A Complete Guide to Demand Generation [Examples+Case Studies]
In today’s cutthroat competitive world, creating better products than your competitors may be hard. But demand generation for those products is even harder.
Imagine you create an online platform where users can access all the workflow tools they use in one place. Basically, your product becomes a one-stop solution for managing remote work with the whole team. Now, how would your audience know that such a product exists? Your innovation will go in vain if people don’t know that they can work more efficiently using your tools. That’s where a demand generation guide comes in.
A good demand generation strategy aims at identifying prospective customers and running them through your marketing funnel to convert them into paying customers. The whole process might seem difficult at first, but when we take one thing at a time, it gets pretty simple. That’s what we are here for.
In this blog, we’ll tell you everything there is to know about your demand generation business. We’ll not only tell you the meaning of demand generation, but also how it’s different from lead generation and inbound marketing.
After reading this blog, you’ll know exactly what goes into the demand generation funnel and how you can build a complete campaign of your own and measure its success.
While there might be some challenges on the way, we’ve got the best tactics for you to get through them. We also have some amazing examples that have worked well for brands and some no-code tools to help you create interactive experiences for yourself. Get on board, take a breath, here we go!
What Is Demand Generation?
Demand generation refers to any marketing activity that makes use of technology to generate awareness and induce interest in your products and services.
There was a time when demand creation used to mean tricking people into buying things they might or might not need. But today, demand generation marketing has a different meaning altogether. In today’s world, it’s all about adding value. You need to give the right information at the right time to entice a response.
In fact, every stage of the buyer’s journey includes some sort of demand generation tactics. From engaging the prospect to upselling the customer, demand generation accounts for every sales and marketing initiative.
How Is Demand Generation Different From Lead Generation and Inbound Marketing?
When one reads about demand creation, two battles might battle the mind.
- What is the difference between demand generation and lead generation?
- How is demand generation different from inbound marketing?
Whichever one it is, we’ve got you covered!
First, What Is Lead Generation?
Lead generation refers to the process of identifying, attracting, and acquiring prospects’ interest as well as their contact information through outbound and inbound marketing channels. 61% of marketers rank lead generation as their number 1 challenge.
Demand Generation vs Lead Generation
Traditional lead generation might seem too similar to demand generation, but there’s actually a difference. While the latter aims at generating interest, the former ensures turning the interest into names and contact information. The demand generated converts into leads, which further transform into sales.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a marketing methodology that is designed to draw visitors and potential customers to your business. It aims at talking ‘to’ the customers rather than talking ‘at’ them.
Demand Generation vs Inbound Marketing
What differentiates demand generation from inbound marketing is the fact that inbound marketing is just one way of generating demand. Inbound marketing aims at attracting and engaging prospective customers by offering valuable content. There are a variety of other methods one can use to boost engagement besides inbound marketing such as advertising, email campaigns, events, public relations, etc.
The Demand Generation Funnel
The demand generation process aligns systematically with the marketing funnel. And, every stage of the marketing funnel requires the use of strategies that would help in successful conversions.
As you can see in the above image, every stage of the funnel involves the need for demand generation. This need can be fulfilled by using various marketing strategies such as inbound marketing, lead nurturing, cross-selling, and upselling. Furthermore, you can optimize your funnel by using adtech, automation, and CRM.
To make the marketing funnel smoother, create a strategy that includes:
- Building awareness
- Generating interest
- Providing consideration
- Fulfilling intent
- Acknowledging evaluation
- Converting leads
The marketing funnel is successful only when the process of generating demand involves strategies that target every stage of the funnel.
Your funnel should include:
1. Building goals
Not having goals is like throwing arrows into the air. Hoping that they’ll somehow reach the target is unrealistic. It’s important to set goals that are achievable and realistic. One must consider the market conditions to set specific goals based on the marketing timeline. Thus, building goals accounts for the first step in the process.
2. Determining the audience
Getting into the awareness stage requires you to know who your audience is. Determining the audience sets the pace for further stages of the funnel. The right audience helps widen the bottom of the funnel and maximizes leads.
You can learn more about your audience by building buyer personas. Use tools like Hubspot’s ‘Make my Persona tool’ to create a persona that helps optimize your demand marketing.
3. Curating content
Educating your audience is the real deal. How to do that? Content! Content is the answer to every question about adding value. Creating the right content in the right form for the right audience to be shared at the right time on the right platform isn’t easy. One must consider the questions that the prospective audience might have, and answer them with content.
Create content that entices response. Make your content interactive to boost engagement and add value. For example, look at this interactive calculator that estimates the monthly ad budget for your campaigns. These interactive content types increase engagement because it gives real-time value to the users. Create yours now! No coding required, we promise!
