2023 Business Roadmap: Thrive and Succeed
While marketers often concentrate on attracting potential customers and converting them into buyers, this approach rarely yields the anticipated results. Gartner agency has calculated that only 5% of purchases happen directly through the sales department, with clients interacting with companies through marketing channels such as social media, websites, blogs, and press releases.
As a result, the spotlight is on customer engagement and active online presence—these are the ways in which companies can distinguish themselves in the market and stimulate demand for their products or services.
What is demand generation
When demand is generated, your company becomes well-known, your products and services are sought after, and customers proactively reach out to you for assistance.
Demand generation involves identifying potential customers who are unaware of the existence of your product but have a need for it. Your task is to spread information about your company and convince customers that you provide the solution to their problems.
For instance, consider a potential customer in need of a CRM system. Your company specializes in developing exactly such a tool. The customer is unaware of your existence, compares solutions on the market, and leans towards purchasing a CRM from a well-known developer. Generating demand for your product means explaining the value of your CRM, highlighting how it differs advantageously from a popular brand.
While working on creating excitement and demand for your product, you simultaneously address several other objectives, namely, accelerating business growth and expanding your consumer audience.
How demand capture and demand creation differ
The fundamental laws of economics state that demand begets supply. Demand is at the core of any business. The processes of demand capture and demand creation are similar but require different levels of effort and are directed towards different objectives.
Demand capture involves attracting people who are ready to make a purchase – those who have gone through the sales funnel and are at the final stage. This includes customers closer to the end of the sales funnel. Your goal is to push them towards closing the deal. You don't need to invent anything new at this point since these are individuals who have already recognized the need for your product.
Marketing strategies for demand capture in the B2B sector might include:
- Case studies: demonstrating that your solutions work.
- Media coverage: gaining popularity in mass media (reviews, news articles, etc.) to convince consumers that your brand and products are valued by society.
- Own resources: a well-designed website, a social media presence, containing detailed information about your product, its functioning, price, and comparisons with other products in the market.
The demand capture process is closely tied to how a person has interacted with the product in the past. A positive experience is more likely to lead to conversion.
When it comes to demand creation, the first step is to identify the problem of the target buyer and answer how your company can solve it. Unlike demand capture, the process of demand creation involves customers in the top and middle parts of the funnel. It's particularly important to learn how to create demand for lesser-known and specialized companies.
For demand creation, the following marketing strategies are used:
- Increasing brand awareness through mass media, paid advertising, and PR.
- Building educational resources: blogs, in-depth posts on social media, informative articles.
Crafting an efficient demand generation strategy
Explore the market and audience
When you begin exploring the market, pay close attention to your competitors. Examine who comprises the target audience of your competitors, the products and services they offer, their pricing strategies, and the marketing approaches they employ. Answering these questions will help you identify your own advantages and refine your target audience.
Once you've defined your target audience, delve into understanding them. Demographic characteristics, interests, behaviors, needs, and preferences are all essential. Conduct surveys, organize focus groups, and analyze social media purchase data. Based on the collected information, segment your target audience. This will enable you to gain deeper insights into each group and tailor your strategy to meet their needs.
Regular surveys are necessary since consumer preferences change rapidly. Gather feedback from customers to provide personalized offerings.
Create a unique selling proposition
You should first understand and then communicate to consumers the value of your offering. To achieve this, define what makes your product or service unique. It could be instant delivery, high availability, or exceptional efficiency. Which attribute of your product will attract the most customers?
Devise a memorable call-to-action phrase. Your proposition should be clear and appealing. If you have the opportunity, test the proposition on real customers. Make adjustments if necessary based on the actual results obtained.
Develop a marketing strategy
Outline a range of marketing channels that you intend to utilize to attract customers. These can encompass social media platforms, targeted or native advertising, PR campaigns, and influencer marketing.
Remember: only post high-quality content on any platform. Strive to be proactive and anticipate the needs of potential customers. This strategy works well, as many consumers gather information online before engaging with a seller. Position yourself as an expert in the digital realm. This approach can foster a trustworthy relationship with customers right from the start.
Diversify your content. Your audience includes those who are frequent users of your products or services, first-time visitors, and even those who are unaware of your existence. Your content should engage each group. Address frequently asked questions in your publications to save time during customer interactions.
Allocate a budget for your marketing strategy. Don't exhaust all your resources in a single promotional channel; an omnichannel approach is more effective. At this stage, it's essential to determine the resources needed to achieve your goals and identify where to acquire them.
Utilize marketing metrics and KPIs to assess the effectiveness of your actions. Analyze the results and make timely adjustments to your marketing plan.
Drive demand stimulation
Harness promotions, discounts, lead magnets, promo codes, and other marketing tactics to stimulate demand effectively.
Craft an enticing loyalty program to make working with you even more rewarding for repeat customers. For others, this can serve as an incentive to engage with your company more frequently. Common loyalty program features include accumulating points, increasing discount tiers, or granting access to exclusive offers. Referral programs are also valuable for rapid scaling: customers refer friends and receive bonuses in return.
Care for all your customers
Not all leads you attract will immediately convert into buyers. However, it's unwise to discount potential customers who didn't make a purchase right away. You've already invested time and resources into drawing them in, so why not continue engaging with them? It's entirely possible that they'll be interested in trying your product in the near future.
To nurture customer relationships, marketing teams should collaborate with sales departments. This way, your company can comprehensively influence potential customers. Maintain communication through email campaigns, extend holiday greetings, and make personalized offers to stay engaged with them.
As you've gathered, successful businesses engage with every stage of the sales funnel. Significant results are achieved by those who strike a balance between lead generation and demand creation. This approach ensures that the company's influence touches all leads, from the beginning to the end of the funnel.
In this article, we've outlined general steps for crafting a demand generation strategy. Since each business is unique, adapt these recommendations to fit your goals and objectives.
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