It’s one thing to create a great product or service and put the word out about it. It’s another to make people want that product or service. Demand generation can be one of the most difficult elements of marketing that brands have to harness. To increase demand for your product or service, you have to be able to, in concrete terms, answer the question, “Why does my audience need my business?”
Let’s break down what exactly demand generation is so we can get into how to make it work for you.
Demand generation is an early stage marketing strategy with the goal of raising awareness of your brand, as well as raising interest and demand for your brand. This is one of the first steps in lead generation, by piquing the interest of potential leads. From there, you will have to nurture that lead until eventually, the lead becomes a sale.
Creating demand can be one of the trickiest parts of marketing. It requires an understanding of your target audience, as well as the reach to get your message to them. However, if you can generate demand for your product, it will go a long way in helping to boost sales and build a customer base.
Your brand doesn’t exist within a vacuum, and you may be able to use that to your advantage. Demand capture is the method of seizing on a demand that already exists and capturing the market. This is a form of demand generation, but one that focuses more on boosting awareness than on creating demand.
To capture demand, you need to put your name out there as the authority when it comes to that particular product or service. Boosting your SEO can help to ensure you’re one of the first names that comes up in your audience’s searches.
Demand generation is a layered process that is made up of a few standard marketing elements. The recipe for demand generation includes:
- Brand Awareness. Put your brand in front of your audience. Make sure people know who you are, what you do, and why. The more that you are on the minds of your audience, the better.
- Inbound Marketing. Creating content and user experiences that are tailored to the needs and preferences of your target audience. Offer the answers to the questions that they have, and draw them towards your products and services.
- Sales Incentive. Make it clear and easy for your target audience to make a purchase. Maybe you can offer a referral program that would give them a discount if referred by someone else. Maybe there’s a free trial of your products or services first. A push to incentivize leads to make that first purchase.
- Customer Retention/Loyalty. Once your customers have made their first purchase, your goal is to be able to keep them. The average company loses anywhere from 10-25% of their customers per year. Consider building in a customer rewards or loyalty program, or sending discount offers to inactive customers. A good, responsive customer service is also a great way to build trust with the customer and keep them coming back.
So how do you harness demand generation for your own brand? Here are a few of our tips:
Rather than trying to be The formatting software, try to corner a more specific niche. For instance, maybe your software is especially relevant to writers or to legal teams. Find your niche and hone in on that in all of your marketing. You may be able to capture demand in your niche if not the industry as a whole.
Even if you have the best product to meet a particular demand, it’s nothing if your audience doesn’t know about your business. Use best SEO practices such as creating high quality, authoritative content and using local keywords to up your rankings on Google’s search algorithm.
In order to understand the value your brand offers to your audience, you need to know what your audience needs. Conduct market research and consider building an audience profile to help you get into the heads of your target audience. Collecting data or conducting competition research can also help you to better understand your audience.
If your business plan or your website makes it difficult for audiences to interact with your brand, those customers will likely be driven away by the poor experience. Make sure your website is clear and easy to navigate, and that the user and customer experience is smooth. Customers may still run into problems, which is why it’s important to have responsive customer service to assist them.