Demand generation in 2022 is more challenging than ever. There are endless channels to get your message across to potential customers. With more channels and more competition comes more noise. Marketers are trying to perfect both messaging and channel distribution to best engage their audience. 

If you want to ensure your company has a steady, predictable stream of new leads that convert to customers, you’ll need to examine your demand generation marketing strategy.

We talked with Preethi Sundaram, Vimeo’s Director of International Marketing, to understand the fundamentals of demand generation, how marketers around the globe can create campaigns that resonate with their target audience, and where video can help.

What is demand generation marketing?

Demand generation marketing focuses on bringing prospective leads to your company by generating demand and interest for their company’s product or service. 

Within organizations, demand gen marketing sits between the product and sales teams and works collaboratively to inform audiences and drum up excitement about products. 

The last few years have seen major changes in the industry. Five years ago, you could post on social media and get a decent turnout to your event. But now, there are more channels to create brand awareness, from webinars to digital marketing to Google Ads. That’s been a huge boon, because it allows you to distribute your message widely, from multiple angles. 

At the same time, there’s a lot of noise to cut through in order to stand out from the crowd. The people you’re marketing to have seen it all and are increasingly inundated with messaging from other brands. 
Not only do demand gen marketers have to know their audience in and out, they also have to be nimble, creative, persistent and — most importantly — patient with their messaging.

3 challenges of demand generation

Demand generation marketing is a more dynamic, ever evolving field, but comes with a few key challenges.

1. Thinking long term

Demand generation is about building brand awareness for people who may not be familiar with your company or your product. However, with more competition than ever before and shorter attention spans, demand gen marketers have to spend more time building relationships and nurturing leads than ever before.

2. Your audience is savvier than ever

Generally, the people you’re marketing to have a lot of access to their company’s capital. That makes them uniquely discerning about the needs of their company and what they need. Catering to this group requires lots of preparation, careful messaging, and being able to anticipate and answer any question that comes your way.

3. More competition, more channels

The world of virtual communications is opening up, and demand generation — a relatively new role — is seeing explosive growth. But as a result, it’s on marketers to keep their finger on the pulse and be able to stand out and anticipate changing expectations from their customers.

How to build your demand generation marketing strategy

Building a demand generation strategy starts with your audience. Take the time to understand who they are, do research, and discover insights to help you pinpoint all the areas that matter most. From there, you can build a strategy that tailors your message, creative assets, and distribution to suit their needs.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how to get started with your strategy with an audience-first approach:

1. Know your audience

A marketing strategy starts with who you’re marketing to. Before any strategy planning begins, you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • What do you know about your audience? 
  • What are they in the market for? 
  • What do buying cycles look like? 
  • What size and type of company do they work for? 

Once you have a solid profile of your target audience, you can begin to figure out how to reach them.

2. Know how to find them

Getting your message out to the right audience starts with figuring out where you can easily reach them. You can start investigating the places where your audience is most engaged by asking the following:

  • Where do they live and on what platforms are they most active? 
  • Are they going to events? 
  • Are they on Instagram? 
  • Are they avid users of email? Do they attend online webinars? 
  • Are they part of associations or groups? 
  • What type of content are they consuming?

Pro tip: It helps to have reporting data from past campaigns and to be frequently in contact with your sales team to share insights about your potential customers.

3. Understand their pain points

Demand generation marketers generate demand. The easiest way to do that is by being especially attuned to not just who your audience is, but what they actually need. That means being able to identify their pain points and areas where they might be struggling so that you can create messaging, assets, and experiences that help them solve those problems.

4. Propose a solution

Demand generation marketing is most effective when it’s focused on finding a meaningful solution that produces results for your customers, rather than simply focusing on the product. 

For example, over the past few years, marketers were struggling with transitioning their in-person events online. Vimeo Events was uniquely positioned to offer a solution to that particular problem. Being able to tap into that very real pain point helped us not only prove our product but also earn the trust of our customers.

5. Find ways to engage and distribute

After you know who your audience is, where to find them, and what their needs are, it’s time to start packaging your message. What’s the most engaging, unique, and attractive format for your content? If interactive video has swept your industry, can you do more of it? And what’s not delivering the impact that you want?

Using what you know about where your audiences are and what type of leads your sales team needs, you can start crafting a distribution plan.

6. Measure your responses

Set up metrics for your results. What’s your KPI (key performance indicator)? Who are you trying to get into your sales pipeline? Do you have target personas, audiences, or segments that you’re focused on attracting? Do you have opportunity or revenue targets?

Take time to understand what your success metrics look like and work with your cross-functional team to determine what

5 tips on building an effective demand generation strategy in 2022

As you’ve likely guessed by now, demand generation is much more than just building brand awareness. It takes equal measures of creativity, technical know-how and interdepartmental collaboration to plan and execute a demand gen marketing strategy. That said, here are a few tried and true pieces of advice for a truly effective demand generation strategy.

1. Know what’s coming up internally

You should be constantly abreast of new products and features from your product team so you can plan accordingly and understand what’s expected of you and your team.

2. Sales is your best friend

Demand generation marketers support the sales department, in that they’ll let you know what types of leads they need and what kind of educational support your customers should be prepped with. But it’s not a one way street: The sales department is probably the most valuable source of information you’ve got in the company.

3. Have a plan and communicate with all key stakeholders

You’ll want to start planning your campaign six months out and make sure all relevant parties know what you’re doing at all times.

4. Don’t get caught up in the FOMO

There’s a million and one channels to get your message out and more on the way. That being said, don’t stress out if you’re not doing what everyone else is doing. Instead of focusing on each individual piece of content — which can quickly lead to burnout — think about larger, integrated campaigns that can be broken up into different pieces. Your audience will also tell you whether you need to be on the hot new trend to reach them.

5. Know what works

A successful strategy relies on being able to create predictable patterns for demand. Here at Vimeo, we’re lucky to have access to a powerful events platform for webinars, hybrid events and conferences. This helps us distribute our content to a wide range of people through multiple channels, and receive detailed reporting data about our attendees. 

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