Improving Your Business with Better Demand Generation

 

The most traditional form of marketing involves businesses putting their products in front of prospective customers. Through advertisements, telephone calls, and even door-to-door contacting, companies try to ensure that they are getting directly in touch with their clients. This is known as “outbound marketing,” but while it certainly has its place, it’s not really the most effective way to make a sale.

By building up a product’s reputation and generating demand, businesses can allocate resources more efficiently and sell their products and services more effectively. Not only is demand generation a more effective tactic than outbound marketing, but it’s cheaper to employ. In fact, according to one study, inbound marketers in the United States that spend more than $25,000 each year spent $14 less on each new customer than their counterparts who relied on outbound marketing strategies.

How should you build your demand generation strategies?

So how exactly might a company go about building a demand generation marketing campaign? The most important part of any demand generation strategy is data. Collect information about your customers. Define your target audience and then ask several questions as you build your campaign. What media does your target audience use? What sorts of content seem to be most effective with that demographic? What messages will they respond to? What products are they interested in?

There is a wide range of strategies and avenues you can pursue to drum up interest in your product, so don’t feel you need to limit yourself into any single method. Search engine optimisation can help you boost organic traffic to your site. Social media can help you to build relationships with your customers. Paid and direct advertising present a clear message and present your products and services in their best lights, and you can even get referrals from your current customers to bring others in.

This might seem like a complicated undertaking, but you can use a variety of software tools to streamline the process. Not only can these tools help you to gather and organise contact information, but some suites will permit you to track users’ activity on your website, automate communications with your customers, and even analyse those interactions and provide visual representations of that data. This provides valuable insights into how best to work with your target audience.

Effective demand generation requires the right tools.

In order to execute your demand generation marketing plan, you need to have the proper tools. 79% of all marketing leads never convert into sales and a lack of lead nurturing is the common cause. Demand generation can help to avoid this pitfall as well as help to nurture those leads into conversions. As you are looking for a software suite to aid you in your demand generation goals, keep a few things in mind:

Tools and features

The first and simplest question to ask about your demand generation software is, “What can it do?” Remember that each business is different. Some features may be invaluable to an organisation while others might be a waste of money. Take note of how well each software’s arsenal of tools fits into your demand generation plan.

Ease of integration

How well does the solution fit into the framework that you have already built for your company? What sorts of changes will its implementation require? Will you need new hardware to implement it, or can it operate on your current infrastructure? Any integration hurdles you encounter will end up costing you time and money, so take note of any potential problems before you commit.

Also important is how well it can integrate with other software. Can you export and import data between the new software and other solutions you may be using to improve demand? Are there add-ons from other companies that can enhance the benefits you enjoy from the new system? How difficult is it to install those extra tools?

Usability

Even if a software suite is the most robust option available, it’s not going to do your company any good if its interface is impossible to navigate. How difficult is it for your staff to learn? How much investment will be required if you bring on new hires who will also need to learn how to use it?

Flexibility

Not only does each company have its own set of requirements for its demand generation strategies, but those requirements evolve over time. Is it possible to translate the software’s capabilities across industries? If your business grows suddenly, will it be able to handle the new workload?

Reliability

In order to generate demand, you have to be able to rely on the tools you put in place. An automated email campaign isn’t going to bring in any visitors if the software never actually sends the emails. If you can’t access the statistical data that your system has gathered, then that data is useless.

Cloud- and web-based systems make it so that your employees can access your data from just about anywhere they might have access to a computer; if that website goes down or you are unable to pull your data from the cloud, however, then you might find yourself in dire straits. Make sure that the suite you decide to go with is reliable so that the crucial data it gathers is readily available.

Demand is what drives a business. If no one wants or cares about your product or service, then who is going to make the effort to buy it? Fortunately, if you have leads, then you have demand, and if you have demand, then you have a business. By expanding your efforts to generate those leads and that demand and capitalising on the tools available, then you could find yourself right at the forefront of your business, no matter the industry.

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