What Is Demand Generation?
Demand generation, or demand gen for short, is the field of digital marketing responsible for driving volume to a pipeline and revenue to a business. To achieve these goals, demand gen relies on a range of methods and tactics that pique curiosity, build trust and generally introduce audiences to your organization and its solutions. It is distinct from other marketing activities — such as brand and awareness campaigns — because its results and activities can be directly measured and traced to provable revenue.
As a marketing strategy, demand generation is all-encompassing and present at every stage of the marketing funnel. It is also felt at every touchpoint in the buyer’s journey. It seeks to unmask anonymous visitors and gradually nurture them into paying customers. To achieve this, demand generation programs draw on vast amounts of data and analysis, departmental cooperation throughout a company and a heavy reliance on content targeted for specific audiences.
Depending on its needs and requirements, demand generation programs are often made of different parts of the marketing apparatus. This is because demand generation operates at a higher strategic level and sets the cadence and approach different tactics will use to realize the program’s goals and generate leads.
For example, outbound marketing efforts like direct email, phone calls, trade shows and banner advertisements can be considered a part of a demand generation program. Likewise, inbound marketing, such as search engine marketing, organic social media campaigns and blog posts can also be a part of that same demand generation program. While inbound and outbound marketing are two distinct marketing methods, they both are trying to achieve a shared goal set by demand generation.
The leads demand generation creates will, ultimately, be sent to sales representatives, which means demand generation is as much a sales responsibility as it is a marketing function. An effective demand generation program is one where marketing and sales teams sit down to discuss and develop a campaign’s ideal customer profile as well as identifying any disqualifying criteria.