It’s a truism that bears repeating: your customers are the lifeblood of your business. Understanding how to generate demand among customers and prospective customers is the difference between a company that’s profitable and one that’s struggling to stay above water.
Every business, from fledgling startups to massive enterprises, needs to know the fundamentals of demand generation to attract and retain customers. In this all-in-one guide, we’ll discuss what you need to know about demand generation. Starting with the definition of demand generation, then discuss the 6 most important demand generation strategies and techniques.
Demand generation is any business activity that primarily serves to create interest, and demand for, your company’s brand, products, and services.
Examples of demand generation include:
The term “demand generation” is often used synonymously with the terms “inbound marketing” and “lead generation,” but the distinction between these three concepts is important. Inbound marketing and lead generation are just two of many possible demand generation tactics, as we’ll discuss in the next section.
Demand generation is without a doubt a worthwhile activity, but “demand” is a nebulous concept at best. How can you say, for example, that one campaign has truly generated more demand than another, without having to rely on your gut feeling?
That’s why it’s crucial to define the best demand generation KPIs (key performance indicators) before you start your next campaign.
The best KPIs for demand generation campaigns are:
Brand awareness is the extent to which customers can remember, recognize, and identify with your business. Companies like Apple and Starbucks, for example, have excellent brand awareness, embedding themselves into customers’ daily lives and routines.
The ultimate goal of brand awareness is to associate your brand name with certain products, services, and values in the minds of your desired audience.
Brand awareness techniques include:
Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy that seeks to attract customers and prospects to your business by generating relevant and interesting content.
The most common inbound marketing techniques include:
The inbound marketing content that’s most appealing to your customers will depend on which stage of the buyer’s journey they’re at.
For example, customers who are encountering your business for the first time may appreciate content about solving a general problem or answering a question they have. Customers who are at a more advanced stage, may prefer content that explicitly compares your products and services with your competitors.
Inbound marketing is often contrasted with outbound marketing, which involves traditional advertising campaigns such as TV commercials, newspaper ads, and billboards. Customers and businesses alike have grown to prefer inbound marketing to outbound marketing, for reasons such as:
Sales enablement is any business activity to improve your sales team’s bottom line, helping them become more productive and effective. This means providing your salespeople with the tools, technologies, and resources they need to excel at their jobs by making better pitches and closing deals faster.
The most important sales enablement strategies include:
While lead scoring could be considered part of sales enablement, it’s important enough to deserve its own mention. Lead scoring is a methodology that ranks prospective customers to identify the leads that are most promising for your business.
Lead scoring is a highly complex process, and each sales team has their own formula. Still, some of the common factors involved in lead scoring include:
Once the most noteworthy prospects are identified through lead scoring, your salespeople should develop relationships with these leads through a process known as lead nurturing. This may involve holding conversations and providing the right information, “nurturing” leads until they convert into customers.
Like married couples who renew their vows every 10 years, the process of demand generation doesn’t end simply because you’ve converted prospects into customers.
According to one study, the cost of acquiring a new customer may be as much as 5 times the cost of retaining an existing customer. What’s more, increasing your customer retention rates by just 5 percent can raise profits by 25 to 95 percent.
In other words, generating renewed interest from your existing clients will dramatically improve customer retention rates and increase your company’s profitability.
Demand generation techniques for customer retention include:
Demand generation should be one of your most crucial, sink-or-swim functions. Companies that can generate sustained interest in their products and services are the ones that stand the best chance of success in today’s hyper-competitive business landscape.
Looking to improve your own demand generation activities? We can help.
Eniture Technology specializes in helping e-Commerce merchants grow by providing useful information, digital marketing services, off-the-shelf apps that solve common problems, and custom programming services. Please contact us if you need help growing your online business or implementing the concepts presented in this blog post.
Interested in learning more? Start with our free guide on how to increase online sales, and subscribe to our blog!
© 2015 Eniture LLC. All rights reserved.