Once you’ve got a fair knowledge about your audience, you need to bring them into your network. This can be done by outbound strategies including email marketing, social media ads and messaging via social media.
While building your network however it’s easier to connect with like-minded people and connect with them. This is good, you might get business out of peers, although your aim should be to connect with the right prospects so that your content reaches the right people. A majority of your network must include people who are likely to work with you.
#3. Strengthening your relationship with the prospect
Building a network and not using it to lay a strong foundation that prospects trust with your audience is simply a waste of effort. In order to create interest and demand, you need to prospect trust and build strong relationships with those in your network.
A great way to start doing this is by adding touch points along every stage of the buyer’s journey by addressing pain points and offering optimal solutions. Identify questions that may arise and keep answering them through blogs, case studies, whitepapers, etc. You can also host free webinars and provide free consultations. Start using this content to generate demand.
Yet another way to prospect trust is by keeping your online communications human. Be it your email campaigns or social media messaging, don’t sound monotonous or salesy.
Email marketing is the best way to directly reach your prospects. Keep answering questions, leading them to blogs or showing them testimonials that will build their trust as they progress through the buyer’s journey.
Cold emailing is yet another strategy that can help you build demand with new prospects who aren’t yet familiar with your brand. Don’t start off by asking them to book an appointment with you. Instead, create strategic content that adds value, like answering one of their persistent questions. The more resourceful you are, the more authority you build. This leads to interest that drives demand and eventually sales. Wondering how to get started with cold emails? Here's a 5-step process to write cold emails.
#4. Not neglecting demand through the sales process
When your prospect is in the decision phase, he is much farther along the buyer’s journey and has entered the sales process. Although it seems like there’s not much you can do now, it’s still necessary to keep engaging your prospect so that they make the final decision.
At this stage, your prospective customer has gained enough knowledge about your brand and the industry. They are most likely to have more specific questions regarding your product/service. Think ahead and draft out such possible questions. Be available and try to answer these questions.
Have case studies ready for social proof, have pricing comparisons, tell your prospect how they can generate ROI using your product/service. Keep interacting with them through emails and phone calls or message them personally on social media.
To Wrap Up
Demand generation is the common thread that ties your marketing, lead generation and sales efforts together. Demand generation is what gets the right prospects aware of you and sparks their interest. It’s also what keeps them coming back to purchase from you.
Spending time to strategize content to address specific touch points along the buyer’s journey can help you out greatly in generating demand and in turn closing sales. So don’t forget to showcase your expertise, add value to your prospects while nurturing them and keep communicating with them.
We at Spinta Digital take the effort to weave demand generation strategies into all our processes for our clients. Once we plan long-term strategies for the long-term, the process becomes hassle-free for the marketing and sales teams too!
If you still have questions about demand generation, feel free to give us a call. We’ll get an expert to help you out for free.