Hey there! I wanted to share something important with you. While everyone tends to focus on lead generation, the real star of the show is actually demand generation. Without it, your lead generation efforts won’t stand a chance. Let me break it down for you.
Begin With Understanding the 95-5 Rule
The 95-5 rule is a very important concept for your marketing team to grasp and understand. The 95-5 rule is simple. It is that most of your prospective buyers are “out-of-market” at any given time. There is really only 5% of your total targeted market that will enter a buying cycle at any one time, and the other 95% of your total available market is not “in-market,” meaning they are not in the buying cycle at any given time.
For example, if your target market consists of 1,000 companies, only 50 will be looking for a solution at a given time. You will always be up against all your competitors for those 50 potential deals all the time.
The remaining 95%, or in the example above, 950 companies, are considered out-of-market or are actually nothing more than future prospects.
But the key point here is that it’s already too late for your company if buyers don’t know you when they come in-market to buy products or services like yours. To grow a brand, you need to market to those people who aren’t in-market now so that when they enter the market, your brand is top-of-mind and already on the shortlist.
What’s The Difference Between Lead Gen and Demand Gen
The primary difference between demand generation and lead generation is that demand gen is focused on increasing your brand awareness targeted towards the 95% that are currently not looking for a solution, while lead gen focuses on capturing prospects who are actively entering or already in the buying cycle as they are looking for the right company to solve their problem.
That means your lead generation programs are really only meaningful to 5% of your total available market/niche that you have identified! So, if you are solely focused on lead gen, you are missing 95% of your market you want to become a customer.
Most marketers believe B2B brands grow by immediately moving buyers down the sales funnel. In fact, over 90+% of marketers believe that if they run “in-market” lead generation campaigns, they can expect results in just a few weeks. The reality is this is not the case. Just because someone is consuming your content doesn’t mean they are in-market at the time they are consuming it. The reality is that buyers decide to go “in-market,” not your marketing. After all, marketing is nothing more than an entry point offer or conversation that ultimately leads your prospect to initiate an ideal sales conversation with your brand!
This is where your content marketing and social media play an integral role in getting your potential new customers’ attention to the point that they want to follow you!
Transition your Mindset from Lead Gen to Demand Gen
If you look at the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you are tracking I am willing to bet they are based on lead-generation tactics, so it may be a challenge to change the internal mindset to demand generation.
Shifting your focus from lead generation to demand generation has to be a strategic move that will benefit your company in many ways long term. While both approaches are essential for business growth, demand generation focuses on creating awareness, interest, and desire for your product or service across a broader audience reach, while lead generation specifically targets individuals or companies who have expressed interest in your offerings. Here are some reasons why you should consider this shift for your continued business growth:
- Building Long-Term Relationships: Over time, demand generation focuses on building and nurturing relationships with your ideal potential customers and others in your ecosystem, such as media and analysts. By creating brand awareness and providing valuable content and experiences, you can engage with prospects before they are ready to make a purchase. This approach fosters trust and loyalty, leading to more significant sales in the long run.
- Reach A Wider Audience: Demand generation strategies aim to reach a broader audience, not just those actively seeking your product or service. This can help you tap into new markets and customer segments, expanding your business’s potential customer base.
- Reduce Your Dependence On Inbound Leads: Relying solely on inbound leads can be limiting, depending on the number of people actively searching for your offerings at any given time. Demand generation allows you to proactively create interest in your products or services, reducing your dependence on inbound leads and making your marketing efforts more predictable, and has the effect of producing better results.
- Focus On Building Your Brand: Demand generation campaigns often involve content marketing, social media engagement, public relations, and other brand-building activities to bring your brand to the light of day. These efforts can enhance your brand’s reputation and authority in your industry, making it easier to attract and convert leads in the future. The goal is to become a subject matter expert that people follow and seek your advice.
- Be Able To Pivot To Changing Buyer Behavior: Buyer behavior constantly evolves, and consumers today are more informed and empowered than ever from the information they can get from the Internet instantly! Demand generation strategies align with these changes by providing valuable content and experiences that educate and engage potential customers throughout their journey of finding the best solution for their problem rather than just at the point of purchase.
- Grow Your ROI: While lead generation can yield immediate results, demand generation can provide a better return on investment (ROI) over the long term. By nurturing relationships and focusing on every step of the customer journey to becoming a customer, you can increase the lifetime value of customers and generate more revenue in the long term.
- Upgrade To Modern Marketing Techniques: Demand generation is easy to integrate with modern marketing techniques like inbound marketing, content marketing, and social media engagement. These approaches have become increasingly effective as buying behavior has shifted toward online research and social interactions.
- Your Competitive Advantage: Many of your competitors are still primarily focused on lead generation. By shifting to demand generation, you can differentiate yourself in the market, and gain a competitive advantage by building a strong brand presence to engage customers at every step in their journey to become your customer.
- Analytics Insight Is Key: Demand generation often relies on data analytics to understand customer behavior and preferences to make decisions about your marketing strategies and plans. This data-driven approach allows you to refine your strategies continuously and make informed decisions based on real-time insights so you never have to live on hopium (hoping something will happen).
Don’t underestimate lead generation as being undoubtedly valuable, but making the shift towards a demand generation strategy can offer a more comprehensive and sustainable marketing approach for your business. By focusing on creating awareness, building relationships, and engaging with a wider audience, you will position your business for long-term success and effectively adapt to the ever-changing landscape of B2B consumer behavior and technology in 2024 and beyond.
Need help on creating an effective demand-generation strategy for your business? Begin by scheduling a FREE 30-Minute Discovery Call to start a conversation about your business. Oh! When we do talk, you will get our “No Pitching” guarantee. No pitching means we will not try and sell you in any way. If you want MORE after 30-minutes you will have to ask for it! We think that sounds fair, don’t you? Well, after all, that is what we are known for.