5 Things All Aspiring Marketers Should
Know about Demand Generation

See also: Strategic Thinking Skills

Business owners, marketers, and industry leaders need a number of digital skills to succeed in the modern workplace. One of these skills includes demand generation in an online space.

But even before the internet, convincing people to buy your products and services was one of the biggest challenges facing businesses. All businesses revolve around their customers. To make them happy, marketers have to build the customer-brand relationship from the start.

Demand generation plays a vital role in this process, as it helps sales and marketing teams align a company’s brand and offerings with consumer desires. In this article, we’ll examine what demand generation is, what it isn’t, and what aspiring marketers should know about it.

Group of three people using a laptop and taking notes.

What is Demand Generation Marketing?

Demand generation is the process of creating awareness and demand for your products and services. It’s useful for generating urgency and accelerating customers through the buyer’s pipeline. An email marketing campaign is a common example of demand generation in action.

Anything that encourages audiences to engage with your content, attend a seminar, or speak with you sets the base for further communication. In the end, demand generation nurtures and engages prospects by keeping your brand at the front of their mind, turning them into a lead.

5 Things Marketers Should Know About Demand Generation

There’s no doubt that demand generation is an essential part of the marketing process, but you need to know a few things about this tactic before you can get the most out of your strategy.

1. It's Not the Same Thing as Lead Generation

Demand generation marketing is often confused with its more well-known cousin, lead generation marketing. While they share many similarities, they’re not at all the same things.

The key differences separating lead and demand generation as a marketing tool lie in their positioning. Demand generation sits at the top of the funnel and is used to increase brand awareness, whereas lead generation is found at the bottom of the funnel before a purchase.

The goal of lead generation is to capture contact information from qualified leads. That would make an email marketing campaign the demand generation portion and the email the lead generation part. But to get that email, you need to build awareness of your brand first.

2. Demand Generation Has its own Funnel

The demand generation process aligns with every aspect of the marketing funnel. In fact, every stage requires demand generation in some fashion. To make your funnel smoother, consider how you can generate demand throughout the funnel and optimize your inbound marketing.

Here are a few ways your brand can utilize demand generation in the marketing funnel:

  1. Awareness: Consider market conditions to set goals that target your audience.

  2. Interest: Market newsletters, content, classes, or anything that could lead to a sale.

  3. Consideration: Use email campaigns, case studies, free trials, or specials.

  4. Intent: Create product demos and sales ads to nurture your customers.

  5. Evaluation: Marketing and sales should work together to prove their product is the best.

  6. Purchase: Transaction is complete. Keep them in the loop through email marketing.

B2B demand generation also has its own three pillars: lead generation, demand capture, and pipeline acceleration. It’s similar to the funnel above, just condensed into fewer parts.

3. Measuring Campaign Success Realizes on KPIs

Building an incredible demand generation campaign includes the following steps:

  • Generating Need: Do this by being aware of a customer’s pain points. Use educational content, interactive content, and statistics to show you can solve customer problems.

  • Identify Market: This is when you learn who your audience is. Offer free services and use lead magnets to see who you attract and how you can market to this group.

  • Brand Awareness: You’ll need to make sure your audience remembers you. You can do this by building a social media presence, guest blogging, and using SEO tactics.

Once you set up your strategy, you need to use analytics software to track its progress. A Drift study found that 66% of B2B marketers want to improve their ability to measure and analyze marketing impact, as they consider this step essential for improving ROI and brand awareness.

If you plan to track campaign impact, you need to define your key performance indicators (KPI).

Here are a few KPIs and metrics your business should track (using software):

  • Average deal size
  • Cost per lead
  • Meetings generated
  • Opportunities generated
  • Sales pipeline value
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Customer acquisition cost

If you’re handling a strict budget, track your average sales cycle length and revenue generated against budget investments. Regardless of what you pick, make sure you track metrics over an extended period. This will supply you with more accurate data and the ability to pivot quickly.

4. The Few Pitfalls to Effective Demand Generation

Every marketing tactic comes with challenges. When creating a demand generation strategy, you may find it difficult to identify competent leads. Unfortunately, this process requires a lot of trial and error. Creating the right content will help you score leads, though this takes time.

Always remember that where you place your content is often more important than the content itself. Understand where your niche likes to hang out before you try to build an audience. TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are the best platforms for most industries or business types.

Finally, invest in influencer marketing. It’s the easiest way to get your brand out there while building social proof, as customers are more likely to buy from people they trust or respect.

5. You Don’t Have to Reinvent the Wheel

Demand generation strategies are flexible, adaptable, and subject to change, but that doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel. As long as you know what works for your brand, you can use that knowledge to improve long-standing and effective marketing tactics, like the following:

  • Improving website user experience and user interface

  • Investing in content marketing (and guest posting)

  • Using interactive content, such as pools or games

  • Social media marketing (and engaging with audiences)

  • Lead scoring (how often a lead interacts with your brand)

  • Aligning sales and marketing teams (i.e., same goals)

  • Measuring metrics, KPIs, and optimizing for better results

  • Creating paid advertising campaigns on social media

  • Producing webinars and podcasts off-website

  • Personalized email marketing campaigns

Since these techniques are tested, you minimize your marketing risks. However, if you do find out your strategy isn’t working, consider reviewing your target audience and their interests.

If you really want to generate more leads with your demand generation strategy, offer a free resource in return. For example, if a customer listens until the end of the podcast, they’ll get a code that redeems a limited-time discount, audiobook, or printable (i.e., a checklist or to-do list).

About the Author

Cristina Par is a content specialist with a passion for writing articles that bridge the gap between brands and their audiences. She believes that high-quality content plus the right link building strategies can turn the tables for businesses small and large.