How to Demand and Lead - Two Things Your Business Must Do
If you think the technology channel is the only one with many confusing sounding words and acronyms think again. The world of marketing has its share of words, ABM, MQL, multichannel, omnichannel, gated, re-targeting and it goes on. Two key phrases that often cause confusion and are in effect the two most important things (from a marketing perspective) you can do are Demand and Lead generation.
I use these two phrases a lot, but what do they mean and why are both so important to the success of your business.
What is Demand Generation?
The ultimate goal of any business is to have customers queuing down the road to purchase a product or service that you offer. When Steve Jobs stood on stage and introduced the touchscreen mobile with an iPod built-in (yes, the first iPhone) back in 2007, this was demand generation. It created a desire to purchase one of these crazy new devices that my salvation will depend upon.
Whilst an extreme example, your business needs to use demand generation to promote your brand and products to get people ready to buy from you.
To do this you need particular content and activities which are focused on educating and engaging your target customers to ensure you are front of mind around a particular product or service. This also is an important reinforcer in developing credibility and trust with your audience.
Tools you use for demand generation are Blog posts, infographics, videos, social media and other elements that you can promote without restriction.
What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation takes your relationship with the prospect to the next channel and refers to the giving/collection of customer information to turn or qualify them into a lead. An example of this is when you decide that you do want that 24-hour test drive of that new Mercedes and complete the online form giving your details.
In the IT world that can be a free trial or someone willing to give their details to download that whitepaper on security. These activities are things that deliver information for your sales team to action.
The Mistakes People Make – Invest in Both
I often have conversations with business leaders who are hell-bent on lead generation, “we need sales leads” and I get that. Every business is ultimately driven by sales. However, if you don’t invest time in both, it can make either less effective.
Imagine you are impressed with that whitepaper on the latest cybersecurity threats and check out the company website and discover, well not much on security, they also don’t have any social presence, on LinkedIn the profiles look like buffoons, trust can leave rather quickly.
This is why the demand generation piece is crucial to the leads. If you solely invest in leads then you will never elevate your businesses ranking on google, or organically find new customers, I would also surmise that unless you have content to keep the lead engaged and reinforce your expertise the sales conversion rates you have will below.
On the flip side, if you are not thinking of how you can convert and move demand generation into the lead generation phase you will have problems. An example of this is the time I spent on the John Lewis shop floor in my youth. Prospective customers would often come in and virtually be trained on the merits and benefits of a certain product. The team would be diligent and spend significant time extolling the virtues of this new washing machine.
However, they would not try and sell it and the customer literally would then walk out, knowing all about the product and just buy it at Currys!
Whilst your demand generation work needs to be engaging and keep people interested it also needs a process to convert and move prospects through the funnel to get them sales-ready. This is an important strategy.
Working These Together
Success in Sales and Marketing is dependent on how well your lead and demand generation tactics interplay. You need to create content and promote this to say, “we are here, come look at us!”. Once we have their attention, move them through qualification and pass to sales.
Its also to important to understand that not all of your investment here will result in leads and not all of your content will create leads. However, plan and deliver it right, and each can add value to your business and making you more attractive to your potential customers.
If you would like to ensure your marketing process are aligned and you are doing the right things, get in touch and I will be happy to help.