According to HubSpot’s 2021 State of Marketing, about 35% of marketers surveyed are prioritizing demand generation activities in 2022. Other marketing priorities include increasing customer satisfaction (22%), increasing brand awareness (18%), closing more deals (14%), and increasing customer retention (8%).
This means that marketers must get smart about using data to target the right audience with creative content.
What is demand generation marketing?
Unlike lead gen marketing, demand generation marketing creates digital marketing programs to create “demand” for a product or service. This is a long-term marketing strategy that requires the integration of tactics across paid, earned, shared, and owned media.
Demand generation is executed differently based on the size of the company and the types of products and services that companies offer. Typically in smaller companies and startups, the primary intention is audience acquisition. This means that companies will do anything and everything to get their products and services in front of audiences. This includes offering free trials, free initial consultation or assessments, free access to a platform with limited features, and more.
Enterprise companies have the luxury of having much larger marketing budgets and can afford to execute brand awareness-focused marketing activities. This can include expensive media buys, sponsorships, events, and more extensive marketing activations.
Here are three things to consider when planning for your demand generation marketing:
Use data to inform your marketing approach
There is a surplus of data available in the marketplace. And if you work for a large company, you probably have more data than you can handle. I prefer to use three primary sources of data.
- Audience data: In this case, I am not referring to audience data related to primary research. I am talking more about building audiences using social media profiles. This methodology will uncover many audience insights, like identifying their top social media preferences, the leading media outlets they read, and their attitudes about various topics and stories.
- Website Analytics: In addition to Google Analytics, I like to use Google Search Console to re-optimize web pages based on my target keywords and landing pages. Because demand generation marketing is a long-term strategy, this approach will help ensure that audiences get to the right landing pages when searching Google for various keywords and phrases.
- Primary Research: Similar to this HubSpot report, primary research is helpful to identify more significant trends about audiences or the industry at large. For example, several research firms and social listening companies offer free access to reports and surveys. This is their approach to demand generation marketing. I recently wrote a post about Gen Z shopping habits which was data I sourced from eMarketer.
Surround sound your audience with message repetition
How many times have you hummed to yourself the tune, “Nationwide is on your side”? I do it all the time. Message repetition happens when brands consistently and repetitively target audiences with brand messages. This is much easier for brands that have larger digital marketing budgets. Over the years, several reports and studies have revealed that consumers must see/hear a brand message 3-5 times before they “believe.” And because today’s consumer has a very complicated and unpredictable shopper journey, this data point becomes much more critical.
Retargeting is one way to ensure that you are reaching the same audience more than once. This can be done with Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social channels.
Integrate influencers in demand generation marketing
One thing I found interesting in the HubSpot report was that influencer marketing was missing from this survey. Not sure why.
In any case, integrating a brand influencer program into more significant marketing initiatives can help augment and amplify existing programs and campaigns. I am of the mindset that brands must have “always-on” versus campaign-specific influencer programs for many of the reasons listed above. An integral part of any influencer program is integrating a content collaboration. This could look like a series of guest posts hosted on the company blog, the influencer’s blog, or a series of YouTube videos. The key here is that the program must encompass more than just Instagram, TikTok, or other short-form video collaboration. This is because the content shelf-life for long-form content (and YouTube) lives forever in the Google search results. This is not the case for other platforms.
Demand generation marketing takes time. It requires a long-term strategy with goals, objectives, and several integration points. I hope you enjoyed this content. I do my best to create actionable content and provide value to the work you do.
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