Trailblazer Marketing BlogB2B Buying JourneyHow to Build a Demand Generation Plan to Convert High-Quality Leads & 2 Timeless Tips for Success

How to Build a Demand Generation Plan to Convert High-Quality Leads & 2 Timeless Tips for Success

demand generation plan

Allow us to take you through the intricacies of constructing a robust demand generation plan, a critical aspect of the B2B buying journey.

It is a well-established fact that the buying journey of a B2B customer is complex and multi-faceted. It takes the perfect blend of strategy, creativity, and execution to turn a lead into a customer. A well-conceived demand generation strategy is the foundation of such a transformation.

It requires a deep understanding of the target audience, their needs, and the obstacles they face along their buying journey. Join me as we explore the art of creating a demand generation plan that resonates with your target audience and drives the results you desire.

Key Points

  • “The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife.”
  • Identify your Target Audience ➡️ Intentionally Crafted Messaging ➡️ Content Creation ➡️ Execute Campaigns ➡️ Nurture Prospect ➡️ Measuring Results
  • It can be challenging to decide on the common dilemma of building an in-house team vs. partnering with a consultancy. It all depends on the business, it’s leaders’ experiences and the plans of that business.

What is a Demand Generation Plan?

demand generation plan

The key to successful marketing and sales lies in the ability to foster enduring relationships with our customers. A well-crafted demand generation plan is the blueprint for this very endeavour. This approach encompasses all marketing and sales initiatives across the entire customer journey, from sparking interest among potential buyers to upselling to existing customers.

Marketing and sales are not simply a matter of pushing products, but of adding value to the daily lives of our clients by addressing their pain points. This is accomplished through a blend of marketing tactics and activities, such as email marketing.

To ensure that our demand generation efforts are effective, it is essential that we have a comprehensive and strategic plan in place, one that incorporates a multitude of marketing and sales touchpoints. Only then can we build long-lasting relationships with our customers that will drive the growth and success of our business.

In short, a B2B demand generation strategy is a comprehensive approach to customer engagement that focuses on building long-term relationships with business customers. It involves a mix of different marketing and sales tactics aimed at identifying and nurturing potential prospects based on their behaviour and guiding them through the customer journey.

What is the Goal of Demand Generation?

To put it simply, demand generation is about creating a pipeline of potential customers for your business, and nurturing those relationships over time in order to increase engagement and grow your business.

The key is to identify the right prospects based on behavioural data, and then guide them through a carefully crafted journey of engagement and nurturing, using a mix of marketing and sales tactics to keep them interested and invested in your brand. This is the art of demand generation, my friend, and when done correctly, it can be a powerful driver of growth and success for your business.

Clarifying Common Misconceptions

Is Demand Generation B2B or B2C?

Demand generation is required in all businesses. It is not a question of B2B or B2C, but rather a matter of effective application. 

The goal is always the same: to cultivate and foster relationships that endure through time with those whom you seek to serve. The means by which this goal is accomplished may be tailored to the unique circumstances of your target market, be they businesses or consumers, but the objective remains the same.

Is Demand Generation the Same as Growth Marketing?

The concepts of demand generation and growth marketing are indeed related, but they are not one and the same. 

A demand gen strategy focuses on attracting and engaging prospects and customers in a deliberate and systematic way, with the ultimate goal of building long-term relationships that lead to predictable revenue growth. 

Growth marketing, on the other hand, is a broader approach that encompasses all marketing efforts with the goal of driving scalable and sustainable growth for a business. While demand generation can certainly play a crucial role in a growth marketing strategy, it is just one aspect of a larger, more comprehensive effort to achieve business growth.

What is Demand Gen vs Lead Gen?

While the terms are often used interchangeably, they are not synonymous. 

Demand generation is a holistic approach to customer engagement that aims to build long-term relationships with prospects and customers through a mix of different marketing and sales tactics. 

