To thrive in today’s marketplace, you have to get the word out to anyone willing to hear.
To do that, some brands start with lead generation marketing to gather the contact information of their prospects for contacting. Other businesses take the demand generation approach to build brand awareness, create meaningful relationships with customers, and maintain an online presence.
These days, businesses need demand generation marketing—an amalgamation of techniques that create a bona fide desire for your products in your market. And to do it correctly, you have to put your intended audience at the core of your demand generation strategy.
In this guide, we’ll discuss how to use demand generation marketing as an effective strategy for running promotions, gaining more customers, improving customer retention, and more.
01 What is Demand Generation Marketing?
Demand generation marketing refers to the process that helps you create awareness and generate demand for your brand’s products and services. It expands your audience base and drives relevant traffic to transform your viewers’ interests into actions.
The demand generation approach is all about creating an anticipated sales pipeline for your sales force. The ultimate goal is to transfer qualified leads through the sales funnel until they convert into new customers.
The value of demand generation marketing lies in its creation of need for your offerings in the minds of your target audience. Done well, demand generation marketing helps you boost brand awareness, build trust, and foster deeper connections with your prospective clients.
02 How to Create a Demand Generation Marketing Plan
Implementing successful and robust demand generation marketing requires more than merely creating digital ads or developing creative content and analytics. You need a well-thought-out plan.
A comprehensive approach can deliver remarkable results while accelerating customer relationship management, acquisition, and customer retention when done correctly.
If you aim to achieve long-term profitability and similar results, here are some of the steps for laying the groundwork for your demand generation plan.
Step 1: Set Realistic Goals
Every demand generation marketing plan starts with setting quantitative, clear, and realistic goals. You need to know the purpose of your campaigns and activities. You also need to set relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) to gauge the effectiveness of your strategy.
Your approaches and plan will evolve in conjunction with the changing needs of your customers, and you may need to adjust your objectives accordingly.
Step 2: Define Your Audience
Developing your ideal customer profile (ICP) and defining your audience helps you get a clear understanding of your market, particularly your intended audience. This strategic document details all the essential information you can refer to when developing content messaging, campaigns, etc.
The more you understand your customer profile, the more effectively you can plan and execute. Buyer personas are comprehensive profiles based on factual details of your potential accounts within your current audience base.
When you know a person’s job title, education level, job position, company details, etc., you can better understand their pain points, goals, and purchase influences. You can validate your findings with your sales team to make sure you’re on the right path.
Step 3: Map Your Buyer’s Journey
You need to consider the purchasing process of your customers. Mapping your buyer’s journey helps you outline the essentials that you need to incorporate in your demand generation marketing plan. Mapping includes documenting each customer persona’s typical actions and needs through research, consideration, awareness, decision stages, and overall sales funnel.
Mapping helps you identify gaps in engagement or content where you might lose your potential buyer’s interest. A buyer journey helps you with targeted and innovative content to bridge these gaps and enhance your lead generation efforts.
It also helps you ramp up your SEO, increase your PPC spend, and align your content with your demand generation plan to build brand awareness. You can create ebooks, infographics, and webinars appropriate to the buyer’s stage in your sales funnel.
Step 4: Generate High-Quality Material
An effective demand generation plan requires you to generate customized content for your target buyer personas that addresses their pain points. You can build high-performing campaigns by incorporating buyer personas and their purchasing stages into your content plan.
When you have your ideal customer profile, you can focus your marketing efforts on the clients who will provide the most value to your business.
The ideal customer profile or buyer personas help you create compelling and targeted campaigns that reach the right people and generate optimal business revenue. They also enable you to deploy resources more efficiently.
03 5 Powerful Demand Generation Strategies for Local Business
Incorporating demand generation strategies is a unique process for every local business. While there are no definite tactics to get your desired result, a few strategies in particular can provide you with helpful tools you can follow through with.
You can also leverage free tools like Signaturely’s signature maker to personalize correspondence with potential customers, drive leads, and ultimately enhance your demand generation efforts.
Now that you have a better idea of what demand generation is and how you can devise a well-rounded plan for it, read the following pages for some tactics to consider.
01. Create Engaging and Interactive Content
Content marketing, or inbound marketing, is omnipresent—regardless of whether it’s from a local or international brand. But if you want to ace your demand generation efforts locally, interactive and engaging content is the most effective means to drive relevant traffic and generate qualified leads.
When you develop an interactive content strategy for demand generation, its primary goal should be to educate your potential customers. Your content collateral should strategically address their concerns instead of merely aiming to sell.
Creating content that hooks your audience helps you effectively capture, engage, and retain their attention by providing real value. Over 87% of marketers use content marketing, but only 3% do it correctly.
Consider building short online courses or making video content that allows you to interact with your audience through webinars. Golf Avenue, a leading online retailer in Canada, is one of the best examples of how to attract the local market by creating interactive content.
