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Define Demand Generation

Demand generation marketing is a powerhouse that builds brand awareness, increases website traffic, and secures new leads.

Demand gen for B2B companies is about creating a predictable pipeline for your sales team.

Demand generation aims to grow your audience by bringing new visitors to your website and introducing them to your solutions.

Demand generation strategies often include blogging, downloadable content, webinars, podcasts, videos, influencer marketing, PR campaigns, SEO, etc.

As marketing teams mature, they realize that even the most polished SEO strategies only get them so far. At some point, you need to transform curiosity into customers.

The solution? Demand generation.

For this blog, we’ve let our marketing director Ryan-Forrest take over.

How Does Demand Generation Work?

The common misconception is that demand generation is all about creating demand for a product. The clue’s in the name, right? Well, demand generation is far more than that.

Demand generation is the entire range of B2B marketing and sales initiatives that generate interest in your company’s product or service.

But it’s not just about discovering prospects that already exist. It’s about stimulating interest in people who don’t know anything about you.

Building trust is one important factor in creating demand. You can build trust by adding social proof of past or current customers you have worked with.

This can include client testimonials, logos of previous clients, or online customer reviews of your product.

Demand generation is a holistic approach to marketing and sales cohesion.

It leverages data to align your marketing and sales teams, track marketing’s contribution to revenue, and, most importantly, drive growth for your organization.

Marketing automation software will help you run A/B tests, choose the right content, and customize timing for each of your marketing campaigns and customer segments.

Your demand gen strategy involves getting to know your customers and conducting qualitative research through user feedback and conversations.

If you struggle to understand your prospects’ needs, pick up the phone and ask. The success of demand generation stems from your ability to connect with target customers.

Demand Generation Results In More Revenue

When you successfully generate more demand, you can convert that demand into measurable interest and predictable revenue.

Remember that it may take a while to generate actual revenue, especially when you’re attracting customers naturally rather than with paid methods.

Demand generation isn’t a quick fix.

It’s a gradual, comprehensive, holistic approach to engagement that comprises dedicated inbound marketing tactics, social interactions, e-book campaigns, weekly newsletters, pop-up events, webinars, etc.

Online demand generation is both a short-term and long-term revenue strategy, so you can expect results within a few months and over the long term as you build your pipeline, nurture it, and establish a comfortable, consistent rapport with your audience.

The key to generating more revenue is to continue to nurture each member of the demand unit as they move through the marketing funnel.

Ideally, this ends in sales, which results in more and more revenue over time.

When it comes to demand generation, you’re engaging in a marketing practice that treats your potential customers as more than just numbers.

Start filling your sales pipeline today

Pipeline Acceleration

Once you’ve succeeded at generating or capturing demand as opportunities, you can speed up the sales process using pipeline acceleration techniques.

These can be as simple as engaging in conversation with potential customers or creating highly targeted content that meets your leads’ pain points and is appropriate to their position in the sales funnel.

Demand Generation Changes

Something known as conversational marketing has changed the role of demand generation by creating the opportunity for marketers to connect with their audience via conversations online.

With marketers able to start conversations with future buyers early on in the customer journey, they have a better chance of continuing the conversation with that same customer all along their path.

Ideally, this will lead to a sale, making that potential customer a full-blown patron.

Marketing And Sales Alignment

This is nothing new, but it is always worth mentioning.

Sales and marketing have long been separate departments, but as digital marketing became the forefront of business strategies, we started to see a shift.

Sometimes, there is a fragile line between a company’s sales and marketing operations.

Other times, these two groups are at odds — for instance, account executives want marketers to be more aggressive, and marketers want their sales counterparts to turn it down.

No matter the case, there needs to be a strong bridge between these two business functions — that’s demand generation.

Integrating your sales and marketing programs is important to maximize knowledge sharing.

The sales team can benefit from understanding which type of content you resonate with a prospect.

And the marketing team can benefit from lead scoring data to understand which digital marketing channels perform the best.

As someone in marketing, specifically paid advertising, communicating with a client’s sales team allows me to see a much clearer picture in terms of their struggles, strengths, goals, and mission.

Account-Based Marketing

Running account-based marketing campaigns is a great strategy for B2B demand generation because it focuses on a narrowly-defined audience.

ITSMA Survey found that ABM companies saw an 84% rise in reputation scores and a 74% improvement in customer relationships.

