Demand generation is an important concept to any company because it focuses on the backbone of the business itself…the customer. Without your customers, your company would not exist, and keeping them happy should be one of your primary goals. Demand generation is the overall procedure of getting customers excited about your company’s products and services and keeping them excited. It is the function of a company’s marketing department that focuses on creating the demand for your product or service and then furthering the relationship by cultivating a long-term commitment to the customer.
What’s the Difference Between Demand Generation and Inbound Marketing?
Demand Generation and Inbound Marketing seem to be one in the same, and although they both share the same goal of acquiring and maintaining a strong relationship with the customer, Inbound marketing is actually only a part of your company’s overall demand generation strategy. Inbound plays an integral role in demand generation as a whole, by bringing in and securing high-quality leads, but demand generation encompasses all programs that focus on getting customers excited about the products and services, including bridging the gap between your marketing and your sales team and continuing the journey through the sales funnel with the customer.
Another way to differentiate demand generation from inbound marketing is to realize that demand generation is more sales centric whereas inbound is more marketing centric. Demand generation involves the age-old marketing tactics that are referred to as outbound marketing whereas inbound is a new technique that was created and has evolved over the last 10 years. Inbound practices that are a part of demand generation include creating and distributing relevant content such as blog posts, videos, ebooks, newsletters, emails, and social media, among others. Demand generation is a more technical concept that encompasses the acquisition and nurturing of leads but also involves aligning the marketing with sales and then analyzing data over time.
Why is Demand Generation Important?
Although marketing departments are focusing on inbound marketing at a steadily increasing rate, demand generation must be performed well beyond the inbound process to keep your company’s customers interested in your products or services and happy with their experience with you. Marketing automation software helps in the process as it enables you to test metrics and analyze results of your efforts to better serve and connect with the right customers for your company. The best results are going to come from combining an excellent inbound marketing method with a dedicated overall demand generation strategy that focuses on the customer through the sales and post-sale processes as well.
Do you have any practices that are a part of your demand generation strategy that have worked exceptionally well for your company? If so, we’d love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below, or check out our Inbound Marketing Blog for related articles.