Lead generation, on the other hand, is focused specifically on identifying and attracting new prospects, with the ultimate goal of turning them into paying customers. 

Both are crucial elements of a successful B2B marketing strategy, but they serve different purposes and should be executed in different ways.

What are the 8 Types of Demand?

Now that we’ve understood the fundamentals of demand generation, let’s get into the weeds of it and understand how to build an effective demand generation plan.

Demand refers to the amount of a product or service that consumers are willing and able to purchase at a given price. The eight types of demand are as follows:

  1. Latent Demand: The unfulfilled desire for a product or service that exists in the market but is not yet being actively pursued by consumers.
  2. Declining Demand: A decrease in the demand for a product or service over time.
  3. Irregular Demand: The unpredictable fluctuations in demand for a product or service.
  4. Full Demand: The point at which the demand for a product or service reaches its maximum potential.
  5. Overfull Demand: The point at which the demand for a product or service exceeds the available supply.
  6. Unwholesome Demand: The demand for a product or service that is unethical or illegal.
  7. Inelastic Demand: The level of demand for a product or service that remains unchanged regardless of changes in price or other market factors.
  8. Elastic Demand: The level of demand for a product or service that changes in response to changes in price or other market factors.

These eight types of demand are crucial to understanding the market and developing effective marketing strategies.

What are the Six Steps in the Demand Generation Process?

As the great David Ogilvy once said, “The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife.” And that, my friend, is precisely why it’s essential to understand and execute a demand generation tactic and the entire demand generation process correctly.

Step 1: Identify your Target Audience

The first step in the process is to identify your target audience. You must understand the demographics, behaviours, and motivations of your target audience to create a meaningful connection with them. This is the foundation upon which you’ll build your demand generation plan.

Step 2: Intentionally Crafted Messaging

Next, you must craft a compelling message that will resonate with your target audience. Your message must be unique, relevant, and valuable to your prospects. It must address their pain points and offer them a solution to their problems.

Step 3: Content Creation

The third step is to create content that will support your message. This content can take many forms, including blog posts, whitepapers, webinars, infographics, and more. Your content should educate and inform your prospects, build trust, and establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry.

Step 4: Execute Campaigns

Step four is to amplify your message and content through a variety of marketing channels. This could include email marketing, social media, search engine marketing, and paid advertising. The goal is to reach your target audience where they spend their time and attention and guide them to take action.

Step 5: Nurture Prospects

Step five is to nurture your prospects and move them down the funnel toward a sale. This is where you’ll use targeted and personalized messaging, lead scoring, and other tactics to keep your prospects engaged and interested in your solution.

Step 6: Measuring Results

And finally, step six is to measure and analyze your results. You must track the effectiveness of your demand generation efforts and make data-driven decisions to optimize your plan for success. Continuously refine and improve your plan to maximize your ROI and achieve your business goals.

This six-step demand generation plan is the blueprint for creating a successful marketing campaign. By following this process, you’ll be able to identify your target audience, craft a compelling message, create content that supports your message, amplify your message through marketing channels, nurture your prospects, and measure and analyze your results. So go forth and generate demand!

How Do You Create a Demand Generation Strategy?

A successful demand generation strategy requires a keen understanding of your target audience, their wants and needs, and the ways in which they interact with your brand. It also requires a comprehensive plan of action, a steady hand to guide its execution, and the patience to see it through.

The creation of a demand generation strategy is no small feat. It is a journey of discovery and creation, of understanding and strategy. It is the process by which you take your vision for your brand and translate it into actionable steps, a plan to bring your message to your target audience and engage them in meaningful ways.

First, you must understand your target audience. Who are they? What do they want? What do they need? What do they respond to? These questions must be answered before you can begin to craft a demand generation strategy that will resonate with them.

Next, you must determine the channels through which you will reach your target audience. Will you use social media? Will you host webinars? Will you run email campaigns? Will you use b2b marketing automation tools? The answers to these questions will depend on who your target audience is and how they interact with your brand.

