Best Practices for B2B Demand Generation That Will Help Grow Your Business

B2B Demand Generation

Take a deep dive into the world of B2B demand generation. We cover what it is, why it’s important for businesses and best practices for implementing a successful demand generation strategy. 

Whether you’re a marketing professional, business owner, or startup founder, this guide will provide valuable insights and practical tips for generating leads and driving sales in the B2B space.

Key Points

  • B2B demand generation is the process of creating interest in a product or service from potential business customers.
  • Without it, you won’t have enough leads. You might want to hide from your sales team if it gets to this point.
  • Strive to build overwhelming demand. Never be conservative with demand generation efforts.
  • Best methods for B2B demand generation: SEO, Email Marketing, Paid Ads, Social Media.
  • Demand Generation ➡️ Lead Generation ➡️ Lead Nurturing ➡️ Conversion.

B2B Demand Generation

What is B2B demand generation?

B2B demand generation is the process in the B2B buying journey of creating interest in a product or service from potential business customers. It’s all about attracting and converting leads into paying customers, and it’s a crucial part of any successful B2B marketing strategy. 

There are several tactics and strategies that can be used in B2B demand generation, including content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and advertising. It’s important to consider the needs and pain points of your target audience and create campaigns that address those issues and showcase how your product or service can solve their problems.

According to DemandGen Report, 77% of B2B buyers said they engaged with a company after being inspired by their content marketing efforts. And according to HubSpot, companies that excel at demand generation have 38% higher customer retention rates. This shows that not only is demand generation effective at attracting new customers, but it can also help businesses retain existing ones. So if you’re a business looking to grow, it’s time to start prioritizing demand generation.

Is demand generation B2B or B2C?

According to HubSpot, demand generation is a marketing strategy that focuses on driving demand for a product or service. It is typically used in B2B marketing, where companies market their products or services to other businesses. 

However, it can also be used in B2C marketing, where companies market their products or services directly to consumers. In both cases, the goal is to create interest in the product or service and convert leads into paying customers.

Why is B2B demand generation important?

B2B Demand generation is the method by which one can identify and target the most promising prospects, and through the conversion of these leads, increase sales. Through its implementation, a business can expand its customer base, thus increasing its revenue streams. 

By focusing on those segments of the market that are most likely to result in a profit, a company can optimize its sales and marketing efforts. Yet the benefits do not end there. 

An effective B2B demand generation strategy also helps foster long-term relationships with customers, leading to repeat business and an augmentation of revenue over time. A robust, faithful customer base is the foundation of any successful enterprise, and demand generation is the means by which such a base is built and sustained.

I implore you, do not dismiss the significance of B2B demand generation. It is a crucial component of any savvy business strategy. 

What’s the difference between lead generation and demand generation?

Marketing is a science, and demand generation and lead generation are two important parts of that science. 

Demand generation is the art of sparking interest and drawing attention to your product or service. Whether it be through content marketing, public relations, events, or advertising, the goal is to generate leads, that is, potential customers who have shown an interest in what you have to offer. 

Lead generation, on the other hand, is the craft of converting those leads into paying customers. By providing them with more information, answering their questions and addressing any objections, you can guide them through the buyers journey.

Lead generation is considered a subset of demand generation, it is one tactic in the larger demand generation strategy. While demand generation is a broad activity that creates a growing desire for a product or service, lead generation is a way to convert those interested prospects into paying customers through specific tactics such as podcast downloads, webinars, or e-books. 

Put simply: Demand generation is the overarching strategy that is aimed at creating interest and awareness, whilst lead generation aims at nurturing the interest that was generated to convert leads into customers.

What are the 4 types of Demand Gen?

Here are the four types of demand:

  1. Latent demand: a hidden or unmet need for a product or service. This type of demand is not actively being sought out by consumers, but it exists nonetheless.
  2. Induced demand: a demand that is created as a result of marketing efforts, advertising, or other promotional activities. This type of demand is created by creating awareness and interest in a product or service.
  3. Derived demand: a demand that arises as a result of the demand for another product or service. For example, the demand for steel is derived from the demand for cars and buildings.
  4. Overwhelming demand: a demand that is difficult to predict and manage. More on this later.

Some tips on generating latent demand:

Generating latent demand requires a deep understanding of the market and the needs of the customers. Here are some strategies to generate latent demand:

  1. Identify a need or desire that is not currently being met by existing products or services. This may involve conducting market research, analyzing customer feedback, and monitoring industry trends. 
  2. Once a latent demand has been identified, it’s crucial to create a compelling value proposition that addresses this need. This can be accomplished through effective messaging and positioning that highlights the unique benefits of the product or service.
  3. Additionally, it’s essential to create an emotional connection with the target audience by building a story around the product or service that resonates with the audience. This means creating an emotional bond with the customers by making them identify themselves with the product or service. 
  4. Use a wide range of marketing tactics to reach the target audience, such as content marketing, social media, and influencer marketing. 
  5. It’s crucial to have a well-planned launch strategy in place that supports the unveiling of the new product or service. The launch should be aligned with the audience’s needs and with the desire that the product or service is fulfilling.

