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Demand Generation: Everything You Need to Know

Positioning your business in an uncertain market can be intimidating, it might seem like a good idea to scale back; however, that’s the exact opposite of what you should be doing right now.

With many people settling into a new normal and taking on new roles in life, people need your services and products now more than ever. The U.S. eCommerce industry alone has increased by nearly 32% in 2020, proving that people are interested in engaging with your business as long as you’re providing content and resources that speak directly to their needs.

What is Demand Generation?

Demand generation is the creation of marketing and sales programs that use inbound and lead generation strategies to push buyers down the funnel. The goal is to become the trusted go-to brand that solves your audience’s problems, resulting in high-quality leads for your sales team.

The process often involves:

  1. building brand awareness by educating your audience and addressing their problem;
  2. inbound and outbound marketing to generate leads; 
  3. converting leads to sales; positioning your product or service as the ideal solution to meet their problems; and 
  4. continuing to engage your customers after the purchase. You want to become so informed about your customers that you can predict their future product needs.

Bear in mind that your marketing and sales team must work together closely within a structured process to ensure both have an understanding of the buyers’ needs within each stage of their journey. When done successfully, demand generation efforts can result in a over 200% ROI.

Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation: What’s the Difference?

At first glance, demand and lead generation may seem like interchangeable terms. However, there are significant differences and overlap. In demand generation, you’re creating a buzz to let the world know that your brand’s products or services are available. In growing demand for your brand, you will also develop a target audience, brand loyalty, and a pool of leads who are genuinely interested in doing business with you. Demand generation content may involve blog articles, social media posts, or branded videos.

Once you educate your audience about your brand and product, you can begin lead generation, which means converting and nurturing those leads into customers. Lead generation content may include gated articles, courses, or direct mail campaigns.

  GOAL Types of Content 
Demand Generation Grow your audience and build awareness to find new leads
  • Blog articles
  • Social media posts
  • Branded Videos
Lead Generation Convert leads into buying customers
  • Gated articles
  • Courses
  • Direct Mail Campaigns

The Essential Demand Generation Framework

A demand generation framework helps you organize your complex marketing and sales activities into a straightforward process. While your actual structure may differ, it should include the following elements:

  • Planning: Specify your goals and milestones, define your target market and stakeholders, then develop a strategy to reach your audience.
  • Preparing: Identify and develop strategic messaging and offers to create a marketing campaign.
  • Executing: Market and promote your demand generation campaign across all channels.
  • Assessing: Use reports and data to determine progress and how you can better optimize your campaign to find more qualified leads.

Campaigns are the core of your demand generation strategy and are vehicles for learning more about your audience. They help you identify your leads, using free tools and content that position your brand as a solution to their problem. When preparing your campaign, be sure to outline the goals, objectives, marketing activities, channels, and the resources needed.

You also need a designated team or individuals to manage your demand generation efforts, ensuring that your campaign runs smoothly, particularly when it comes to converting sales. Campaign budgets may influence the team structure, with smaller brands having one or two specialists, and more established companies operating with an entire department. A standard demand generation team may look like the following:

  • Content Manager
  • Web Manager
  • Paid Acquisition Manager
  • Marketing Ops/Automation Specialist
  • Marketing Lifecycle Manager
  • Social Media & PR Coordinator
  • Event & Campaign Manager
  • Graphic Designer

No matter the size of the team, you want to acclimate them to account-based marketing. Through this approach, your marketing and sales teams will collaborate to identify, target, and convert leads with the highest potential.

Creating a Successful Demand Generation Strategy

Your demand generation strategy is dependent on how well you optimize the fundamental elements.

  • Audience Segmentation: Properly segmenting your audience helps you direct the right resources to the right people at the right time. Segmentation ensures that your brand stands out amongst the noise as you’re creating messaging that speaks directly to your target market. While you may not have a lot of details, you can narrow your audience by location, industry, and profession.
  • Brand Awareness: This is the first step in demand generation because you have to let people know who you are. Create branding assets that are recognizable and unique to your product or service. In addition to that, develop buyer personas to help you determine the best marketing strategies and channels to reach your audience.
  • Inbound Marketing: Inbound marketing occurs when your prospects search for a solution to their problem and organically discover your brand through a search engine. To have a successful inbound marketing strategy, you must develop consistent content across all channels that educate your market, nurture brand loyalty, and establish your brand as a subject matter expert.
  • Content Marketing: Content marketing is the act of consistently developing and promoting content that attracts leads and increases sales. To produce buyer-centric content at every stage, you should approach content marketing as a collaborative effort.
  • Sales Enablement: You must keep your leads moving through the funnel until they reach the decision-making stage. Therefore, your sales and marketing team should work as one unit to think from a buyer’s perspective, close the deal, and implement the ideal journey for your customers

How to Improve Demand Generation

A demand generation strategy that’s failing to help you reach your goals may also be hurting your business. For example, in the absence of a brand awareness plan or buyer persona, you will likely have trouble attracting visitors to your website or understanding your audience. Ultimately, a poor demand generation strategy decreases lead conversion, client retention, and accurate data reporting.

