You might have a problem that you’re not aware of. It could cause you to rethink how you’re living your life as well as future purchase decisions. In fact, you’ll be extremely grateful to learn about this issue before it’s too late.
When a business is looking to enlighten an audience to a current or potential issue for which they have a solution, we call this demand generation. The initial stage of most any vendor/customer relationship, demand generation basically means creating awareness of a problem, need or challenge in the marketplace.
Creating this type of spark isn’t easy, but it’s essential if you have a new product or service that people aren’t familiar with and don’t understand the benefits of. Successful demand generation programs often work best when they’re able to convey a simple message to let people know what they could be missing.
Demand generation isn’t usually necessary for a well-known, existing product that most people are familiar with. But in those situations where you are looking to build something new and need to educate the public about the problem and solution, demand generation is a must.
Demand generation can be relevant to an individual solution or product. It can also be relevant for an entire industry. For example, if a new type of power generation becomes available for consumers in their homes, then the power generation provider needs to enlighten their target audience so they become aware of the benefits of this new option. This type of demand generation includes a large component of education, as you are bringing a new concept or approach to people’s lives.
The goals of demand generation begin with identifying the awareness of your audience to your product. Do they know they have a problem? If they’re not aware of the problem, they probably won’t be interested in your product or solution.
Finding whom your solution can help the most can often be the most important predictor of success.
Identifying the audience that can benefit most by what your product or solution can provide is the first step.
Targeting your demand generation efforts or your education towards these folks is the second step.
Is your audience aware of the problem? Did you know that you may be missing this important part of your house? This type of question/answer strategy leads a consumer to ask themselves about their understanding of the situation.
Problem and Solution
When creating your demand generation programs, you’re looking to help others consider if they have the problem that your product or service can help resolve.
The second stage of the process is to present the solution that you can provide. These two parts—the question and the answer—are tied together and have to be easily connected in your campaigns.
If you can connect one with the other, then you can begin to connect your brand to the problem. Companies that have had success with connecting their brands to a specific problem have historically been able to capture a large share of the market as people immediately associate their specific brand with this issue even though there may be multiple other products that can solve the same problem. This is a first-mover advantage that can pay huge dividends down the road.
Another major goal of demand generation is to create interest by changing perspectives. Your audience may not beware of improvements or changes within the industry that you service. A solid demand generation campaign would consist of promotion and support for not only your company and your products, but for your industry as well. Changing the perspectives of customers about your industry as well as your products or service can lead to both industry and organizational growth.
The final goal of your demand generation campaign should be to funnel activated consumers into your lead generation component. If your demand generation campaigns do their job successfully, the end result will be interest in the products or solutions that you can provide to solve the problems that you’ve highlighted. Your demand generation efforts, while noteworthy, won’t be largely beneficial to your organization unless you can convert them into leads.
The challenges of demand generation programs typically revolve around simplifying the problem or need that you’re looking to explain to your audience. Depending upon the complexity of the problem, it could be hard to explain to consumers what the real benefits of your product are. This can be a challenge for those individuals who are very familiar with your industry, let alone people who are not that familiar with what you’re providing.
Disrupt the Status Quo
In addition to overcoming the challenge of complexity, demand generation campaigns are looking to cause a disruption in the status quo. Consumers are creatures of habit and are used to their specific routines of content consumption. When you’re generating demand, you are inherently looking to disrupt those patterns and insert your message into the content stream. Creating this disruption and producing valuable messaging effectively can be one of the biggest challenges of all of your marketing campaigns.
A large part of demand generation is creating engaging content that presents your solution to the problem that you’ve identified and then helps establish awareness of your brand. Identifying what type of content to create and develop in a way that is easily digestible for the audience can be a major challenge. You’ll need to know how your audience prefers to consume their content, and you’ll have to continue to test to see what works and what resonates with your target groups.
Build the Relationship
And finally, after you’re able to create awareness and disrupt the status quo, your last job is to direct that audience into your lead generation email workflow tracks. You’ve stirred up the pot enough to make consumers aware of what you can do. The final, and most important part, is to have a cohesive plan in order to guide people to take the next step and begin a relationship with your organization.