Once you have determined the channels through which you will reach your target audience, it is time to create your plan of action. What will you do? How will you do it? When will you do it? These are questions that must be answered, and the answers will form the foundation of your demand generation strategy.

The next step is to put your plan into action. This requires a steady hand, a keen eye for detail, and the patience to see it through. You must be diligent in your execution, consistent in your efforts, and persistent in your pursuit of success.

Finally, you must measure your results. How effective has your demand generation strategy been? What has worked well? What has not? These questions must be answered, and the answers will inform the adjustments you make to your strategy going forward.

With these ingredients, your demand generation strategy will be a resounding success.

Example of a Successful Demand Generation Plan

At the core of this example is a focus on truly understanding the target audience. The company spent time getting to know its prospects, their pain points, and their needs. They also conducted extensive market research to gain insight into the competitive landscape and what was being done to meet the needs of this target audience.

With this deep understanding of its target market in hand, the company then developed a comprehensive demand generation plan for their client. The plan included tactics such as creating high-quality content, launching targeted email marketing campaigns, using social media to reach prospects, and leveraging thought leadership opportunities to position the company as an expert in their field.

At each step along the way, the company measured their progress, refined its tactics, and optimized its efforts for maximum impact. This cycle of testing, measuring, and refining was repeated continually until the demand generation plan was delivering the desired results.

And what were those results, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. The company saw a significant increase in their number of qualified leads, which led to a significant increase in conversions and revenue. Their brand awareness and reputation grew, and they became known as one of the leading companies in their industry.

So there you have it, a shining example of a successful demand generation plan. By taking the time to truly understand its target audience, developing a comprehensive plan, and continually refining its efforts, this company was able to achieve outstanding results. 

And that, my friends, is the hallmark of demand generation done right.

How Do You Structure a Demand Generation Team?

In-House Team

A successful demand generation team is comprised of various marketing specialists, each with their own areas of expertise, yet working in harmony to drive demand for your product or service.

A strong leader, one with a clear vision and an unwavering commitment to excellence, should be at the helm of the team. This individual should possess a thorough understanding of the various marketing disciplines, and have the ability to coordinate the efforts of the team in a manner that is both efficient and effective.

In terms of specific roles, I recommend a team that includes experts in areas such as content creation, email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, and data analysis. These individuals should work closely with sales, customer service, and product teams to ensure a seamless, integrated customer experience.

Finally, it is important to remember that a demand generation team is an ever-evolving entity. As your business grows and changes, so too must your team. It is the duty of the leader to continuously evaluate the composition and structure of the team to ensure that it remains effective in meeting the changing needs of the business.

The structure of a marketing team is a critical component of the overall demand generation strategy. By carefully selecting and organizing individuals with a diverse range of marketing expertise, you lay the foundation for a team that is poised for success.

Cost

The cost of building a demand generation team will depend on a number of factors such as the size and structure of the team, the experience and skills of the team members, and the location of the team. According to Cowen Partners, some of the essential positions within a demand generation team and their average salaries are as follows:

  • VP Sales & Marketing: $200,000 average salary
  • VP of Demand Generation: $175,000 average salary
  • Director of Demand Generation: $125,000 average salary
  • Demand Generation Marketing Manager: $85,000 average salary
  • Demand Generation Specialist: $55,000 average salary

It is important to note that these figures are just average salaries and actual salaries may vary depending on the company and location. Additionally, it is also important to consider other costs associated with building a demand generation team such as training, benefits, and equipment.

The cost of building an in-house demand generation team will depend on a number of factors and will likely vary from company to company.

Benefits

An in-house team typically has more skin in the game, which, in turn, allows the team to create highly customized demand-generation efforts tailored to your specific needs.

What they often lack is the ability to use best practices from other industries within your business. This frame of mind and level of analysis is what enables you to surpass the marketing and sales efforts of your competitors.