In short, generating latent demand requires a combination of market research, effective positioning and messaging, emotional storytelling, targeted marketing, and a well-executed launch strategy. It’s a process that demands creativity, flexibility, and a deep understanding of the market and the target audience.

Some tips on generating induced demand:

Generating induced demand requires a strategic and well-thought-out approach. Here are some strategies to generate induced demand:

  1. It is important to understand the needs and wants of your target market. Conducting thorough market research will help you identify the gaps in the market and the potential opportunities for growth. 
  2. Develop a comprehensive marketing campaign that will effectively communicate the benefits and value of your product or service to potential customers. Creating a strong brand identity, and utilizing effective storytelling, and persuasive advertising techniques can help to increase awareness and interest in your product or service. This is where the power of public relations, events and influencer marketing comes into play. Leverage the media, collaborations and online platforms to reach and engage with your target market in a meaningful way.
  3. Convert that interest into action by providing a seamless and easy buying process. The use of targeted landing pages, special offers and targeted email campaigns will help to increase the chances of converting leads into paying customers.

Remember that in order to generate induced demand, it is important to continuously measure and evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. Use data and analytics to identify areas that need improvement, and make adjustments accordingly. With a strategic approach, a well-executed marketing campaign and a commitment to continuously improving your efforts, you will be well on your way to generating induced demand for your product or service.

Some tips on generating derived demand:

Generating derived demand is all about understanding the downstream effects of your product or service. It requires identifying the various ways that your offering contributes to the production or consumption of other goods and services. Here are some strategies to generate derived demand:

  1. One effective method is to conduct market research to identify the industries or businesses that are likely to use your product or service as a component in their own offerings. Once you have identified these industries, you can tailor your marketing and sales efforts to target them specifically. 
  2. Another way could be to have a clear view of the supply chain and conduct a value chain analysis, that way the upstream and downstream impacts of your product or service can be identified and then communicated to your target market.
  3. In addition, it can be beneficial to form strategic partnerships and collaborations with companies in these industries to help drive demand for your product or service through their own customer base. By highlighting the value that your product or service brings to their own offerings, you can create a mutually beneficial relationship that drives demand for both companies.
  4. Finally, do not underestimate the power of a well-crafted case study. Demonstrating how your product or service has helped other businesses in related industries to grow their own bottom line can be a powerful way to generate derived demand.

Some tips on generating overwhelming demand 🚀:

Overwhelming demand, or “product-market fit” as dubbed in Silicon Valley, is the most difficult demand to achieve. Difficult does not mean impossible.

Generating overwhelming demand for a product or service is a common goal for many businesses, but it is important to keep in mind that this level of demand can be difficult to fulfill. Here are two strategies to generate ‘overwhelming’ demand:

  1. Offer a free tool or resource. Offering a free tool, app, or resource can prove to be a very beneficial B2B demand generation strategy. By creating a free app or other digital resources, you can attract potential customers who may be interested in your product. Once they see the value of your free resource, they may be more likely to purchase your product.
  2. Writing a product-led blog post or creating content that provides solutions to customers’ problems is also a way to generate overwhelming demand. When people see that you have a solution to their problem, they will naturally be attracted to your product or service.

However, it’s crucial to remember that the demand you generate should not be so high that it is difficult to fulfill, otherwise, you risk losing customers. This can lead to negative reviews and loss of repeat customers. Therefore, it’s important to keep in mind that while generating demand is important, it’s also crucial to ensure that the demand can be met.

That being said, don’t ever fear growth. Despite its risks and perceived difficulty, all growth is manageable. Never stop growing!

What are the best methods for B2B demand generation?

According to Hubspot, the best three methods for B2B demand generation are SEO (14%), email marketing (13%), and social media (12%).

Some more best practices include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing valuable content for free,
  • Implementing account-based marketing, 
  • Utilizing lead scoring, 
  • Email marketing,
  • and investing in earned and paid media.

Much of this requires expertise, so it’s common for companies to get help with B2B demand generation. 

One of the best places to start is speaking with a marketing agency. Our team is always happy to help with strategy and share our knowledge. As a token of appreciation for your interest in demand generation, we would love it if you booked a complementary strategy call with our team.

It would be wise to invest in a B2B marketing automation tool to make the B2B demand generation process seamless and trackable. These tools are also great ways of nurturing prospects that interacted with the company in their top of funnel marketing efforts, in to the later stages of the buyers journey.

What are examples of B2B demand generation?

