Many B2B companies have moved away from lead generation to focus on demand generation instead. Although they have similarities, there are fundamental differences that distinguish demand generation from lead generation. Traditionally, lead generation focuses on marketing strategies that aim to capture as many prospect details as possible to drum up leads for sales to follow up on.
B2B demand generation, meanwhile, is all about generating brand awareness and thus a demand for your products or services. Leads are still the end goal of demand generation, but their quality should be higher, as these prospects have already taken the time to interact with your brand and educate themselves on what you can offer.
Despite both methods delivering the same result, demand generation often requires additional patience, as it can take longer for prospects to convert into leads. To counteract demand gen’s longer lead time, it’s crucial to increase overall demand as much as possible to sufficiently fortify your pipeline. Thankfully, there are many ways to do it, including some that you probably haven’t thought of yet.
5 Surprising Factors That Increase Demand
There are several methods to boost demand, and some are more obvious than others. Here are five factors you may not have thought about with regard to demand generation.
1. Your Competitors
The number of competitors you have, their popularity, and what they have to offer, will affect the amount of demand for your products or services. If there are multiple similar offerings within the market, then it may be hard for potential buyers to distinguish between vendors when searching for solutions. Therefore, to attract new customers, it’s essential to stand out from the crowd and pinpoint how to conduct a thorough competitor analysis that identifies your strengths and weaknesses in comparison to your competition. You can do this by raking a fine-tooth comb through your competitors’ website and socials, along with any review sites they’re featured on. Don’t forget to check in with your sales team, who will likely have valuable insight into the reasons why prospects chose competitors over you. Once you’ve built up a strong idea of the competitor landscape, you can begin to define your unique selling propositions, ensuring that these are the focus of your demand generation campaigns. As an added boost, try and be present in places where your audience is, but your competitors aren’t— it’s an opportunity to cement yourself as the thought leader in that space. Emerging channels are a good place to start, like TikTok, for example.
2. Aiming for Less
Yes, you read that right, we’re recommending that you set your sights lower when it comes to your demand generation efforts. Because when generating demand, less is certainly more. Successful demand generation is all about quality over quantity, so if your KPIs are still driven by lead volume, it’s probably time for a rethink. Instead, consider how you can be more granular in your approach. It’s far better to produce a smaller batch of prospects with a high propensity to convert, versus a large list of contacts that are unlikely to ever become a client. Be clear on your ideal customer profile and buyer personas, and keep your campaigns firmly focused on their unique needs.
3. Forgetting Gated Content
This one may be hard to hear, but it might be time to lose the lead capture form on your downloadable content. Or it could just be time to change your approach. Hear us out: Often, lead capture forms are used for long-form, high-value content, such as eBooks, whitepapers, and industry reports. As marketers who have witnessed first-hand the blood, sweat, and tears that have gone into creating these assets, asking someone to part with their email address seems, to us, a small price to pay.
However, this may be deterring people from downloading your content, meaning that all your hard work isn’t getting the readership it deserves. Consider running a split test that sends 50% of your website traffic to a gated download, and the other 50% to ungated, and analyze the results. Aim to get as many eyes as possible on your content, instead of focusing on the number of leads generated. You can also track this over time to see which approach lands more conversions. This enables you to make an informed decision on the gated versus ungated debate. Plus, to give your content even more mileage, don’t forget to include content syndication in your distribution strategy.
4. Not Trying to Sell
All businesses have a universal goal to sell their product or service, and it’s safe to assume that this should be the cornerstone of your marketing strategy. However, when it comes to demand generation, it pays to detach somewhat from the end goal, because attempting to sell too soon in the customer’s journey is a sure-fire way to dampen demand. A successful demand generation campaign gently nurtures prospects into leads by serving them content that’s relevant and timely, but if you focus too much on selling, your call-to-actions are likely to miss the mark. Ask yourself—if a prospect downloads a single whitepaper from your website, are they really ready for a chat with your sales team? Probably not. Prioritize the needs of your customers instead of your own goals, and you’re likely to achieve the results you’re looking for.
5. Focusing on Problems Instead of Solutions
As marketers, it’s common knowledge that we should be focusing on the solutions we can offer our prospects, letting them know what’s in it for them as opposed to how it’s going to benefit us. What’s often forgotten is that in the early stages of their journey, your prospects may not even know what solutions they need. Even if you have an all-singing, all-dancing product that’s perfect for them, no amount of marketing is going to work on someone who doesn’t think they even need what you’re offering. Instead, for top-of-funnel content, try focusing on your prospects’ problems instead of your solutions. Being able to successfully demonstrate that you understand the challenges your customers are facing builds trust, which is often a valuable deciding factor in their purchasing decision. So, think problems first, solutions later.
Finding the Right Audience for Your Next Demand Generation Campaign
It’s clear there are multiple ways to influence the success of your demand generation campaigns. One way to give your campaigns a head start is to ensure you have a highly refined target audience to focus on, but unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find the right contacts. Luckily, DemandScience Identify is here to help, offering an easy-to-use platform that’s packed with accurate, insightful, and actionable data so you can build the best B2B demand generation campaigns possible. We’re here to chat if you’re interested.