Only by first defining the term demand, can demand generation (or demand gen) be understood. Recall from Economics 101 that demand is defined as a person’s desire and ability to purchase something. However, just because someone appears to be interested in purchasing does not indicate they have the financial resources to do so.
As a result, demand creation comprises all efforts that aid in attracting, engaging, and converting potential clients. This could include a combination of the following, depending on your industry, ideal customer profile (ICP), and personas:
- Outbound selling
- SEO and content marketing
- Search engine marketing (SEM)
- Marketing on social media
- Virtual events and trade shows
- Email marketing
- Direct mail
- Referral and affiliate programmes
- Upselling or cross-selling to existing customers
In the previous paragraph, we bolded the phrase “potential clients.” Why? Demand generation, unlike traditional lead generation programmes, focuses on providing net-new consumers rather than net-new emails or contacts. This is something that marketers, including myself, should pay close attention to. It’s a waste of time and money to add 1,000 new email addresses to your CRM that will never convert. It hurts us to say it, but it’s the truth.
So, how do you go about establishing a scalable demand generation programme that works? Let’s investigate further.
How to boost demand generation in 2022 and beyond
What can you do to maximise demand generation’s impact on your firm if it’s a multi-faceted activity involving various disciplines, departments, and stakeholders? In 2022, there are four actions to take.
1. Get a clear picture of your current demand generating activities.
Whether you realise it or not, you already have demand-generating initiatives in place. (You wouldn’t be in business otherwise!) Jump into your CRM and grab a report of closed opportunities from the previous year to see how effective your current demand generation initiatives are. Customize the report to include the source, such as outbound sales, current customer upgrades, paid advertisements, social media, and so on. Examine the statistics to see where the revenue is coming from. Using a pie chart to visualise your data can be a quick and easy approach to see what’s working and what isn’t.
Outbound sales are clearly the main demand driver in the scenario above. However, this graph says nothing about how effective sales are at creating demand. If a company’s sales staff comprises of 25 account executives and 10 sales development representatives (SDRs), the fully loaded cost of closing one sales contract could be enormously higher than a self-service organic search deal. Spend time examining past deal data from various perspectives.
2. Make a strategy for better data collection.
You’ll probably find gaps in your historical data when you study it, making it harder to answer all of your demand generation questions. Customer data, after all, includes more than just basic contact information, such as job title, revenue size, and associated opportunities. To fully comprehend demand generation’s impact on the customer journey, you may need to go a little deeper and start gathering the information below.
Data on interactions
Trade exhibitions are fantastic for exchanging business cards, but not so much for closing transactions. Before a trade show lead has the willingness and ability to buy, he or she may need dozens of sales and marketing encounters. Insight into which demand generation channels, campaigns, messages, and content influence a customer’s buying decision can be gained by collecting online and email interaction data in your CRM.
Behavioral data is especially important for determining the impact of your demand generation operations such as cross-selling and up-selling. If you’re a software company, for example, you might use clickstream data from your app to gauge demand for gated features. Simple changes to your product’s UI could have a significant influence on premium plan awareness and demand.
Data on attitudes
Customers, and demand generation, in particular, may be a great source of fresh ideas. Why not solicit demand-generating ideas from your customers? Customers should be surveyed and asked to provide input on the following topics:
- What websites, journals, and periodicals do you read in the industry?
- What kind of content would you like us to send you?
- What would make you more inclined to recommend our company’s solution to a friend?
- Where would you promote if you were the marketing manager for our company?
- Do you routinely attend trade exhibits or virtual events?
3. Bring your sales and marketing departments together.
Companies’ sales and marketing staff are typically the greatest producers of demand. Unfortunately, they are rarely in agreement. Organizations struggle to align these two groups for a variety of reasons, including inconsistent nomenclature, opposing agendas, and siloed systems.
Fear not if you’ve previously struggled to link your sales and marketing teams. A well-structured demand generation effort can be the ideal way to develop cross-departmental cooperation while also improving top-line results. Because alignment usually begins at the top, your first action should be to secure buy-in from sales and marketing leaders on a common set of goals, strategies, and KPIs.
Leadership must work together to operationalize the vision once they have agreed on the big picture.
4. Combine all of your demand generation systems into a single platform.
As you may have seen, the border between sales, marketing, and other demand-generating operations is often blurred. In today’s competitive environment, allowing sales to work in one walled system while marketing works in another is not a feasible approach. In short, you’ll need the proper technology to collect the right data, coordinate your people, and figure out what’s working.
Teams that generate revenue desire fewer, better processes. They want a single solution that allows them to visualise the buyer journey, segment lists of prospective clients, and engage buyers in a personalised fashion automatically.
Unifying your demand generation activities on a single platform, like RisePath CRM, is a good first step in making this a reality. Your revenue teams will spend less time on time-consuming data integrations and imports and more time on what really matters: creating highly targeted campaigns, programmes, and initiatives that drive demand for your products or services.
They’ll also have access to better data—and more of it—presented in a way that makes decision-making and team alignment easier.
Make the most of your future demand generation efforts.
Customer behaviour is changing at a breakneck speed. To compete, businesses must treat demand development as a strategic endeavour that involves leadership commitment, cross-departmental alignment, and data-driven demand generating technologies.
Are you ready to learn how a unified CRM for sales and marketing may help you boost demand generation? Request a demo with a representative from RisePath.