Now that we’ve built a better understanding of b2b demand generation, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of things. Let’s plan out your demand generation strategy.

I’m going to quick-fire some ideas to get you started. Start implementing whichever one makes the most sense for your business. If you need help with figuring out next steps, book a discovery call:

  1. Give away free stuff
  2. Optimize your website’s SEO: a) keyword research and optimization, b) on-page optimization, c) technical SEO, d) content creation and promotion, e) link building, f) local SEO, g) analytics, h) uncommon optimization: optimize for voice search, i) rich snippets optimization. Just to name a few optimizations.
  3. Guest Posting
  4. Google Ads
  5. Social Media Marketing
  6. Interactive Content
  7. Email Marketing
  8. Conduct a webinar
  9. Influencer Marketing
  10. Advertising: billboards, print ads, and online display ads
  11. Public Relations: press releases, media outreach, and speaking engagements
  12. Event marketing: tradeshows, webinars, and product launches
  13. Influencer marketing
  14. Social media marketing
  15. Email marketing
  16. Referral marketing (this is a quick-win method!)
  17. Inbound marketing, attract customers through helpful and informative content
  18. Outbound marketing, reaching out to potential customers through cold-calls, direct mail, and other methods
  19. Affiliate marketing
  20. Online and offline promotions
  21. Case studies and testimonials
  22. Account-based marketing
  23. Lead generation campaigns

What are some good goals for demand generation?

There are several good goals and strategies for B2B demand generation, including but not limited to: increasing marketing-influenced leads, improving the quality of leads, increasing brand awareness, boosting sales through lead nurturing, leveraging analytics to attain desired ROI, creating a pipeline for future use, building a robust CRM, and improving customer engagement. 

  1. Increasing marketing-influenced leads. This can be achieved through inbound marketing initiatives such as content syndication, display advertising, blogging, social media, email and paid search.
  2. Generating higher-quality leads by targeting a specific audience and tailoring messaging to their specific needs and pain points.
  3. Building brand awareness and reputation through consistent and effective messaging and positioning.
  4. Boosting sales by focusing on lead nurturing and conversion tactics that turn leads into paying customers.
  5. Improving marketing ROI by using data-driven, measurable tactics that track and optimize the results of B2B demand generation campaigns.
  6. Create a pipeline of prospects and customers which can be converted in the near future.
  7. Generating meaningful interactions with the customers and understanding their pain points.
  8. Identifying the right target audience and creating segments based on their demographics and psychographics.
  9. Building a robust CRM and lead nurturing process.
  10. Measuring and analyzing the campaign’s performance and fine-tuning the strategy.

By focusing on these goals and utilizing effective strategies, businesses can improve their chances of success in the highly competitive world of B2B marketing.

How can a business measure the effectiveness of its B2B demand generation efforts?

Measuring the effectiveness of B2B demand generation efforts is critical in order to understand what is working and what is not, and to make data-driven decisions on how to optimize and improve the demand gen strategy. 

There are several key metrics that businesses can use to measure the effectiveness of their B2B demand generation efforts. Here are a few of the key metrics:

  • Lead volume: This measures the number of leads generated by the demand generation campaigns. It is an important metric as it helps to understand the reach and effectiveness of the campaigns.
  • Lead quality: This measures the quality of leads generated by the B2B demand generation campaigns. It is important to evaluate the leads generated in terms of the likelihood of conversion and their value to the business.
  • Conversion rate: This measures the percentage of leads that convert into customers. A high conversion rate indicates that the B2B demand generation campaigns are effective in identifying and reaching the right target audience.
  • Customer acquisition cost: This measures the cost of acquiring a customer through demand generation campaigns. It is important to ensure that the cost of acquiring a customer is lower than the value of the customer to the business.
  • ROI: This measures the return on investment of the B2B demand generation campaigns. It is important to ensure that the campaigns are generating a positive ROI in order to justify the investment in them.

By regularly monitoring and analyzing these metrics, businesses can better understand the effectiveness of their B2B demand generation efforts and make data-driven decisions to optimize and improve their demand gen strategy.

What role does content marketing play in B2B demand generation?

Content marketing plays a crucial role in creating awareness and driving interest in a company’s products or services. 

Content marketing can be used to generate demand by creating and promoting valuable content that educates and informs the target audience. 

Some examples of content marketing are: blog creation, social media shorts/reels, long-form youtube content creation, and potentially even the use of memes on your social media account to build a more personal connection with your customers.

This helps to establish the company as a thought leader and build trust with potential customers. 

Additionally, content marketing can be used in the B2B demand generation process to help educate and engage potential customers at different stages of the B2B buying cycle, from initial awareness to consideration and purchase.

What is a demand generation funnel?