This approach lets you drive demand with specific companies and individuals, which delivers better results down the sales funnel.

You can run ABM campaigns through email marketing, LinkedIn ads, or direct email. They are cost-effective ways to get into your ideal customer’s inbox.

Use your content (and other demand-gen strategies) to build an email list. Segment your list into precisely-targeted groups.

Then use email automation software to initiate sequences of emails that keep your prospects thinking about you.

Ensure you track the responses to your emails and always look for ways to improve results.

Free Tools

One of the best demand generation tactics is to offer a free online tool. There are hundreds of demand generation tools to help you make your campaign work better.

During the awareness stage, demonstrate your value to potential customers by offering free tools and reports.

As you aim to capture existing demand, you might use a similar strategy, offering a free resource in exchange for an email address and a few details, as opposed to a web-based tool with no strings attached.

Create a tool people love, and they’ll not only use it repeatedly, but will also tell others about it, helping you expand your reach among relevant audiences.

But, many other marketing tactics will convince site visitors to hand over their emails.

For instance, you can produce guides, white papers, e-books, presentations, toolkits, templates, swipe files, infographics, and checklists.

You can launch marketing automation sequences to maintain the touchpoints and engagement.

Start filling your sales pipeline today

Demand Generation Manager

The demand generation manager’s job is researching your market, creating and promoting your content, and fine-tuning customer experience with your brand.

However, other activities such as lead nurturing and customer retention will lie with your sales (or customer success) teams.

That’s why demand generation specialists need to use their skills and strategic knowledge to find ways to align with other teams across your organization to help you conquer new markets.

An effective approach will be multidisciplinary and combine technical and strategic functions, including technical implementation and platform setup based on your unique business practices, including form strategy, lifecycle stage definition, and lead scoring.

Here are the best demand generation strategies.

Give Away Free Products

You must be able to provide value to the customer before generating a large following.

As a B2B company, relationship-based business is a heavy focus; therefore, giving away free products can give you the upper hand over your competitors.

This strategy can drive demand not only for your target business but also create a referral system.

Investment And Originality

There’s no point in regurgitating what’s already out there. It’s a surefire way to get lost in the crowd.

Instead, pepper your content with original insights, research, and expert takes on emerging trends—it’s the best way to make sure your brand stands out.

Building brand or product/service awareness is a vital component in the demand generation process, and often takes a continued effort and involves multiple facets of marketing.

Content Marketing

According to the 2021 B2B Buyers Survey, decision-makers, influencers, and researchers agree that “content that spoke directly to and demonstrated expertise around the needs of the organization’s specific industry” influenced their decision.

Blogging is one of the most popular forms of content marketing to gain visibility online, attract relevant traffic, engage with your audience, and guide them to download relevant content, sign up for webinars, or otherwise take the next step in learning more.

Blogs can target your audience throughout the buying journey.

While producing large amounts of content can be beneficial, without quality, it is dead.

To create demand for your product or services, every piece of content you put out there is being analyzed against your competitors.

There are many types of content you could choose to generate demand for your business.

  • Videos – YouTube content that explores your product or topics relevant to your target audience

  • E-books – Long-form textbooks or whitepapers that you can give away on your website

What Are FAQs?

FAQs are talking points that buyers have previously asked about and frequently arise during sales conversations.

They are presented as a list for sales reps to reference when they need succinct, well-thought-out answers.

Ultimately, you want to provide sales reps with the best possible answers, so they don’t stumble or overthink when it matters most.

Email Marketing And Lead Nurturing

You’re not going to get a contact to go from converting into a lead to becoming a customer without educating them further, especially if your company has a complex sales process or a long sales cycle.

By sending your contacts emails with valuable content and other resources, you can nurture them through the funnel.

Email marketing can be an incredibly powerful component of your demand generation campaigns, but many advertisers misuse it or fail to harness its potential.

You can present the next logical step at each stage, helping them progress along their journey.

Through various nurture campaigns and marketing approaches, demand generation efforts aim to both create a long-term relationship between a brand and a potential buyer, and at the same time, gauge and develop a prospect’s purchasing interest in said brand’s products/services.

Start filling your sales pipeline today

Use Generation Metrics

Use your key performance indicators (KPIs) to see if your demand generation program achieves its goals.

This includes early-, mid-, and late-stage metrics that cover everything from the program cost, new targets, and cost-per-target to the number of opportunities your campaign has generated and how much revenue you can contribute.