Using metrics, you can determine what’s working, what’s important, and the data and technology that drive the best results. If you don’t track performance indicators, leads may fall within the cracks, causing you to lose potential customers along the way. When measuring demand generation, you should consider the following metrics:

  • Number of meetings: Track the number of people who schedule a meeting with your company to discuss products or services. Measuring this metric usually occurs at the top of the funnel, but you can still use it to assess the interest and quality of your leads throughout.
  • Number of opportunities: Measuring the number of lead opportunities that eventually become a paying customer will let you know if you’re missing or hitting the mark.
  • Average deal size: Using this metric, you can determine the dollar value of each customer to help you better target those leads and channels with the highest return on investment.
  • Customer acquisition cost: A central goal of a demand generation campaign is increased revenue; therefore, you must know how much it costs to acquire a customer. Having this information will let you know if you need to switch channels, reassess ad investment, invest in automation, etc. This metric aids you in determining how successful your company is in making sales.
  • Cost per lead: Similar to the customer acquisition cost, this metric lets you know how much money you’re spending per lead. You can then calculate the total budget needed for the entire funnel to prevent overspending and improve accuracy when estimating ROI.
  • Customer lifetime value: Calculate how much money the average customer will spend with your company throughout their lifetime. If you discover that your CLV needs improvement, consider amping up your engagement tactics.
  • Average sales cycle length: Measure the amount of time it takes for prospects to convert through each stage of your funnel. If it takes too long for leads to become customers, you may consider exploring a different sales channel or streamlining steps to speed up your conversion process and ROI.
  • Revenue generated against budget investment: With this metric, you can determine the profitability of your campaign. How much money did you spend on the campaign? How much did it cost you to market the campaign? Calculate this metric by subtracting your profits from your cost.

What Are the Best Demand Generation Tools?

Demand generation strategies are only as great as the tools you implement. Without the right CRM, email marketing tools, and analytics platform, it becomes challenging to yield optimal results for inbound marketing campaings. So we put together a list of the demand generation tools digital marketers should have in their arsenal.

  • Lead scoring and nurturing: Collecting leads isn’t enough. If you’re not usig analytics and lead scoring to identify sales-readiness, then you’ll miss opportunities to convert more leads. There are automation tool that model, score, and nurture leads, such as Autopilot. Then to nurture, you can use email marketing tools, like Mailchimp. 
  • Interactive content: Static content can effectively convert visitors with the right copy and content. But making content interactive can boost engagement. This includes calculators, chatbots, and quizzes or surveys.It’s even found to generate 2x the conversions compared to static content.  
  • Integrating events and webinars: Hosting webinars and other online events can help build demand for your products and services. With the tools like Akkroo, you can track leads and data across physical and digital channels.
  • Corporate gifting: Sending gift baskets, eGifts, and swag bags to leads can differentiate your brand and drive leads to your company. Sendoso simplifies this through its gifting platform and services. It’s even found to generate as much as a over 200% return on campaign investment
  • Contests: Run different types of giveaways, sweepstakes, and photo contests to drive engagement and demand generation for your brand. Platforms like Wishpond enable you to create contests on social media, blogs, websites, and mobile apps.

Begin Generating Demand For Your Business

Businesses need to make money, and demand generation gives you the framework to continuously attract, convert, and track your target audience throughout their entire purchase cycle. You gain insight into what and who is needed to reach your target goals and identify relevant performance indicators.

With Sendoso, you can manage your demand generation activities in one place. The comprehensive channel allows you to build a pipeline that “engages, acquires, and retains customers.” When running a campaign, you can be confident that you can quickly determine ROI for internal evaluations and share with stakeholders.

Ideal for those looking to improve their demand generation strategy, Sendoso helps you generate demand at each pivotal stage, optimizing your sales funnel to produce an unmatched return on investment.

Interested in learning more? Then request a demo with us today!

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