A demand generation funnel refers to the process of guiding a potential customer through the stages of becoming aware of a product or service, considering it, and making a purchase. It is a key concept in B2B marketing and sales, and typically involves a series of steps and tactics that are intended to nurture leads and convert them into customers.

The stages of a demand generation funnel typically include:

  1. Awareness: This is the stage where a potential customer becomes aware of the product or service and the problem it solves. This can be achieved through various tactics such as content marketing, advertising, and social media.
  2. Interest: Once the potential customer is aware of the product or service, they will start to research more about it. They will want to know more about the benefits and features of the product/service. This can be achieved through lead magnets like ebooks, webinars, and demos.
  3. Consideration: The potential buyer will start to evaluate the product/service and compare it to the alternatives in the market. This can be achieved through case studies, testimonials and product comparisons.
  4. Purchase: At this stage, the potential buyer will make a decision to buy the product/service. This can be achieved through targeted offers, CTAs, and targeted email campaigns.
  5. Retention: Finally, arguably one of the most crucial steps. Once the customer has purchased the product/service, the goal is to retain them as a customer by providing excellent customer service, upselling and cross-selling. It is easier to retain customers than to find new customers. As you can see, it takes 4 steps to sell to a new customer, and 1 step to retain a customer.

By understanding and effectively utilizing the demand generation funnel, a business can optimize its demand generation efforts and increase its chances of converting leads into customers.

What are the 7 stages in the B2B buying process?

In the B2B buying process, there are typically 7 stages that a prospect goes through before making a purchasing decision:

  1. Problem/Opportunity Recognition: The potential buyer realizes they have a problem or opportunity that needs to be addressed.
  2. Information Search: The potential buyer seeks out information on potential solutions to their problem or opportunity.
  3. Evaluation of Alternatives: The potential buyer evaluates and compares different options, considering factors such as price, features, and business reputation.
  4. Purchase Decision: The potential buyer selects a solution and a vendor to purchase from.
  5. Order: The buyer places an order with the selected business.
  6. Delivery: The purchased product or service is delivered to the buyer.
  7. Post-purchase Evaluation: The buyer evaluates the performance of the purchased product or service and the vendor’s performance.

It is important to mention that not all buying processes are the same. It all depends on the nature of the sale. Your sales team can have a previous relationship with the buyer/potential customer, which would make the sale happen a lot quicker. So it is important that your marketing team and sales team are collaboratively building your demand generation campaign.

Two of the Most Successful Demand Generation Tactics That You Can Act on Today

Quick Wins for Demand Generation

Email marketing and cold-calling are helpful for B2B demand generation because they allow for direct, personal communication with potential customers.

Email marketing allows for targeted messages to be sent to specific groups of people.

While cold-calling allows for immediate engagement and qualification of leads.

Both methods can be effective in generating quick wins by reaching decision-makers quickly and generating leads through personalized interactions.

These methods are also relatively low-cost, easy to scale and can be quickly executed.

Long-term Inbound Demand Generation

SEO and Paid Ads are the two most successful demand-generation tactics.

SEO and Paid Ads are beneficial for B2B demand generation because they are effective ways to increase visibility and drive traffic to a company’s website. 

Paid ads, such as Google Adwords, allow businesses to showcase their products and services to users when they submit keyword-related queries to search engines. This can help increase brand awareness and drive potential leads to a company’s website. 

SEO, on the other hand, works by optimizing a website and its content to rank higher in search engine results. This helps to increase the visibility of a company’s website and make it more easily discoverable by users. 

Together, SEO and Paid Ads help increase the reach and visibility of a company’s brand and product offerings, making it more likely to generate high-quality leads for the business.

What comes after demand generation?

After demand generation, the next step in the customer journey is typically lead generation. This involves identifying and capturing the contact information of potential customers who have shown an interest in your product or service through demand-generation efforts. 

Lead generation efforts are typically focused on a specific audience and are intended to gather information about their needs, interests and buying behaviour so that a more personalized approach can be taken to convert those leads into customers.

Once lead generation is successful, the next step is lead nurturing, which involves building relationships with the leads and providing them with the information and resources they need to make a buying decision. 

The final step is typically conversion, which is the process of turning leads into paying customers. 

A good demand generation strategy should also align with the sales and customer retention process to ensure a full customer lifecycle management strategy is in place.

Navigating B2B Demand Generation

In order to effectively navigate your B2B buyers’ journey and create a comprehensive customer journey map, establishing yourself as a thought leader and expert in your industry is crucial. However, it is important to note that your target audience may not be aware of your expertise yet, which is why they may be considering other options alongside yours.

There are as many buyer journeys as there are buyers, so you’ll need to create a unique journey for each of the various buyer personas you’re targeting. If you need help building your B2B buyer’s journey, consider scheduling a complimentary strategy session with a team of digital marketing experts. Best of luck with your continued success and prosperity.

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