What Is Demand Generation?

Let’s start with the boring definition:

Demand generation is the process of creating and nurturing interest in a product or service in order to drive potential customers towards making a purchase. It is a crucial aspect of any successful business, as it helps to generate leads and ultimately drive revenue.

Here’s a little less stuffy of a definition:

As we discussed in Episode 1 of Demand & Brand, we consider demand generation to be a new term for a tried and true element of marketing. Demand generation leverages inbound marketing and social media (and dark social… more on that to come) to build demand for a company, product, or service. It’s focused on the entire buyer lifecycle and their customer journey map (more on that soon, too). When we say the full buyer lifecycle, we really mean that — from the first time an anonymous web visitor hits your website to a cold marketing lead to a red-hot sales lead (and sometimes even a paying customer).

In short: Demand generation is focused on revenue — not just leads.

How to Start & Implement a Demand Generation Strategy

In this blog post, we will explore how to start a demand generation strategy, particularly for those of us in a B2B industry, and discuss the role of inbound marketing and lead generation in this process.

To start a demand generation strategy, the first step is to identify your target audience. This includes understanding their needs, pain points, and the solutions that your product or service can offer. You should also consider the demographics and firmographics of your target audience,Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience and what your ideal customer profile (ICP) looks like, you can tailor your demand generation efforts to effectively reach and engage them.

Next, you should set specific and measurable goals for your demand generation strategy. These goals could include increasing website traffic, generating leads, or increasing conversions. Setting clear goals will help you track the success of your demand generation efforts and make necessary adjustments as needed. With goals in mind, you can define the metrics you want to track to gauge effectiveness.

In a B2B organization, demand generation can be particularly important as it helps to attract potential customers and partners, as well as showcase your products and services to a wider audience. One effective way to generate demand is through inbound marketing. This involves creating valuable and informative content that attracts potential customers to your website and encourages them to engage with you. As you know, we’re huge fans of Content Amplification over here — which essentially is the process of creating a keystone piece of long form content like a podcast or blog post and then breaking that content up into many smaller chunks for use on social media, email, and other places. With a consistent message and posting strategy, your message will become more clear and seen by more and more people — driving demand in your business. 

In addition to inbound marketing, there are several other tactics you can use as part of your demand generation strategy. These can include using retargeted ads on social or using Google Ads, building communities on Slack, Discord, Facebook Groups, etc, and of course, content marketing and SEO. Each of these tactics can help to drive traffic to your website and generate leads.

To us, the biggest takeaway when implementing demand generation into your B2B organization for the first time is to understand that it is NOT lead generation.

Lead generation strategies are all about driving as many contacts or “leads” as possible through things like top of funnel downloads, ebooks, giveaways, etc. While there is a time and place for that, we find that spending time and effort on attracting very high quality (and in many cases, ready to buy) leads through demand generation to be a fantastic strategy in B2B

So Now You Know How To Get Moving With Demand Generation

To review: Demand generation is an essential aspect of any successful business. It’s essentially the process of creating and nurturing interest in a product or service in order to drive potential customers through the sales funnel. It involves a variety of tactics and strategies, such as content marketing, email campaigns, social media marketing, and events, to generate leads and create awareness for a business. The goal of demand gen is to identify and engage potential customers, and then convert them into paying customers.

Chances are you’re already implementing demand gen strategies within your business — now we urge you to really double down on them. 2023 is the year of demand gen.