Demand Generation Consultancy

A successful demand generation team structure within a consultancy should have a clear division of labour requirements and a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of each team member.

At its core, a demand generation team typically consists of the following key players: a strategist, a content creator, a lead generator, and a marketer. 

  • The strategist is responsible for developing the overall demand generation strategy and determining the best channels for reaching prospects. 
  • The content creator produces high-quality materials, such as blog posts, ebooks, and webinars, that can be used to engage prospects and generate leads. 
  • The lead generator focuses on identifying, nurturing, and converting leads into customers. 
  • Finally, the marketer is responsible for executing the demand generation plan and measuring its success.

Of course, the specific structure of a demand generation team may vary depending on the size and scope of the consultancy, as well as its specific demand generation goals. But by adhering to these key principles, a consultancy can ensure that its demand generation team is structured for success and capable of delivering measurable results.

Cost

Typically, for a consultancy, and any business investment, it’s important to analyze the ROI.

In 2023, the cost of hiring a demand generation consultancy, or digital marketing consultancy ranges from $2000 to $12,000+ per month. The monthly engagement fees and hourly rate of a freelance marketing consultant will depend on factors such as their experience, background, area of expertise, and the cost of living in the region.

It’s worth bearing in mind that there are numerous factors that can affect the cost of hiring a digital marketing consultancy. These include the duration and size of your project, the reputation of the agency you’re enlisting, and the level of expertise required for your project.

That being said, you get what you pay for. 

Expert marketers far exceed the results that you expect from your engagement and reduce stress for you, and their output justifies their fees. 

Mediocre marketers typically deliver below the desired goal or just the bare minimum, and they normally cause more stress for you by producing linear results (even within a typical 6-month period).

Benefits

If chosen correctly, a demand generation consultancy that deeply understands your company’s industry and market can outperform an in-house team for a margin of the cost.

This consultancy is also able to draw parallels from other industries to differentiate your demand generation strategy. Due to the vast experience that their marketers have with clients from many different industries, and many different geographies.

The best example of a consultancy that produces world-class results like this is Trailblazer Marketing.

So, In-house team or demand generation consultancy?

We suggest that you use the 95:5 rule for this decision. You must understand that a mere 5% of the processes, people, or technology can hold the key to resolving 95% of the problems, symptoms, issues, and challenges at hand. The secret, as O’Reilly put it, is to focus like a laser beam on that crucial 5%, and to make the necessary changes with utmost precision and care. For it is only then that one can make a real difference, right here, right now.

With that, we hope you can decide what the best option is for your business.

What is a Demand Generation Funnel?

A demand generation funnel is a strategic framework used by businesses to generate interest, cultivate leads, and convert them into paying customers. It is a multi-faceted process that begins with attracting a potential customer through various marketing channels, such as search engines, social media, and demand generation campaigns.

As prospects move through the demand generation and sales funnel, they are nurtured and educated about the products or services offered by the business, until they are finally ready to make a purchase. For example, top of funnel marketing guides the prospect and teaches them about your business. Later stages in the funnel supplement that initial top of funnel content by going more in-depth, and then finally converting the prospective customers into a sale at the bottom of the funnel.

The demand generation funnel is a critical component of a successful marketing strategy, as it provides a roadmap for turning prospects into loyal customers.

In the world of marketing, we must always be mindful of our audience and their needs. A well-designed demand generation campaign/funnel will not only help you attract new customers but also deepen your relationship with existing ones. So let us embrace the power of the demand generation funnel, and use it to grow our businesses and reach new heights of success!

What are Demand Generation Metrics?

Some common demand generation metrics include website traffic, lead generation, conversion rates, and customer acquisition costs.

These metrics are essential tools for any business that is looking to maximize the return on its marketing investments and grow its customer base. By keeping a close eye on your demand generation metrics, you can ensure that your marketing strategies are delivering the results you seek and making a positive impact on your bottom line.