4. Communicating with prospects
Creating content isn’t enough; it should reach the right audience. Among the various available channels, you have to figure out which is the right one for your business.
Different channels might be right for different stages of the funnel. You have to distribute your content accurately to ensure maximum engagement.
For example: ads might be good at the awareness level, blogs can be used to educate the audience, and interactive content types like quizzes can attract, engage and add value to them.
5. Tracking and measuring data
Keeping track of the entire demand process is an extremely important step. Use metrics to track how your campaign is performing. Outgrow’s analytics dashboard makes the tracking process a lot easier. You can analyze the performance of all the content you create at one place and create reports on how to improve.
You can read more about the measuring criteria in a few minutes. Keep reading!
How to Build a Demand Generation Campaign?
Just like every person has a different way of thinking, everyone acts differently as well. Hence, building a demand generation campaign is a unique process for every organization. While we can’t tell you how to make decisions for your brand, we surely can give you a blueprint that you can follow.
Remember that your strategies need to align with your goals and your position in the marketing funnel. Every action you take should target moving further in the buyer’s journey. Here’s a quick guide for how you can create a campaign that brings maximum output:
1. Generate a Need for Your Product/Service
Before a customer even begins their buying journey, they need to know why they’d need you. Your strategy should be to firstly aware your prospective customers about their pain points. Then, you need to make sure that your prospects know how you can help them resolve their problems.
Your prospect should know that your brand is actually worth their time and money. And, they’d know this if you are there by their side from the very beginning of their journey. Demonstrate how your product or service can help them make their life easier and efficient. Show’em what you got!
How can you do this? It’s not that hard. Just be real.
a. Create Educational Content
Your immediate purpose of creating content should be to educate your audience. Educational content makes consumers 131% more likely to buy. Make sure your content is answering your audience’s questions before they even ask them.
b. Use Interactive Content
Making your audience feel involved is a crucial step towards generating demand and leads. This can be done by making them a part of the conversation. How? Interactive content! Interactive content lets the audience make choices for themselves so that you can ultimately help them with personalized solutions.
Look at this ecommerce recommendation for example, it asks the users questions about their needs, and gives the right recommendations. The user feels valued!
c. Add Concrete Data and Statistics
When you answer their questions, it helps to have concrete and quantitative data like reports and ROI journals to back up your claims. When you share statistics, the prospect gets a better insight into your industry. Adding value is always the right thing to do.
Start by letting them know the basics of your product/service and then move up the information ladder. Use reports and blogs to give them insights about the industry. Tell them how you are better than your competitors by giving them numbers and figures. Use ROI calculators and quizzes to answer their questions. Prove to them that your claims make sense, and they should try you.
2. Identify Your Product Market
It’s time to learn who your audience is. You need to know what your audience actually wants and whether or not your content aligns with their needs. Analyze who interacts with your content, how they interact with it, and if that interaction eventually leads to conversions.
This identification requires you to take 2 steps:
a. Offer Free Services
Offering free services will give your prospects insights into what they’ll be getting into once they actually make a purchase. For example, we offer a 7-days free trial for you to try every feature of our product. Best part? We don’t ask for your card details.
b. Use Lead Magnets (like Outgrow :p)
Use lead magnets to learn more about your audience. Platforms like Outgrow let you ask questions from the audience that help you understand them better. When they answer your questions, you’ll know what to offer them. This will then help you identify your target product market easily.
For example, a health service provider can use a health assessment like this to attract leads and offer the right solution to the right customer.
3. Increase Brand Awareness
Telling your audience that you exist isn’t enough. Make them remember you even while you aren’t approaching them. Make it your goal that when a person thinks about your product in general, they think about you. Can we ever skip McDonald’s when we talk about burgers? No, right? Similarly, make sure your audience trusts you enough to remember you.
You can increase your brand awareness by:
a. Building a Social Media Presence
Social media has now become a platform to reach anyone and everyone easily. 73% of marketers believe that their efforts through social media marketing have been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business. Social media presence helps build relationships with your customers, and that’s a win!
b. Trying Blogging and Guest Posts
Blogs are one of the best ways to make your audience know about your business. Content that adds value to your audience establishes trust. You can also try collaborating with industry specialists and write guest posts for them. Guest posts are a great way to reach beyond your set audience. This helps build reach and boost brand awareness.
Once you make your customers need you, identify your product market, and increase brand awareness, demand generation gets a lot easier.
How Do You Measure the Success of a Demand Generation Campaign?
There’s no point in doing a task if you don’t know how you are doing. Analysis is one of the most important steps of any and every process. And, demand generation requires maximum attention as it paves way for every other decision you make.
