What is Demand Generation in Marketing?

Demand GenerationDemand generation is the latest marketing buzz that many digital marketing companies are talking about. So what is demand generation and how will it help your business?

Marketing Vs Sales

In many organisations marketing and sales are two very different functions.  Marketing people focus on branding, product lines, pricing strategies and more than ever, lead generation.  Sales people are the hunters, bringing home the bacon by closing the sale.

For most marketing agencies, demand generation is simply sales lead generation with a strong digital slant, but this is not the case. Demand Generation aims to weave together lead generation, lead nurturing and the sales process.  It balances supply and demand – you need sufficient sales leads to keep the sales team efficient and on-target, but give them too many leads and sales conversion rates suffer and sales are lost.

Demand generation explained

Demand generation stimulates the awareness of the company, products or brand among the target audience and converts this to a marketing qualified sales lead within a lead nurturing or CRM system.   Demand generation is often regarded as a digital marketing tool with emphasis on content creation for websites, blogs, white papers, social media or other content that potential customers are likely to consume and respond to.  However, demand gen is wider than this and can include any form of lead generation including telesales, direct mail and email marketing.

Leads are then passed through a lead nurturing process – or pipeline funnel – and are provided to sales people at the optimum point to convert into customers.  And this is where things can go wrong. Marketing people don’t understand sales; or at least, most of them don’t.  Marketing agencies will focus on the metrics; visitor numbers, response, conversion rates, stages in the lead nurturing process.  Understanding the sales process and buying cycle is something completely different.

For me demand generation epitomises the best of marketing and sales.  Well managed sales-ready leads, high conversion rates, sales people working at their optimal level and outstanding return on investment.  So what do you look for when choosing a true demand generation marketing agency? Here are the four main attributes of a good demand generation market agency:

  • Proven expertise in lead generation – either outbound or inbound marketing, or preferably both.
  • Experience in lead nurturing – introducing or assisting with a lead nurturing or CRM technology to manage leads until ‘sales ready’
  • Strong grasp of the metrics – keen analytic skills to track and interpret key statistics and refine the process
  • Understand the sales process – a real understanding of the buying cycle and the process of a real sales-driven culture

As a marketing consultant focused on adding value and maximising return-on-investment for my clients, I use demand generation within our agency to help our clients grow, and the results have been truly spectacular.  But we have an advantage in that we have always worked closely with clients at the sharp-end with their sales team, often helping to refine sales strategies and conversion rates.  Most marketing agencies wouldn’t know where to start and, ultimately, this is why very few agencies can truly deliver a demand generation strategy.

For more information on business growth, marketing and demand generation call Purplex on 01934 808132 or use the contact us form.

This entry was posted in Marketing Strategy

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