Marketing is constantly evolving. From the inbound revolution nearly a decade ago to more recent innovations, such as influencer marketing, the strategies and tactics you use are almost always in flux.
Demand generation is also changing and evolving. As more businesses have become aware of its importance, they’ve also started to look at best practices to make it more effective than ever before.
A number of different factors, from new laws to changing preferences, are changing the face of your marketing initiatives. Understanding what the evolutionary trajectory looks like will help you stay ahead of the curve.
What Is Demand Generation?
Before you look at evolving trends, it’s best to define the concept.
Generally speaking, demand genconsists of any of the marketing programs you use to get people excited about your products and services. In some ways, it’s part of everything your marketing department does.
A key focus is getting the word out about your brand. More than that, though, these activities are designed to generate demand for what your company offers.
The Changing Face of Demand
Today’s marketers have their work cut out for them when it comes to generating demand for products and services. Competition is fierce in many industries and across sectors. You have to be clever, creative, and consistent to really get noticed.
Today’s customers have also changed. The buyer’s journey is much different than it was a few years ago. Buyers are more likely to be skeptical about brands, and they’re conducting their own research before ever reaching out to you.
All this adds up to a tough environment for generating demand for the products or services your business offers. Demand generation has to evolve in order to meet these new challenges.
A Shift in Attitude
The attitudes of buyers have changed, but shifts are also occurring within sales and marketing departments themselves.
One good example of this has been the shift to accommodate buyers at every stage of the sales journey. Your marketing materials can no longer target only the person who is just setting out on their journey. You have to have the right material to entice a buyer at any stage of the game.
Technological innovations are also pushing a more integrated approach to demand generation. It’s reasonable to expect that in the near future, every employee will be involved in marketing. The automated, multichannel approach almost guarantees it.
Automation and New Laws
Another reason demand generation has to continue evolving is to accommodate other aspects of the changing environment. This includes new technology and new regulations.
The EU introduced the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018, which has meant radical changes for B2B marketers. One of the biggest changes was the need to clarify wording in lead capture, allowing people to know they can unsubscribe from emails at any time.
On the technology front, automation is driving changes to demand generation. Automation can streamline your efforts, but you also have to refocus on the customers and the experience they’re receiving. Automation can drive demand generation forward, but only if it’s implemented correctly.
Email is still the most effective marketing channel, despite some people believing email marketing has gone the way of the dinosaurs. You’ll likely realize the highest ROI from an email campaign.
That said, many marketers have been putting more effort and capital behind their content marketing. Mobile, social media, and other techniques remain tough nuts to crack, but more marketers are incorporating them into the mix.
The multichannel marketing mix is essential to good demand generation, and it’s quite likely that what’s most effective will continue to shift and change.
In a changing business world, how you generate demand for your products and services has to evolve in order to keep up. Stay on top of the trends and you’ll be one step ahead of your competition.
Posted By Author Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist
Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.