Every organization will focus on slightly different demand generation metrics.

Analytics and operations are two of the fastest-growing areas in marketing—largely because marketers are eager to show the results of their campaigns.

How Does A Sales Team Score Leads?

Many marketers will take a simple approach by labeling lead scoring criteria on two foundations: behavioral scoring and demographic scoring.

Lead ranking – based on the scoring of leads, leads can be assigned ranks based on the business process sales should follow in interacting with the leads.

Who Does Demand Generation?

Your marketing or sales teams usually execute demand generation activities, depending on where each activity sits in your sales strategy.

B2B vs. B2C

B2C companies typically have to get buy-in from only one person: the customer (and maybe their spouse or family).

B2B marketers, on the other hand, usually have to get the buy-in of entire teams, key decision-makers, and sometimes even an entire department.

This all adds to a much longer sales cycle for B2B companies. A B2B purchase decision may take six months or even longer than a year in some instances.

Decisions are made after careful deliberation by multiple parties and various approvals at different levels of the organization.

Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation

Demand gen uses actionable content to build trust and brand awareness. So, when that audience member is ready to consider a purchase, you’ll already have a foot in the door.

Demand generation is a much more holistic process and long-term marketing strategy that works to cover each stage of the customer journey through the marketing funnel.

From awareness and consideration to research and justification, demand generation plays a part.

Advanced demand generation programs typically rely on proactive lead generation activities supported by more traditional market programs and processes.

This is because demand generation programs tend to assume that prospective customers are aware that they have a need or problem, and are attempting to solve it when they search for solutions.

Lead gen is more focused on converting prospects into “qualified” status to initiate sales conversations with the brand.

It focuses on the top of the marketing funnel with a simple goal: convert targeted audiences into high-quality leads.

Demand gen and lead gen overlap in certain areas.

For example, if you offer product-focused webinars, both driving registrations could be considered.

And when nurturing your database, both are applicable for building the relationship as you move them through the conversion funnel.

Though demand generation and lead generation have differences, you want to have a marketing strategy that generates both demand and leads.

This means you need to develop a demand generation strategy that includes lead generation tactics that draw in useful information for long-term success.

What Are Marketing Analytics?

The analysis of the effectiveness of marketing efforts, from individual tactics such as email communications or landing pages through to overall campaign performance.

Conversion Optimization Specialists

As you can imagine, marketing has evolved into a specialty-driven field. PPC managers find new users through online ads.

Conversion optimization specialists ensure that web traffic streams are converting into paying customers.

Marketers can spend their entire careers focusing on just one part of the sales funnel.

Start filling your sales pipeline today

What Is Customer Lifetime Value?

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.

Demand Generation Strategy: The Bottom Line

Keep in mind that demand generation is not about forcing demand. Rather, it is about naturally driving demand through marketing practices.

Demand generation is an umbrella term for marketing activities that drive long-term engagement —including lead generation, demand capture, and pipeline acceleration.

It includes a series of touchpoints designed to raise awareness of customer challenges, position your brand as a trusted advisor, generate leads, sell your solution, and—if done correctly—foster genuine brand loyalty.

By providing the right information at the right time to the right people, demand generation effectively meets your ideal customer’s needs. 

It offers a necessary solution to a real problem or query.

Demand gen is a significantly more comprehensive process that takes place over a much greater period than lead generation, involves close collaboration and communication between sales and marketing departments, and incorporates elements of inbound, direct, and email marketing to nurture prospects while offering them the material they need to learn more about how you can solve their problems.

Hop-On The Kennected Train

Want a solid lead generation plan? Kennected offers a series of solutions focused on building relationships with key decision-makers to achieve this feat.

Kennected used this process to earn the Two Comma Club Award (for earning $1,000,000) in less than seven months, and a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies in America.

Moreover, we helped over 17,000 customers fill their sales pipelines with qualified leads and increase revenue.

As a B2B company, relationship-based business is a heavy focus; therefore, giving away free products can give you the upper hand over your competitors.

This strategy can drive demand not only for your target business but also create a referral system.

To further help your business growth and to learn more about how Kennected can help you boost demand generation, get a free consultation from us today!

Our LinkedIn lead generation services can help you take your LinkedIn marketing to the next level.

For more information on how to use this LinkedIn Sales Funnel and Kennected to fill your sales pipeline with qualified leads in less than 10 minutes per day, schedule a free strategy session here.

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