Golf Avenue built an online quiz called “Guess Your Golf Handicap!” to recommend the right equipment to potential customers. Instead of directly selling, the quiz initiates a challenge and helps the audience find the answers through personalized recommendations.
Step 2: Rethink Your Promotional Strategy
You have likely offered various promotions and sales to incentivize your existing as well as new customers to purchase. However, if people ultimately don’t know about your local business and the discounted deals you’re offering, all that effort is in vain.
To get creative with your promotional and discount strategy, it’s beneficial to work with sites solely dedicated to discounts and deals and leverage them as part of your demand generation strategy. Although profit margins on promotional sites might not be significant, using these sites constitutes an effective demand generation tactic, especially for startups and local businesses.
And by offering excellent deals, you can convert new customers into repeat buyers and eventually a loyal customer base.
For example, Groupon is an excellent platform for local businesses to list and promote their products or services with a discounted offer. This platform helps you reach a unique and broad audience base and better leverage advertising and marketing tactics. You can also organize your specific deals and discount offers based on location.
These days, businesses need demand generation marketing—an amalgamation of techniques that
create a bona fide desire for your products in your market. And to do it correctly, you have to put your intended audience at the core of your demand generation strategy.
03. Filter Lookalike and Similar Audiences to Set Up Campaigns Locally
Setting up targeted campaigns for your local market is a strategy that enables you to double your user base and generate demand effectively.
Here, the focus is on filtering your “similar audiences” on Google and “lookalike audiences” on Facebook to reach your intended customers locally and get your desired demand generation outcomes. You can also set the location to target the audience of a specific region.
Usually, local consumers trust your brand when you develop a meaningful relationship with them, provide them convenience, maintain transparency and keep them well-informed about your products and services.
When customers place adequate trust in your business, they become loyal and are willing to spend even more on your products/services.
To apply this strategy successfully, you can develop paid ad campaigns locally on Google and Facebook to drive local traffic to these platforms. This way, you can draw your followers’ attention to your business.
The advanced functionality on Google and Facebook builds a broader base of custom audiences, targeting users who have expressed interest in your brand’s content that in turn helps your business prosper locally.
It’s also important to advertise and promote your offerings on social platforms that your local market spends more time on. For instance, if your target audience engages more with your brand on Facebook, it makes sense to direct your digital marketing efforts towards that platform.
04. Text Your Customers
Similar to social and content demand generation strategies, you can also leverage text marketing and email marketing as effective techniques for your local business.
Think of your text marketing tactic as an approach to reach your customers where they actually want to be reached. You can devise a plan to deliver a stream of alerts/updates from your industry or business to customers who’ve opted in. Your customers can receive your messages right in their inboxes, and you don’t need to struggle to get their attention, unlike social media updates.
That being said, to derive maximum results from your newsletter demand generation strategies, it’s vital to provide compelling reasons for your customers to sign up for it. Promise and commit to them to offer exclusive experience, knowledge, offerings, etc.
One of the best examples of introducing a company newsletter is the Fairfield and Greenwich Cheese Company. Fairfield and Greenwich is a local cheese shop in Connecticut that sends email newsletters to inform customers about the availability of new cheese as well as advertise other recipes and products.
Creating a strong email marketing strategy to provide value to your audience and drive conversions is also a great way to increase your brand’s visibility and awareness locally.
05. Foster Strategic Collaborations and Partnerships
Collaborations and partnerships are tried and tested methods for brands to generate demand for their offerings. You can partner with other local complementary businesses that can help you better inform your target audience about your products and services.
Any type of partnership can be created with the use of PRM software. When you make strategic alliances that offer complementary products/services, it’s possible to achieve your collective goals and grow your audience base.
This helps both parties involved by fostering word of mouth. Because of this, it also reduces customer acquisition costs. You might consider partnering with well-known local influencers to promote your products and increase your brand’s standing by providing meaningful blog posts and content pieces.
Some organizations and coalitions openly support locally owned brands. You can collaborate with these groups and make the most of the opportunity to increase the authority and influence of your business.
For example, when retailers in Almonte, Ontario, wanted to increase foot traffic, they collaborated with other local stores to promote their offerings and build brand awareness.
Since they did not have an adequate budget to invest in traditional advertising like magazine ads, they designed a collaboration plan with ten other local merchants. All contributed and paid a monthly amount for a collective page in a regional food magazine. The ad is not for an individual store, but includes all the shops in the locality of Almonte and benefits all the participating businesses in the district.
04 Get Started
The success of any demand generation strategy depends on how well you are able to connect with and engage your audience. Much of that is determined by how successfully you develop and distribute content across multiple channels. And that starts with the right tools.
Podium helps 100,000+ local businesses of all sizes drive and retain customers for life by allowing them to:
- Collect and manage thousands of reviews
- Create consistent and increasing demand
- Provide a modern customer journey
All through the power of text. See how Podium’s free tools can revolutionize the way you do business.