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.
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Demand generation 101 | 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
Cognism's Video Marketer Emily Liu explains our 6-step process for data-driven demand gen! Press ▶️ to see her marketing tutorial.
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.
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.
The terms demand generation and lead generation sound similar and are often used interchangeably, but they’re different.
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 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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
Every organisation will focus on slightly different metrics for their demand generation. Here are three ways you can measure its success:
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.
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.
The average time from identifying a lead to turning them into a customer. The goal is to shorten this time as much as possible.
There are hundreds of tech tools to help you make your demand gen work better.
Cognism has curated the following lists of tools:
Looking for a more practical guide to demand gen? Download Cognism's SaaS Demand Generation Playbook today. 📖
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.
Why read an essay about Cognism’s demand gen capabilities, when you could see the tool for yourself?
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