Thinking about ... Demand generation
The changing leaves and the farmer's market made me think about lead generation, demand generation, and what makes a good harvest in business.
Thinking about the harvest season and how "you reap what you sow" works for businesses. Because too often, companies expect tens or hundreds of leads month over month out of thin air.
Reality check: much like the farmer's careful cultivation of crops, it's essential to stay realistic about the role of sustained efforts throughout the year.
The autumn harvest is the result of careful planting and nurturing. And the same is true for your leads. Constantly generating ready-to-buy leads is only possible with proper marketing planning and nurturing.
Sure, you can run a few social media ads to find ready-to-buy prospects. I've seen this approach work miracles in the short run. But it doesn't empower your business for sustainable growth.
Moreover, you stop seeing the broader picture when focusing all your marketing efforts on paid advertising. And you only engage with a fraction of your potential market — those who can buy immediately.
Demand generation, on the other hand, is a more strategic approach aimed at building trust and sustained interest in your products. Like planting seeds at the right time, it equips your business with the tools and knowledge to build awareness and continuously attract and engage potential customers. That's what I call a rich harvest.
And there's more to it. Lead generation is heavily dependent on market conditions and immediate buying intentions. Demand generation, on the other hand, helps buffer against fluctuations by continuously building brand equity and nurturing relationships.
Thinking about solid business foundations and their impact on demand generation efforts. It only works when you know who you are as a brand and how you can help your audience. This self-awareness and solid core values are essential to brand-building and thought leadership activities that consolidate relationships with potential clients.
It's more than putting together content to convince people to give you a valid email address or phone number. With so much online information, businesses must move beyond transactional exchanges and use genuine interactions to build a pipeline of leads in various stages of the buyer's journey.
Thinking about long-term strategies — because it's not enough to attract these people. The fundamental part of demand generation is to keep them around long enough so they decide to become customers.
So, you must build trust and position yourself as an industry authority. It's a process that requires patience, consistency, and a commitment to being helpful to your audience, regardless of whether they're ready to buy.
Among the most effective demand-generation techniques are content marketing, social media marketing, SEO, influencer marketing, webinars, events, and thought leadership.
- Content marketing is the cornerstone of demand generation, as you need relevant and informative content to captivate your audience. From insightful blog posts to engaging videos to interactive infographics, content marketing keeps your brand in the spotlight, positioning you as a knowledgeable industry resource.
- Social media platforms make it easy to build communities around a brand. In these interactive marketplaces, brands share their stories and actively engage in conversations. It's where your brand's personality shines, building authentic connections and trust.
- SEO guides prospects to your digital doorstep. It compels you to align your content with your audience's questions, concerns, and desires — and what better way to demonstrate your commitment to addressing their needs?
- Influencer marketing allows you to tap into an influencer's established credibility. Partnerships with the right people amplify your message, vouch for your brand, and help you connect with prospects more personally, accelerating the trust-building process.
- Webinars and events are immersive experiences that forge meaningful connections with your audience. They reinforce your commitment to education and engagement, consolidating your status as an industry authority.
- Thought leadership positions you as a guiding force within your industry. You capture attention and inspire trust by sharing forward-thinking insights, original research, and visionary perspectives.
The secret ingredient in all of these is empathy.
Put yourself into your prospect's shoes. B2B buying decisions involve careful consideration, budgeting, and consensus-building within an organisation — the standard decision-making group in B2B has six to ten individuals, each equipped with their own set of four to five independently gathered pieces of content. Keep that in mind when planning your next move.
Thinking about the natural rhythm of the seasons. It reminds me of the business cycles and the various strategies required to maintain a balance between tactics to maximise ROI.
Demand generation and lead generation must be complementary efforts. And you adjust the amount of time and resources allocated to each, depending on your needs.
It's essential to maintain a balance and consider the long-term benefits of building rapport with the people who aren't ready to buy just yet. However, when quick sales are crucial, put more resources into lead-generation tactics like paid advertising, targeted outreach, and promotions.
Marketing is not a one-season endeavour but a year-round commitment. So, it would be best to start thinking about the sales you'll make next year. Because a continual harvest of leads, conversions, and growth needs marketing preparation, planting, nurturing, and harvesting phases.
HAVE I GOT YOU THINKING ABOUT the seeds (or the lack of them) in your marketing? What does your pipeline of leads look like?
As we enter Q4 and start planning marketing budgets for next year, it might be the best moment to allocate time and resources for demand generation. I'm here to help you build a strategy that deliberately takes your business toward generating demand, nurturing prospects, and converting leads into loyal customers.
Message me at email@example.com for guidance on refining your content creation, finding the best influencers to advocate for your brand, optimising your social media strategy, or clarifying your budget allocations.
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