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Demand Generation refers to the focus of targeted marketing campaigns designed to drive awareness of a company, its products and services and to generate marketing qualified leads. Commonly used in business to business (B2B) marketing, demand generation involves numerous marketing channels and is a unique blend of marketing programs combined with a structured sales process and activities.
There are numerous components of a demand generation process that vary according to the value and complexity of a sales transaction. The components include developing awareness, positioning relevance, supporting validation and customer evaluations.
Some Of The Ways We Generate Marketing Qualified Leads
- Blogs with calls to action (CTAs)
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- Trade shows
- Dimensional mailers
The demand generation function in most companies sits under ‘marketing responsibilities’. Demand generation is a more holistic approach to marketing and sales cohesion within a company. Building awareness is a key component in the demand generation process and often requires a continued effort involving multiple marketing channels. More dynamic and advanced demand generation campaigns typically rely on some type of proactive lead generation activities, supported by more traditional marketing programs and processes.
This is often because demand generation campaigns tend to be executed on the basis that prospects are aware of a need of challenge they may have and are attempting to find a solution through a search process. If the prospect is consciously unaware that they have a challenge, then this may negatively impact upon the effectiveness of a demand generation campaign. This means other lead generation activities are required.
Typically, once a demand generation program has generated ‘marketing qualified leads’, they are passed over to a telemarketing team to be qualified as ‘sales qualified leads’, before then being progressed via a lead nurturing process, which would include the use of email marketing, telemarketing and content sharing (white papers, webinars, blogs et al).
Demand generation is a combination of art and science, where motivating messaging meets measurable results and follows a trend of delivering more accountability concerning marketing activities and investments.
The 3 core focus areas for demand generation experts are marketing programs, process and reporting.
The main demand generation focus areas are marketing programs, strategy and tactics, typically referred to as lead generation.
The strategy driving marketing programs include areas such as definitions of target markets, through to top-down revenue goals. The tactics are the mix of programs, typically referred to as low-touch (SEO marketing, on-line content syndication, direct marketing et al), medium-touch (webinars, trade shows et al) and high-touch (telemarketing, executive summits, dimensional mailers et al). Typically, the top-down goals should be aligned with the bottom-up tactical expectations.
An often overlooked element of demand generation is the process for progressing marketing qualified leads from marketing programs towards them becoming sales qualified leads and ultimately converting them into tangible results.
Within the process is an agreed set of rules and definitions, along with a technical infrastructure foundation (customer relationship management, marketing automation et al). Increasingly, demand generation specialists and sales teams are working together in a more blended like fashion. In collaboration, sales and marketing teams manage the holistic marketing and sales funnel, from ‘initial enquiry’, through to ‘marketing qualified lead’, then ‘sales qualified lead’ and finally ‘conversion and agreement deals’. There is a continuous focus upon optimising each step in the process for optimum sales results.
Demand generation reporting is crucial to overall success. Measurement is of course the basis of all activity. Being able to assess performance drives not only low-level tactics (cost-per-impression, cost-per-lead et al) and key messages (open rates, click-through rates, attendance percentages et al) but also influences and affects strategic direction (lead to opportunity conversion rates, closed deal rates, ROI et al).
Reporting generates actionable insight that informs both the marketing programs and the process, during an on-going cycle of planning (strategy), execution (tactics), measurement (reporting) and refinement (strategy & process).