Demand generation (usually shortened to “demand gen”) helps organizations build authority, build their customer base, and close more deals. It’s a key part of boosting sales and engaging with customers.
In this way, it is an essential part of modern business. By creating targeted campaigns that reach potential customers in the right place at the right time, companies can acquire leads, convert them into customers, and increase their revenue.
But what is demand generation, and how does it work?
This article tells you everything you need to know about how demand gen marketing works to help you implement a winning strategy for your brand.
Demand Generation: What it Is and What it Isn’t
Demand generation, at its most fundamental level, is about creating awareness and interest in your brand, products, or services.
It’s a holistic approach to marketing that covers every stage of the buyer’s journey, from initial brand awareness, through interest and consideration, to conversion and beyond.
Think of demand gen like a funnel. You start with broad strategies like content marketing, SEO, and social media campaigns to create brand awareness and attract potential customers. Then you use more targeted tactics like email outreach, retargeting ads, and lead scoring to nurture leads down the funnel toward purchase.
Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation
There’s a common misconception that demand generation is synonymous with lead generation. While both are crucial marketing strategies, they are not the same.
Lead generation is about gathering information from potential customers and is typically a subset of a broader demand generation strategy.
Demand generation encompasses lead generation in addition to nurturing those leads through the sales funnel to become customers. In most cases, demand gen efforts go beyond the sale, focusing on retention and brand advocacy efforts for their customers (who inevitably become part of the demand gen process).
To further clarify, demand generation is not a quick fix or a one-off marketing campaign—it’s a comprehensive, long-term strategy designed to build and nurture relationships with potential customers over time.
Demand gen involves a mix of inbound and outbound marketing tactics, content creation, events, social media, email marketing, SEO, and more. Its ultimate goal is to create a sustainable pipeline of interested and engaged potential customers.
Demand Generation Tactics to Grow Your Brand
By combining the following tactics in a strategic, coordinated way, you can create a robust demand generation engine that drives growth for your brand.
1. Content Marketing: This is a cornerstone of demand generation. Creating valuable, relevant, and interesting content can attract and educate potential customers about your brand, products, or services. This content can take many forms, including blog posts, ebooks, webinars, podcasts, and videos.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO is critical for increasing your brand’s visibility online. By optimizing your website and content for search engines, you can attract more organic traffic to your site and increase the chances of converting visitors into leads and customers.
3. Social Media Marketing: Social platforms are an excellent place to generate awareness and interest in your brand. By sharing valuable content, interacting with your followers, and running targeted ad campaigns, you can reach a wider audience and generate more demand for your products or services.
4. Email Marketing: This is a highly effective demand gen tactic that allows you to nurture relationships with potential customers. By sending targeted, personalized emails, you can keep your brand top of mind, educate prospects about your offerings, and guide them through the buyer’s journey.
5. Connected TV: According to recent TV viewership statistics, more people are watching streaming services than traditional cable and broadcast TV. This presents a unique opportunity for brands to reach larger audiences with their demand gen campaigns. Through connected TV, you can run targeted ads, gather audience insights, and measure the performance of your campaigns in real time.
6. Events and Webinars: Hosting events and webinars can help you generate buzz around your brand and products. These platforms provide an opportunity to educate potential customers, demonstrate your expertise, and engage with your audience in a more interactive way.
7. Partnerships and Collaborations: Partnering with complementary businesses or influencers can help you reach a wider audience and generate more demand for your brand.
8. Customer Advocacy Programs: Satisfied customers are one of the most effective demand generators. Implementing a customer advocacy program can turn your customers into brand ambassadors, spreading positive word-of-mouth and attracting new prospects.
5 Tips for a Successful Demand Gen Strategy
Every company’s strategy for creating new consumer demand will look somewhat different. Still, every organization can use a few basic commonalities to start on the right path.
1. Understand Your Target Audience
One of the first steps in demand generation is to deeply understand your target audience. This includes their needs, wants, pain points, and buying behaviors. Knowing your audience well can create more personalized and relevant content and campaigns that resonate with them.
2. Create High-Quality, Relevant Content
Your content is the backbone of your demand gen strategy. Your content should be valuable, informative, and engaging to your target audience. This will attract potential customers and establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry.
3. Leverage Multi-Channel Marketing
Don’t limit yourself to a single channel. Today’s consumers are present on multiple platforms, and your brand should be too. Use a mix of email marketing, social media, SEO, events, and video streaming platforms to reach your target audience where they are most active.
4. Use Data to Drive Strategy
Data should be at the heart of your demand gen strategy. Use analytics to track the performance of your campaigns, understand what’s working and what’s not, and adjust your strategy accordingly. This will help you optimize your efforts and maximize your ROI.
5. Nurture Leads Throughout the Buyer’s Journey
Demand generation doesn’t stop when a lead is generated. It’s about nurturing those leads through the entire buyer’s journey. Provide them with relevant content and offers at each stage of the journey, build trust, and guide them toward their purchase.
Final Thoughts on Demand Gen Strategy
Demand generation is an essential part of any business’s growth strategy. To succeed, brands need to develop a comprehensive plan that considers their target audience, the channels they are using, and how they can optimize their efforts and maximize ROI.
By investing in demand gen tactics such as email marketing, connected TV campaigns, events, partnerships and collaborations, and customer advocacy programs, businesses can create new demand for their products and services.