The buying tendencies and behaviors of customers continue to grow exponentially more complex. Therefore, drawing prospects’ attention is increasingly difficult.
Leveraging earned or unpaid marketing channels through content such as websites, blogs and other content is increasingly more competitive.
Some B2B segments, such as SaaS products are so competitive – by one count, there are more than 150,000 distinct SaaS products, a 30x increase in volume – that marketers are spending a higher percentage of revenues on sales and marketing to secure faster growth.
Because of this phenomenon, it can be challenging for companies to bring in new customers.
Fortunately, demand marketing has provided a systematic and predictable way to attract potential customers when executed properly.
What is Demand Marketing?
Demand marketing refers to the process wherein marketers find a way to generate demand – or commercial interest — for its products. To achieve this, they need buyers to become aware of the company and the specific products it markets, and to get them interested in purchasing those products.
Demand marketing focuses on several platforms and channels to run campaigns. The associated efforts that are involved in demand marketing are:
- Building awareness
- Assisting evaluation
- Supporting validation
- Positioning relevance
Demand creation and formulation, demand generation, and lead generation are often used interchangeably, but there are significant differences between the three.
Increase in apps. All competing for attention.
Demand Creation vs. Demand Generation
Demand creation is defined as the process wherein marketers try to create demand where none exists. It is what is utilized for new services or products.
Cooking outdoors, for example, was accomplished for years with a simple container that held charcoal briquettes. Apply some lighter fluid, light and cook over a flame. With innovation came the advent of high-fire ceramic smokers, and an entire industry was born, as well as competing products and brands (e.g. Big Green Egg vs. Kamodo Joe). With these new offers, there was no discernible existing demand or share to capture – it was created.
Demand generation refers to how marketers create programs to generate increased demand for their brand, product, or service in order to increase sales and earn more profit. This assumes existing demand.
Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation
In lead generation, potential buyers have shown some kind of behavior (filling out a form, clicking a digital ad) that demonstrates some level of interest. Lead generation strategies and tactics compete with other brands and products through effective use of tactics like SEO, social media engagement, email marketing, content marketing, paid ads and more.
Marketers are attempting to gather data from potential customers and to learn how qualified they are as potential buyers and to initially gauge their level of interest and specific area of interest.
Demand Marketing in B2B
B2B marketing is any marketing strategy that is geared towards another business or business professionals. Over the past years, B2B marketing has continuously changed to adjust to the ever-changing behavior of customers.
For smaller businesses, effective demand generation tactics can include:
Free Trials – Trials give customers a low-risk way of trying the product or service and help establish a sense of trust with the customer that may lead to a purchase or subscription.
Free Apps or Tools with In-Purchase Options – Similar to free trials, apps encourage use, possible adoption and increases the chance of future purchases. In-purchase options may include awards, incentives, increased levels or access.
Content / Informational Marketing – eBooks, webinars, podcasts and other content attempt to demonstrate expertise and value with the potential of more in-depth engagement from the firm or professional.
Influencers/Social Media – Well known people or perceived experts who use or endorse your product may lend credibility and awareness. Social media and mobile advertising can be leveraged via sponsored posts, infographics, video and other non-traditional channels that lead to inbound traffic, dedicated landing pages and other digital platforms.
Digital Paid Advertising – Search ads and display remarketing can help you reach audiences that you would not otherwise be able to reach through organic traffic. Additionally, since you’re able to set a profile targeting criteria with paid ads, you can reach the right people faster and more accurately.
Remarketing Advertising – Display remarketing ads that appear on sites can also greatly contribute to generating website traffic and building awareness about your brand and its products. They are triggered from a Google Ads Tag when visitor searches again after initially visiting the website.
Email / SMS / Push Notifications – Visitors opt-in to receive email or short notifications, text and links of new content, offers or promotions. They may receive via email, mobile phone text or get a browser-based “push” message.
Conversational Marketing, Chat, Instant Messaging – Live and AI-powered immediate response and routing for web visitors to specific information, offers and events is a growing. Many social media platforms incorporate messaging, live chat or bot-driven chat to provide instant communication with visitors and specific content.
Inbound Marketing & Demand Generation
Inbound marketing is another term that is interchangeably used with demand generation. However, there is a clear distinction between the two as inbound marketing is most accurately described as a subset of demand generation.
In a traditional buying process within a sales funnel, inbound marketing employs content at the top of the funnel to facilitate awareness. It does this by “pulling in” or “drawing in” visitors to its sales process with tactics that can include blog posts, social media updates, infographics, eBooks, and podcasts.
These tactics are different outbound or “push out” marketing and sales tactics such as traditional channel advertising, sending out promotion emails or doing outbound telemarketing phone calls.
Inbound marketing is closely associated with TOFu or “top of funnel” activities. These efforts focus on consistently creating awareness for products and services and drawing attention through high-quality content which will ultimately lead to prospective buyers into
After some time, many of the inbound traffic will become paying customers. It plays a significant role in revenue generation, even more than outbound leads.
Demand generation employs inbound marketing tactics to secure large quantities of qualified leads.
Sales & Demand Generation
If demand generation employs inbound tactics to draw people into the top of the funnel, sales activities are often used to assist people “through” the funnel.
Content in the middle of funnel or “MOFU” are more closely associated with sales and may employ a sales representative. The general goal for the middle of the funnel is to help potential buyers with their evaluation of a product or service.
Popular middle of the funnel tools may be case studies, free tools, free consultations, promotions, demonstrations, surveys, and educational resources.
Content at the decision or action stages of the funnel may include payment systems and terms, reviews and referrals, customer stories, comparison sheets, proposals and contracts.
Inbound Marketing FAQs
- What are the possible activities of inbound marketing? If the company wishes to bring inbound traffic, they may create blogs, videos, podcasts, newsletters, social media profiles or pages, and ebooks. It is basically anything that contains compelling or interesting content to “draw in” prospects.
- How do I know that the strategy is working? To measure the overall performance of the campaign, marketers can make use of any number of digital and social media analytics to generate data that can help in evaluating the effectiveness of campaigns. Marketers will frequently run comparison tests and can make adjustments and modifications according to the information that they collect. Marketers typically begin with identifying measurable goals, costs, conversions, and ROI metrics with a specific end date before beginning the campaign.
- What data should marketers collect when creating a demand generation strategy Marketers love data for customer segmentation and digging into all kinds of demographic and psychographic information.
However, for all data sources, you must ensure that the proper customer permissions have been secured. After taking stock of the data, there are Data Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) processes that work together and will need to be built. Data extraction will collect the data from the various sources. Data transformation will cleanse the data so that is in standardized formats in order to be properly and accurately analyzed, as well as to aggregate and de-dupe records.
The data gets loaded into a repository for ongoing use, which could be a database for structured data, or alternatively what is commonly referred to as a data lake for both structured and unstructured data (such as social media posts or other text).
Content Strategy Experts