Every generation has its iconic, must-have product. Though the products may have changed, the mission for marketers has not: How do we create fervent demand for our product or service in a heady, always-on, consumer-connected environment?
The good news is that consumers, in their quest to find the next "perfect thing" upon which to lavish their cash, leave behind a passel of digital information. These bits and bytes, and the new tools to harness them, have dramatically changed the art of demand generation. These tools can be optimized to provide an organization with a continuous pulse of its digital presence.
Here are seven essential strategies to succeed at demand generation:
1. User Engagement: The customer is now behind the steering wheel and able to learn everything they need to know about your company or offering with just a few clicks or taps. With so many resources, why not offer the consumer YOUR take, in a rich, informative and interesting way? Landing pages and microsites are great ways to capture mindshare about your company, product or service, but be sure to embrace your consumer in dialog and not just spew information in their direction.
2. Content: Content is key to the success of lead generation, lead nurturing or customer marketing, and it should clearly support your value proposition and address the multiple personas and selling stages. You must enable your customers to share your content liberally, on multiple platforms, within their business and social networks. Remember that insightful curation of content will help consumers avoid overload and will help the message to stick.
3. Search Marketing: A decisive majority of buying decisions start online, whether B2C or B2B. If your company is not yet adept at hiking its information to the top of search results, it's relatively easy to do so. An article in Forbes recently outlined some best practices, which include choosing appropriate keywords, ensuring mobile optimization for your content, providing links to and from other portals, and building a solid social media presence. Google recently expanded its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. Test your site mobile friendliness here.
4. Predictive Lead Scoring: Predictive scoring increases data points significantly when compared to traditional lead scoring. It allows marketers to take internal data from CRM systems (e.g., historical win/loss and transaction information) and marketing automation databases, and combine it with data from the web and social media. The resulting lead scores are much better predictors of actual buying behavior.
5. Digital Media: Display advertising, location-based mobile marketing, personalized media, social advertising, retargeting, persona targeting, as well as email and affiliate marketing, are all essential components of the paid paradigm. Whichever you choose, they all offer the unique benefit of enhanced tracking and data mining. Ideally, any paid media should lead to user engagement and ultimately, to a buying decision.
6. Mobile Marketing: In 2014, mobile devices finally surpassed desktops in data consumption, which means your mindset must be "mobile first." Beyond "responsive design," it's important to consider things like "geo-targeting," mobile-specific advertising campaigns, and dedicated mobile apps. See my blog on mobile marketing for more details.
7. Marketing Technologies and Data: Data provides a rich understanding of customers and prospects in terms of their profiles, interest in different company offerings and content, social media engagement, etc. By analyzing the data and understanding the differences in these customers and prospects, you can develop more relevant strategies for engaging them. These can include search, content, mobile, and any other form of marketing making your spending even smarter and more efficient.
Today's marketer has access to a new world of tools to dynamically process sales trends and target the right messages at the right prospects using the right media. Make today the day that you start using these tools and strategies to fuel both demand generation -- and revenue growth.
Ameeta is CMO at PlatformQ Health, a digital media company focusing on the healthcare sector. Previously, she served as CMO at ChiefOutsiders, an"Executives-as-a-Service" firm helping grow early-stage and mid-sized companies. Ameeta is a Springboard alum and past chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge.