Demand generation is the foundation of every successful digital marketing strategy. Without a strong online presence and high visibility, even the best brands won’t get noticed by their target customers. At the same time, however, many companies make the mistake of skipping right to lead generation without establishing the level of interest needed to convert them.
Enter: demand gen companies.
Demand gen companies can help you establish your brand in the right places and to the right audiences in a consistent, comprehensive, and reliable way that ensures your pipeline stays full of high-fit buyers. In this guide, we’ll tell you how.
- Demand generation is different from lead generation — it focuses on building interest at the top of the funnel to establish an audience for lead gen later on.
- Demand gen companies offer services such as: target audience identification, content creation, campaign development, paid advertising, and performance reporting.
- Many demand gen companies also offer lead gen and lead nurturing services.
- Signs you might need to hire a demand gen company include: burnt out marketing team, tight budget, the need for more scalability, and limited in-house expertise.
What is demand generation?
Demand generation is often used interchangeably with lead generation, but the two strategies are actually not the same.
Demand generation separately builds the brand awareness and consumer interest you need to generate leads later in the marketing funnel. When you look at the funnel chronologically, demand generation comes first and sets a foundation for effective lead generation later on. Lead generation then focuses on collecting contact information to funnel leads into your pipeline.
Top-of-the-funnel strategies and tactics commonly employed for demand generation include active blogs and other content marketing, running advertising campaigns, and growing a social media presence.
The goals of demand generation are to build greater brand visibility and awareness while also establishing a reputation for thought leadership and expertise in your industry.
What do demand gen companies do?
Demand generation involves a multitude of tactics and varied expertise to execute well. Without the right level of resources and support, demand generation can be time consuming and even take away from other important marketing activities, like lead gen and lead nurturing as well as more strategic campaign development and analysis.
Demand gen companies support your strategy to save you time, provide expert support, and allow you to focus on other key tasks essential for growing your business. Let’s look at some of the specific services demand gen companies provide.
Target Audience Identification
There are two main frameworks companies use to develop their target audiences and reach the potential buyers most likely to convert: Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs) and buyer personas.
ICPs describe organizational traits of target B2B buyers — things like industry, budget, company size, and location. Buyer personas describe individual decision makers within those companies, including their job titles, level of experience, and individual motivations.
Demand gen companies are experts at building and reaching target audiences for clients, and they can provide guidance in helping you create or refine your current ICPs and personas to get the most possible ROI from your marketing efforts.
Content is the lifeblood of every demand generation and lead generation strategy. It’s what gives your brand visibility on search engines like Google, where more than 90% of all B2B buyers (and people in general) are starting their online experiences.
In fact, B2B buyers interact with a staggering 13 pieces of marketing and sales content before they make a purchase decision. There’s no doubt about it: Content is what buyers look for more than anything else to evaluate brands, and without creating it at high volume you won’t even make it into the running.
That’s why 84% of companies now outsource content creation to organizations like demand gen companies that have the bandwidth and resources to create high-quality content at scale.
Campaign Development and Execution
A key part of demand generation is building momentum around specific events, like a product launch or rebranding initiative. Demand gen companies can provide expert strategy guidance in developing and executing unique campaigns designed to accomplish specific goals.
This could mean social media growth campaigns, paid advertising campaigns, content creation focused on building a specific audience, or even non-digital methods like direct mail.
Paid advertising involves paying to promote digital media (ads, content, social media posts and more) to target specific audiences and/or execute specific campaigns. It’s a popular and effective demand gen tactic that can be implemented across several platforms, including search engines, social media platforms, and website display ads.
Demand gen companies are pros at paid advertising, and they have the right software tools for executing it effectively.
Data-Driven Performance Reporting
Every service provider depends on performance reporting to demonstrate their value to their clients. Performance data highlights exactly how the services they provide are delivering results to the client’s company.
Clients benefit because they gain objective, data-driven insight into how well their strategies are performing. You can use reports to make decisions about future strategy, show executives the ROI you’re earning through the partnership, and track KPIs for a continual view of your progress toward demand gen goals.
Lead Gen + Nurturing
Conveniently, many demand gen companies also offer lead gen and lead nurturing services so you can keep your pipeline management centralized and consistent. This gives you a full end-to-end view of your pipeline growth strategy’s performance and makes for a more seamless experience for your buyers as well.
When should you hire a demand gen company?
Hiring a demand gen company is always helpful if you’re looking for a way to optimize your marketing team’s time and resources while keeping your pipeline healthy. That said, there are a few specific signs your business needs demand gen support sooner than later:
Your Team is Burnt Out
If your marketing team is overworked and overwhelmed, it’s likely they won’t earn the demand gen results you need, even if they’re working as hard as they can. Burnout often creates an inability to focus fully on any priority. Instead, teams give a little bit to everything, and nothing is actually done well.
Further, burnout inhibits key marketing capabilities like creativity and innovative thinking.
You Aren’t Generating Leads
If you’re working hard on lead generation but your pipeline is still sparse, you probably have a demand generation problem. Without effectively building an online presence with demand gen strategies, even the best content (and other lead-gen tactics) will fail to convert.
Demand gen companies can help you get to the root of the problem and fix it faster.
Your Budget is Tight
While many look at outsourcing as an added expense, it actually saves organizations about 30% on average. If your budget is tight, a demand gen company could be the best solution to achieve cost savings without sacrificing your strategy’s quality, execution, or scale.
You Have Limited Expertise
Nobody’s an expert in everything. Hiring a full-scale in-house marketing team isn’t always in the cards, especially for new, small, and/or growing businesses. Demand gen companies are a great alternative and offer the best of both worlds — a team that cares about your unique brand and strategy success, without the added overhead costs and management responsibilities.
You Need to Scale
This goes either way. Whether you need to scale up or down (or do both frequently), demand gen companies offer much greater flexibility than an in-house team. That said, they can be particularly valuable for helping you scale quickly during a growth stage or getting a campaign up and running in a short time.
Taking the Next Step
If you’re looking for demand gen support, Televerde can help. We offer comprehensive demand gen support and expertise designed for your unique business and guaranteed to help you grow.
Ready to learn more? Contact our team to get started today.