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    Disclaimer: This blog is not: marketing jargon for “How do I get more people interested?” Okay, with that out of the way. . .

    While increasing your pipeline is a part of the equation, this concept extends far beyond the first stage of the funnel. Demand generation programs stretch across touchpoints and marketing campaigns to build and foster long-term customer relationships.

    You’ll be most effective if you approach it with a plan.

    First, try to establish:

    – What are your goals?
    – Who are you trying to reach – and how should you reach them?
    – What KPIs will help you measure success?

    The Whole Shebang

    Demand generation strategies should take into account buyers at every stage of the cycle – from the first-time lurker to the repeat purchaser.

    Brand Awareness

    Even household names make an effort to broaden their reach, and just because you have a trendy, geometric logo doesn’t mean your web traffic is going to increase. Taking the time to develop your brand identity will equip you with the voice to approach inbound marketing and content generation. This is the hardest stage to measure. How do you know what’s working? Use impressions, views, and other visibility metrics alongside cost per clicks and conversion rates to gauge your marketing ROI.

     

    Lead Nurturing

    It’s important to keep building trust once you establish there’s appetite. Consider the adoption bell curve: Innovators and Early Adopters won’t provide you a sustainable pipeline. Anticipate – and squash – customer hesitations by demonstrating the value you’ve added to other like-minded customers. Testimonials, reviews, and case studies are great proof points to strengthen credibility.  85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

    Whether you can personally follow-up or employ remarketing techniques across channels, you want to stay top-of-mind as the offering that best meets their needs. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, leverage lead scoring methodologies to make sure your marketing and sales resources and priorities are aligned.

    Sales & Customer Retention

    Landing a client shouldn’t be equated to crossing the finish line. Fortunately, your internal support team just grew in conjunction with your profit: sales and customer service resources can help you continue to nurture the relationship and identify customer challenges. Together, look for opportunities to solicit feedback and keep the conversation open, leveraging quantitative and qualitative avenues — have you picked up the phone to ask for feedback? Their observations will likely define the roadmap for your next product features or service offerings. Bonus points: inherently built into every new feature roll-out is a means to stretch your content generation legs and establish your position as a thought leader.

    Existing customers are more than just an opportunity to cross-sell. Keeping them engaged is a key part of your demand generation strategy and will help you establish customer advocates and a better market offering.

    Is anything of value ‘one-size-fits-all’?

    A single message likely won’t resonate with every target audience. Segment each step of the sales cycle into your user personas so you can tailor each experience. Take demographics, communication preferences, and motivations into account so that you (and not the competition) are directly addressing their needs. The goal is to ‘make it personal.

    TL;DR

    Whether we’re talking touchpoints, target audiences, or funnels, your demand generation strategies should encompass a comprehensive look at the buying cycle and target audiences – beyond generating leads. Start with establishing goals and establishing the tools available to you at every stage of engagement. Tailor your techniques to each audience group and be a good listener.

    Effective demand generation programs will provide your sales team qualified leads, provide insight into product improvements, and build long-term customer relationships.