How Do I Run a Demand Gen Campaign?

To run a successful demand generation campaign, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Know your target audience: As mentioned earlier on in the post, to run a successful demand generation campaign, you need to deeply understand who your target audience is. What are their pain points? What motivates them? Once you know your target audience, you can tailor your message to them and make sure it resonates with them.
  • Create compelling content: Content is king when it comes to demand generation. Make sure you create content that is both informative and entertaining. This can be in the form of blog posts, whitepapers, webinars, e-books, or even videos. Your content should educate your target audience and provide value to them.
  • Utilize email marketing: Email is still one of the most effective forms of marketing. Make sure you have a robust email marketing strategy in place that includes segmentation, personalization, and A/B testing, along with best practices for emailing such as email warmup, and emails that abide by email laws.
  • Leverage social media: Social media is a powerful tool for demand generation. Make sure you have a presence on the platforms your target audience uses, and that you use these platforms to engage with them. Share your content, answer questions, and participate in discussions. Be natural and give your brand a personality when you engage with followers.
  • Make it easy to convert: Once your target audience is ready to make a purchase, make it easy for them to do so. Make sure your website has clear calls to action and that your checkout process, call booking process, or whatever the desired action point is, is simple and straightforward to reach.

Here’s a quick example of a successful demand generation campaign. 

One of the most famous demand generation campaigns is the “Will it Blend?” campaign run by Blendtec. Blendtec created a series of videos where they blended various objects to demonstrate the power of their blenders. The videos went viral and Blendtec saw a significant increase in sales. You can find many posts about the technicalities and thought processes behind their campaign.

Genius!

The bar has been set. What are you waiting for? Get building!

What Are Two of the Most Successful Demand Generation Tactics?

I’ve seen many strategies come and go, but I must say, there are a couple of tactics that have proven to be particularly effective time and time again.

Two of the most successful demand generation tactics:

  1. Collaboration between sales and marketing departments. 
    One of the key elements of an effective demand generation strategy is a close collaboration between the marketing and sales departments of your organization. With both working together in concert, you’ll be able to create a holistic approach that takes into account the buyer’s journey and guides them towards conversion with laser-like focus.
  2. Taking a buyer-centric approach, considering buyers at all stages of the journey. 
    In demand generation, it’s important to remember that not all buyers are at the same stage. Some are just beginning to become aware of your offerings, while others are deep into the consideration phase. A successful demand generation campaign must take into account buyers at all stages and use tailored messaging to guide them toward conversion.

And there you have it, two of the most effective demand generation tactics!

Remember, demand generation is about creating a seamless journey for the buyer, so be sure to approach it with a collaborative and buyer-centric mindset.

The Battle Plan

As you’ve learnt from this article, a well-crafted demand generation plan is the foundation of a successful marketing strategy. 

By understanding your target audience, developing a comprehensive approach that considers all stages of the buyer’s journey, and leveraging a combination of tactics and metrics to measure success, you can cultivate a steady stream of demand for your products or services. 

Remember, the key to a successful demand generation campaign is to focus on the needs of your buyer, and to stay vigilant in your pursuit of results. So roll up your sleeves, get to work, and start generating the demand that will drive your business forward!

Now, we understand that it can be tricky to decide on the notorious dilemma of in-house vs. consultancy. Well, I will use a tactic that we taught earlier in this post: make it easy to convert

If you need help with building a demand generation plan and understanding your B2B buying cycle, consider scheduling a complimentary strategy session with a team of digital marketing trailblazers. 

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http://marzooqa.ca

Marzooq Asghar is an experienced SaaS SEO agency owner and marketing professional with a proven track record of success in driving growth for a wide range of companies. His obsession with SEO has helped him to build profitable SEO-led content marketing programs for companies with Ameer. He has successfully implemented SEO and strategic marketing programs for companies such as Spotwork, Blade Air, Menuless, and more.


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