66% of B2B marketers said that improving their ability to measure and analyze marketing impact was a top priority. You need to start by seeing the impact every strategy makes. This is what you need to know to measure the success of your campaign effectively:
Figure out what you want to know before you take any action. Determine your goals beforehand. A few metrics that you can use to define your KPIs are:
- Number of meetings generated
- Number of opportunities generated
- Average deal size
- Sales pipeline value
- Customer acquisition cost
- Cost per lead
- Customer lifetime value
- Average sales cycle length
- Revenue generated against budget investment
Track data over time
Test different strategies and choose what works best for you. What might work for us might not work for you. So, set up different strategies, implement them, and see how they perform over time.
What Are Some Demand Generation Strategies and Tactics That Always Work?
The best part about creating a demand generation strategy is that you can be as flexible as you want. You get to follow what you deem right for your brand. Of course, you can learn from the strategies others use, and so we are here with some of the best examples and tactics you can employ!.
1. Website UX and UI
Your website defines your success more than anything else. Use it to understand how your audience chooses to interact with you. Retarget accordingly with inbound marketing, which we will discuss in the upcoming strategies.
A good SEO campaign increases website traffic, a good website increases engagement, and good inbound marketing increases conversions.
Example? Have a look at Netflix’s website. It has everything a user would want to know before signing up. The FAQ section is just enough to answer all the questions a prospect would have. Moreover, the clean and bold CTA is sureshot to grab attention. Perfect!
2. Content Marketing
Your content determines how effectively you can communicate with your audience. It’s a proven way to inform, educate, answer queries, and provide value to them. In fact, 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing for increasing engagement and demand for their services. It helps your audience understand your brand better, which in turn builds trust.
Use blog posts, press releases, case studies, eBooks, white papers, infographics, videos, emails, and various other types of content to attract and retain customers. On that note, check out our guide on ‘Interactive Content for Digital Agencies’. We love creating good content.
3. Interactive Content
81% of marketers think interactive content grabs readers’ attention. It makes sure that it’s not just you talking. It gives the customers a chance to express themselves, and that makes solving their issues easy.
Look at this case study for example. Leads.ph used Outgrow’s no-code platform to create a quiz for their client to boost their brand awareness and demand generation. And guess what? - This quiz titled ‘Which Kind of Whisky Drinker Are You?’ got them a whopping 40000+ leads! Moral of the story: Interactive content works! You just need to make it relevant.
4. Social Media Marketing
Social media has now become one of the most relevant platforms for connecting with prospects and customers. 83% of marketers are now using social media to engage better.
Content marketing guru, Neil Patel, has leveraged the platform in an amazing way. His social media presence signifies that even B2B marketers can make use of the platform to connect with their audience. Following is a snapshot of his Instagram profile which is well designed to be fun and informative.
Post, comment, share, and respond to prospects regularly for better results.
5. Lead Scoring
Lead scoring refers to the act of allotting different points for different actions that prospects take on your website. Use lead scoring to measure a prospect’s engagement with you and then target them accordingly.
For example, a lead gets 5 points for reading a blog, and 10 for downloading a white paper. Your scoring should depend on the offerings you have. Once a lead gets enough points based on your scoring system, they can be passed to sales, and nurtured effectively.
6. Measuring and Optimizing
Measure the performance of your strategies at frequent intervals and optimize for better results. Remember that there’s always room for improvement. We have mentioned more about measuring the success of a campaign in the above discussion.
7. Aligning Sales and Marketing
Every activity in a business is a team sport. Make sure that your sales team is aware of all the marketing strategies. Also, ensure that your marketing team knows how a prospect is progressing in the buyer's journey.
An integrated team is the key to successful conversions. An informed marketing team won’t pursue someone who’s already a customer. Internal awareness is as important as brand awareness.
8. Webinars and Podcasts
Tell your prospects what you do. Talk to them and prove why they should choose you and how you can help make their job easier. Webinars and podcasts are great ways to engage them in real-time.
For example, check out our monthly podcast “Marketer of the Month” wherein we invite keynote speakers to share their opinion and stories around rising digital marketing trends. It’s a fun way to tell the users about us and how they can use interactive content for marketing. Moreover, this is a great opportunity to showcase your brand as an industry leader and boost demand thereafter.
9. Ad Campaigns
Advertisements help you reach those who can’t reach you. Ad campaigns are the perfect way to tell your prospects that you exist, and that you will help them.
Heinz launched its ‘Heinz to Home’ campaign in April 2020 to tell their customers that they are delivering online. In the times of coronavirus, this isn’t only a clever way to reach customers, but also a good way to inspire others to get online.
