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What is demand generation?

Demand generation is the entire range of B2B marketing and sales initiatives that generate interest in your company’s product or service.

The aims of demand generation are to bring prospects with a need for your product into your sales process, turn them into customers and retain them for the long-term.

However, demand gen is not just about discovering prospects that already exist. It’s about stimulating interest in people who don’t know anything about you. The most effective way of generating demand is to concentrate on the problems that prospects face, and then supply solutions.

Find out more about demand generation by scrolling 👇 or use the menu below to flick through.

Who does demand generation? | Where does demand generation sit in the B2B sales and marketing process? | Demand generation vs lead generation | Demand gen with content | Demand gen with emails | Demand gen with paid advertising | Tips for better demand generation | Demand generation metrics | Demand generation with tech | How to use Cognism for demand gen | Book your demo with Cognism

Who does demand generation?

Demand generation activities are usually executed by your marketing or sales teams, depending on where each activity sits in your sales strategy.

The majority of demand gen strategies, including researching your market, creating and promoting your content, will be the preserve of your B2B marketing team.

However, other activities such as lead nurturing and customer retention will lie with your sales (or Customer Success) teams.

Alignment between your sales and marketing functions is essential for demand gen success.

Where does demand generation sit in the B2B sales and marketing process?

Demand generation initiatives work at every stage of your B2B marketing and sales funnels. 

Demand gen covers a wide range of activities that start before you have even identified a prospect. They don’t end even once the prospect has converted and signed on as a customer.

For demand generation to be effective, you need alignment and transparency between your sales and marketing functions, with both teams being able to identify gaps or blockages in the process.

Demand generation vs lead generation

The terms demand generation and lead generation sound similar and are often used interchangeably, but they’re different.

Lead generation

Lead gen is a one-to-many approach to creating an interest in your product. Actions such as creating a blog or a series of YouTube videos to attract leads to your brand are tried and trusted lead generation tactics.

Inbound marketing is a similar term that’s also covered by the demand generation catch-all.

Demand generation

Demand gen is an all-encompassing term for the variety of sales, marketing and CS actions that attract, convert and retain customers. It includes activities much further down the sales funnel, such as lead nurturing and customer retention.

Demand gen with content

One of the cornerstones of any demand generation programme is creating content that informs, educates and inspires your ideal customer profile (ICP).

There are many types of content you could choose to create:

    • Blogs – articles on your website that educate your audience and help you get found on Google.
    • Videos – YouTube content that explores your product or topics relevant to your target audience.
    • eBooks – long-form textbooks or whitepapers that you can give away on your site, either gated or ungated.
    • Podcasts/webinars – deep dives into specific industry themes or product features, normally with external guest speakers. 
    • Industry insights – inviting industry influencers to contribute to your content and promote it to their networks. 

Whatever mediums you choose to create content on, make sure your content answers the questions your ideal customers are asking.

Discover how to use content marketing to close deals with Cognism's Global Head of Demand Generation, Liam Bartholomew. Press ▶️ to watch.


Demand gen with emails

Email marketing is ideal for B2B demand generation. It’s a fast and cost-effective way to get into your ideal customer’s inbox.

Email marketing best practice:

  • Use your content (and other demand gen strategies) to build an email list.
  • Segment your list into narrowly-targeted groups.
  • Then use email automation software to initiate sequences of emails that keep your prospects thinking about you.

Ensure you track the responses to your emails, and always be looking for ways to improve results. A/B split testing is a great way to optimise email marketing.

Demand gen with paid advertising

Paying to be where your ideal customers are spending their time online is an integral part of demand generation.

Promote your content with pay-per-click (PPC) ads that place you at the top of Google when someone searches for your chosen keyword.

You can also pay to show up in your ideal customers’ social media feeds.

Platforms like Google and Facebook offer comprehensive analytics on the back end, so you can easily see what’s working and what isn’t.

Sign up for the best demand gen insights, delivered straight to your inbox! 📥

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Tips for better demand generation

Demand generation covers such a wide range of activities – there’s no one-size-fits-all. But here are three tips for demand gen success.

1 - Know your customer

Create an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). This will be the north star for all your demand generation strategies. Make it as narrow as possible, so you can craft a message that speaks to their pain points.

2 - Track everything

Measure as much as you can and reflect on the results you get. Double down on what works and cast off what doesn’t. Tech is here to help you with this.

3 - Have a great site

Your website will be your ICP’s first port of call after consuming your content. Make sure it shows you and your brand in the best light.

Demand generation metrics

Every organisation will focus on slightly different metrics for their demand generation. Here are three ways you can measure its success:

Cost per acquisition (CPA)

The average cost of winning one paying customer. You will have a CPA for your entire demand gen operation, but you can also narrow it down to get a CPA for individual channels or activities.

Customer lifetime value (CLV)

The average net profit one customer will bring into the company during their time with you. Raising the CLV is where your sales function and customer success team can make a difference.

Demand gen cycle length

The average time from identifying a lead to turning them into a customer. The goal is to shorten this time as much as possible.

Demand generation with tech

There are hundreds of tech tools to help you make your demand gen work better.

Cognism has curated the following lists of tools:

The ultimate B2B marketing tech stack | The ultimate B2B sales tech stack | 20 awesome - and free - B2B marketing tools | 15 awesome B2B sales tools

Looking for a more practical guide to demand gen? Download Cognism's SaaS Demand Generation Playbook today. 📖

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How to use Cognism for demand gen

Once you’ve created your ICP, you need a comprehensive and accurate list of people that matches that profile. If you don’t, you won’t be able to build an audience, and you could be wasting your time trying to convert leads that don’t exist anymore. 

Cognism Prospector allows you to create lists that exactly match your ICP, so all you need to concentrate on is crafting content that speaks to them. Then, use Prospector to launch your demand gen campaigns. The platform guarantees some of the highest email deliverability rates in the B2B industry.

Book your demo with Cognism

Why read an essay about Cognism’s demand gen capabilities, when you could see the tool for yourself? 

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