How to improve your demand generation

Having a focused and effective demand generation strategy can maximize limited resources and keep your sales pipeline full of high-quality leads. However, maintaining discipline can be difficult when you’re launching a venture or a new brand as you often have to generate interest and engagement with little or no existing base. And with limited resources, it is critical that no effort is wasted and that all growth marketing activity generates positive returns. Here are three important areas that will help you maintain focus and optimize your results.

Customer Personas

All good marketing puts the customer at the centre of the conversation. And fleshing out a comprehensive description of your customer is a great way to ensure a rich understanding that can motivate action. Remember to describe the person or buyer, not their company, recognizing that you are seeking to connect with an individual.  Here are the three questions that need to be answered in your description:

  • What are their goals?
  • What are their challenges?
  • How can you help them?

It’s possible that you already have assumptions about your target customer based on previous research or historic results. Now is a good time to question those assumptions! The first half of 2020 has dramatically forced change upon so many, and we are all working on new goals and facing unique challenges. The same applies when entering a new market. Take the time now to ensure you truly understand the motivations of your customer so you can clearly demonstrate how your product will help.

Product Positioning

Now is also a good time to review your product or brand positioning statement. There are several formats and templates that work just fine, as long as the statement meets a few critical criteria.

  • Does it accurately reflect your new target?
  • Is it clear which category you are competing in?
  • Does the point of difference set you apart?
  • Is the end benefit truly a benefit?

Internal discussions understandably tend to focus on product features. Founders, entrepreneurs and employees are absorbed in working out features so the business objective can be realized. But when the conversation shifts to generating demand with new customers—customers who are likely unfamiliar with you—the focus needs to be on the benefits your product will deliver.

When you present your product in terms of the benefits it provides, you more quickly gain awareness and interest because you’re tapping into the customer’s motivation. The quality of leads improves as well. New prospects aren’t interested in products; they are interested in solutions.

Marketing Plan

Having a documented marketing plan is essential because it helps you set goals and maintain focus. A plan can be shared across the organization to ensure alignment and can be updated when changes are required. With this in mind, a marketing plan should include these essential details.

  • Objectives – These are clear, measurable, attributable targets that marketing is seeking to deliver. These should roll up to the overall business targets and be specific or linked to the marketing campaigns.
  • Timeline/Calendar – Sharing key launch dates, in-market duration and development requirements is critical to ensuring interdepartmental support, as well as identifying any potential calendar conflict before it becomes an issue.
  • Resource Allocation – In addition to capturing budgeted dollars, it’s important to identify requirements and dependencies. This will allow you to project and track ROI, and prioritize efforts.

You should be tracking a number of different metrics throughout the sales cycle, with responsibility and action being designated appropriately. For your demand generation plan, the most fundamental data point is attribution.

Each new prospect entering the sales cycle should be attributable to a campaign so the impact of those activities can be measured. Overall volume is the starting point and can be captured or tracked digitally, but also done manually, if required. When possible, conversion and revenue measures should be added for further context.

With a strong understanding of your customer and their needs, a clear articulation of how your product delivers a required benefit and a coordinated plan to generate demand, you will have a solid strategic foundation. The disciplined tactical decision making flowing from this strategy will ensure focus and effectiveness in all efforts, maximizing resources and optimizing revenue.