You know you have a valuable product or service to offer your target audience…
…do they know it yet?
Sometimes your prospect is well aware of their problem. They’re already searching for a solution; your job is to educate them on why your offering is the best fit for their needs.
Often, though, your ideal prospects don’t yet realise they want or need your product — these individuals have yet to set out on their Buyer’s Journey. So, you’ve got to help them identify their challenges — showcase that they do, in fact, have a problem that needs solving.
In other words, you need a demand generation campaign. Let’s take a closer look at what a successful demand generation strategy entails, including my top tips for measuring top-of-the-funnel marketing success.
What is a demand generation strategy?
Demand generation is a top-of-the-funnel marketing campaign that builds brand awareness and drives customer interest to generate more qualified leads.
Everyone wants to move further from pain and closer to pleasure. Demand generation clarifies how your product helps your buyers do precisely that.
Now, demand generation is never about tricking or forcing people into buying from you. This is important. Nothing else matters if you don’t have product-market fit, and even the cleverest demand generation campaign is unlikely to bear significant results if there is no market demand.
Okay… so how is demand generation different from lead generation?
While the two strategies overlap, demand generation focuses on creating awareness and appeal. Remember, these prospects don’t yet realise that 1) you exist or 2) they want or need your product.
In other words, lead generation picks up after demand generation; it guides prospects through their buyer’s journey once they realise they have a pain point or desire.
Let’s take a quick example:
Are you familiar with the Cronut? It’s a cross between a doughnut and a croissant — the brilliant brainchild of pastry chef Dominique Ansel.
Now, a decade ago, the majority of people wouldn’t wake up in the morning and crave a Cronut. It’s just not a common pain point. Sure, maybe you would have ordered one if you saw it sitting in a bakery. However, you probably wouldn’t have sought out this unique melange of pastries.
In 2013, that all changed.
Famous food blogger Grub Street wrote about the Cronut, and the pastry went viral. Hundreds of people lined up daily to get their hands on a coveted Cronut. Traffic to the bakery website skyrocketed by 300 per cent!
Here’s what I find really interesting, though…
A decade later, Insider still calls the Cronut the most popular dessert in NYC.
Whether intentional or not, Grub Street generated massive demand for a previously unknown pastry — a demand that continues to exist today.
How to create + measure a successful demand generation strategy
Like any results-driven marketing strategy, your demand generation campaign should be unique to your business. That said, here are a few helpful B2B demand generation tactics that will help you get started.
1. Help your target audience identify their challenges
What are your prospect’s problems? What are their desires? How does your product help them with these two things?
It’s not enough to educate your audience on your offering if they don’t yet understand why they should care about your brand. So, create top-of-the-funnel content that will introduce your prospects to a problem they’re facing. Humour goes a long way, provided it aligns with your brand voice and style.
2. Develop your content strategy
You need to educate your prospects on their pain points. So, you need a content marketing strategy.
While developing your content marketing strategy, consider the questions and concerns of your prospect at every touchpoint of their Buyer’s Journey, but specifically at the early stages before they realise they want or need your offer.
Don’t underestimate social media, either. Sharing engaging content (both paid and organic) is a potent way to leverage new audiences and generate demand.
3. Build brand awareness
Once your prospect is aware of their problem, it’s time to build brand awareness to position your product as the obvious solution.
Let’s say you realise you want a smartwatch. Maybe you’re trying to track activity and instil healthier habits. Perhaps you’re looking for safety features, like fall detection or emergency SOS. Whatever the reason, you now have a problem, and a smartwatch is the obvious solution to that problem.
What are the first companies that come to mind when you think of smartwatches? For many, the Apple Watch is the smartwatch — talk about powerful brand recognition!
While by no means a comprehensive list, here are a few demand generation tactics to start building your brand awareness today:
- Give your brand a personality. While you’re at it, speak like a person — not a company.
- Create a compelling brand narrative. Invite your prospects to be part of your story.
- Use paid ads to amplify your reach and show up where your target audience is already engaging.
Measuring the results of your demand generation strategy
How do you know if your demand generation campaign is working?
First, align sales and marketing — successful growth marketing doesn’t occur in silos. Get your teams together to streamline communication and optimise data analysis. Then, ask the question:
Is our demand generation strategy producing qualified leads that convert into high-value buyers?
Answer this by establishing smart digital marketing KPIs that use actual data to measure the value of your marketing.
Pro tip: Don’t get distracted by vanity metrics. I know it’s exciting when an Instagram post gets thousands of likes or a paid ad receives tens of thousands of impressions. However, quality matters over quantity; if your campaign is not building your business, it’s a distraction.
Use the KPIs outlined here to accurately analyse the success of your demand generation strategy.
The bottom line
A brilliant demand generation campaign attracts and engages your target audience — it helps your prospect realise they have a pain point so that you can begin to guide them on their Buyer’s Journey. With each touchpoint, the prospect moves closer to realising that your product is the right solution for their needs.
Now, implementing a demand generation strategy is only the first step. If you want to streamline your business growth, you’ve got to know how to analyse data effectively, optimise quickly, and scale efficiently. And that’s why you need a digital marketing team with a proven track record for success.