Demand generation marketing is seen as the most straightforward path to revenue growth for B2B businesses. Despite this, businesses often confuse demand capture strategies with demand creation.
Figuring out the differences between demand capture and demand creation is pivotal to the success of your revenue generation tactics. It can influence your entire strategy, from execution to managing internal expectations and the delivery of revenue.
Think about sunscreen. When it was first invented, someone had to go around and educate buyers that there was now a solution that could protect them from the sun. This way of marketing is demand creation. The first sunscreen brands had to build momentum from scratch, and that was extremely difficult to do.
Demand Generation Creation Advantages
Lower cost per acquisition, higher quality leads, improved brand awareness, and greater conversion rates are just some of the advantages of demand generation. RFPs and business needs are modelled around companies that succeed at demand generation because they are the first to market and influence the buying journey. This gives them a leg-up over their competitors.
Demand Generation Creation Disadvantages
The tricky part is that most of these metrics can’t be directly tied back to your demand generation efforts. How can you quantify someone recognising your brand above all the others and click-through? Hard to measure = hard to secure budget. It will take a lot of internal stakeholder management to convince them to invest in something that might not see direct results.
The generation of demand is also sophisticated and requires multi-channel coordination and a deep understanding of the audience. It takes a lot of resources and careful analysis to be able to deliver on that.
Strategies and Tactics for Demand Creation
Brand Awareness: This involves making sure your brand is known and recognizable, thereby establishing trust and credibility in the market.
Thought Leadership: Position your company or key personnel as experts in the field, contributing to important conversations, and shaping industry trends.
Educational Content: Produce valuable, informational content that helps solve problems or educate the market, setting the stage for your product as a solution.
Content Marketing: Create blogs, eBooks, whitepapers, and infographics that focus on solving industry problems rather than directly promoting your product.
Social Media Marketing: Leverage platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and industry-specific forums to share your educational content and engage in community conversations.
Public Relations (PR): Gain media coverage through press releases, interviews, and partnerships to amplify your reach and credibility.
Community Building: Create or engage with existing online communities where your target audience hangs out, providing value through knowledge sharing and support.
KPIs To Assess Performance
Website Traffic: Monitor the number of visitors coming to your website, especially through channels where your demand creation strategies are in play. Specifically, brand searches should be the key focus.
Engagement: Track metrics like page views, time spent on page, and social shares to gauge the effectiveness of website performance.
Social Media Metrics: Keep an eye on likes, shares, comments, and follower growth to understand how well your social media efforts are resonating with your audience.
WOM: Hard to quantify but every initial customer interaction should involve a “how they heard about you” question.
Linking back to the sunscreen example, if you are bidding on searches for sunscreen or targeting people looking for sunscreen, you are running demand capture. You are not creating new demand but reaching out to existing demand. Most businesses play in this space because it is easier to go after audiences already considering your solutions.
Demand Capture Advantages
Demand capture has lower barriers to entry. It is easy to target some keywords, gate a landing page and send traffic to it. The upside is instant results. Additionally, businesses have a simpler time sourcing talent to meet their needs. It is easy to activate one channel with an expert since most digital marketing channels have specialists who specialise in one.
Demand Capture Disadvantages
Increasing competition will increase your channel costs. Low barriers to entry are also harmful. Over time, competitors will most likely copy your strategies, driving up the cost per acquisition and lowering the effectiveness of your demand capture channels.
SEO and SEM:Optimize website content for organic search. Invest in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads for high-converting keywords.
Email Nurturing: Develop a drip email campaign that offers valuable content over time. Use behavioral triggers to send emails that aim to convert, upsell, or cross-sell.
Social Media Advertising: Leverage platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn to run highly targeted ad campaigns based on demographic and behavioral data.
KPIs To Assess Performance
To gauge the effectiveness of your Demand Capture initiatives, several metrics are essential:
Conversion Rate: The percentage of users who take a desired action such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): The average cost incurred to acquire a customer through the Demand Capture efforts.
Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): Measures the efficacy of a digital advertising campaign, calculated by dividing the revenue generated from the campaign by the amount spent on it.
Click-Through Rate (CTR): The ratio of users who click on an ad to the number of total users who view the ad (impressions).
Lead Quality: Qualitative assessments through lead scoring to evaluate how likely leads are to become paying customers.
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): The total worth of a customer to a business over the entirety of their relationship, helpful in assessing the long-term impact of your Demand Capture efforts.
Having a well-rounded strategy is the key, and generating and capturing demand should go hand in hand. At the very least, you should capture the demand you generate since your competitors will be scrutinising your demand generation strategies closely.
You would want to rotate your emphasis on a particular strategy depending on the circumstances of the business. Things to consider include budgets, program maturity, resources available and competitors.
At the start of your program, It will be difficult to foster internal support if you focus on demand creation. There is a long payoff process involved in demand creation due to its complexity. It is also challenging to measure. This is why you should shift your focus to demand capture at the very start as it is easy to prove return on investment and gains traction from day one.
Once you have secured resources internally, you can place a greater focus on demand generation strategies. It is also a good time to start looking into pipeline marketing and working closely with sales. You want to shift attention back to demand capture throughout the program as the need arises. Sales being slow would be an example of when you should shift attention back to demand capture.
Having a unified strategy will help mitigate some of the disadvantages of both approaches. That being said, the most crucial aspect of success is knowing what to focus on and when.