10. Email Marketing
Targeted mailing helps engage users because you offer personalization. Make sure your emails are offering value and not being salesy. A good email is one that's customized to help the reader. The results are definitely going to be good if you aim to add value. Have a look at the stats yourself!
A smart way to engage your audience here is to use interactive emails. Interactivity in emails is known for attracting people and increasing open rates significantly. Stats say that interactive email content increases the click-to-open rate by 73%!
For example, you can add a festive contest like this in your emails to attract a wider audience.
11. Free Resources
Free resources/tools give your prospects much better insights into your brand and products. Once they know how they can make use of your products and services, decision making gets easier.
WordStream implemented this strategy and launched the AdWords Performance Grader tool. This turned out to be a great demand generation strategy for them as offering a free tool made the users trust them.
Demand Generation for B2B Marketers: The 3 Pillars
Rightly engaging with the audience is how a B2B marketer can see a prospect convert into a paying customer. A good B2B demand generation marketing strategy stands on 3 pillars. And, every B2B marketer needs to know how to leverage them.
1. Lead Generation
As discussed earlier, lead generation aims at getting concrete data about a customer so as to target them with customization. It’s a process of converting prospects into leads that will effectively convert into customers.
2. Demand Capture
Demand capture is a process of targeting those who are already looking for a product or service like yours. For an ice-cream seller, they just need to find who is looking for ice cream and offer it to them.
Have a look at this example from Brooks, an online shoe store. They didn't just show their shoe collection to the customers like a regular ecommerce but designed a shoe finder quiz that asks various preferences before suggesting a personalized shoe option to them.
3. Pipeline Acceleration
Pipeline acceleration is the process of making the buyer’s journey smooth and quick. It aims at making the sales funnel expedite efficiently. It’s important to be attentive at every stage to make sure that you don’t lose the lead on the way. Determine a strategy for every step and make people accountable. When everyone has a set responsibility, the process gets seamless.
Challenges to Demand Generation
Every process has its own pitfalls. One just needs to learn how to overcome them. The process of demand creation involves a few challenges on the way, and we’ll tell you what they are.
1. Identifying Competent Leads
It’s important that we spend time on what’s worth the effort. Finding and recognizing good leads can be challenging. Failure to do so can act like a big obstacle in fulfilling your demand goals. Remember, working in the right direction to fetch 10 relevant leads is always better than spending more to get 100 irrelevant leads. Quality over quantity!
2. Creating Correct Content
Carrying the previous concept forward, offering unnecessary content can also be a challenge to scoring leads. Make sure the content you create is meaningful for your target audience. Add the right value at the right time.
3. Placing Content Properly
Creating good content will only be successful if it reaches the right audience. Make your content accessible to your target audience. If they don’t find your content, the lead generation process would never take place.
4. Collecting and Tracking Data
One needs to know how to process the data collected throughout the funnel. Having tons of data with no use can lead to strategy failure and an inability to create better plans. It’s important to know what works and what doesn’t.
Demand Generation Examples
#1 Marketing Plan Generator - HubSpot
As we said earlier, offering free resources is always a good idea. HubSpot gives you a chance to use their tool for free. You can upgrade whenever you like.
They, hence, created demand by making the customer try their product. This also generates them relevant leads and efficiently converts them into paying customers. Simple!
#2 ROI Calculator - Outgrow
Telling your customers the benefits of using your product by giving value is the goal. That’s what we do. We created this ROI calculator for our prospective customers to estimate the return from using Outgrow. You can try too!
#3 Idea Generator - Outgrow (Yup, we’ve got a bunch of cool tools)
If we want you to use Outgrow, we also want to tell you how you can do that. Free of cost! We created an idea generator for our audience to help them generate creative and unique content ideas for their industry. You can try it here!
What Are Some Demand Generation Tools That You Should Try?
While one needs to constantly apply new strategies to the process, some demand generation tools can help make the process smoother. Here are some of our favorites that you should try!
You can learn more about the use case of these tools here.
Demand generation is a wholesome process that constitutes every action you take in the marketing funnel. And, needless to say, you need to ace all of them. From lead generation to successful conversions, you have to be active at every step. Use different channels and mediums to reach your customers. Gain their attention and build trust. Rest will follow!
While we know you’d have noticed already, we’ll still reiterate. Interactive content acts as a benefactory at every stage. It helps you know your audience like nothing else. Connecting with them can get easy with our no-code platform. Start your free trial now.
Tapsi is a full-time digital marketer at Outgrow. When she is not discussing the latest marketing hacks, you can find her clicking pictures of her adorable labrador, Captain.