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Demand Generation Software 2020: Complete Guide

What is Demand Generation?

It used to be that the Sales Team was directly responsible for acquiring new customers, creating a retention strategy for them, and ensuring that adequate opportunities were created to up-sell or cross-sell at these customer sites. It was also the Sales Team that was directly responsible for the generation of Revenue. In the newly evolving competitive scenario, Senior Executives of organizations are mounting more and more pressure on Marketing teams to link their marketing efforts to Revenue directly. It is this newly evolved scenario that has led to the term, “Demand Generation.”

As the term suggests, Demand Generation is a process of generating demand for your products or services through a series of focused targeted marketing programs, which should ultimately lead to new revenue. In the newly evolved scenario, generating demand is a collaborative effort of the Marketing and Sales Team, who work together on leads/pipeline management through the entire sales cycle encompassing everything from the Suspect stage to Customer Retention stage.

Demand Generation is not just about enabling the Marketing team to contribute towards the generation of Revenue. It also allows them to have a hands-on approach to understanding which of their marketing programs are working and which are not meeting the expectations. This allows them to continually moderate, iterate, improve, and change based on market needs.

When this concept first came in vogue, Marketing Teams engaged in accomplishing this task manually by tracking leads from the suspect stage to the revenue generation stage. At that time, technology was not in place to track, filter, and prioritize leads, and hence, the analysis would be done on batches of leads. In managing enormous volumes of leads in bulk rather than individually, much time and energy are wasted on unqualified leads. Hence, the need arose to automate the process with some business intelligence built into it to manage leads effectively and help them convert into customers by personalizing the whole customer experience. This led to the birth of Demand Generation Software.

What is Demand Generation Software?

Demand Generation Software is the new-age marketing process that aids marketing professionals in promoting new products, creating awareness and demand for products and solutions on offer, and expanding to new markets. This is a multi-faceted tool that helps in engaging and in the follow-up process with a lead, right from when the lead may be classified as a ‘prospect’ until she is converted into a Customer.

What is Demand Generation Software?

Demand Generation Software helps amalgamate the Marketing Process and the Sales Process seamlessly from the lead generation stage through to customer retention processes using the following broad steps.

  • Campaign management is done to attract customers
  • Interaction with leads begins as part of customer engagement management
  • Proper communication management ensures that communication and content most relevant to the customer are sent and/or published
  • Tracking and monitoring the results of this communication in terms of customer response leads to opportunity identification
  • The Sales Team steps in for opportunity closure and conversion to sale
  • Loyalty management processes kick in to help in retaining the customer

In the B2B space, Demand Generation Software identifies organizations that visit a company website without the need to ask them to fill any forms. They can screen out individuals and bots to arrive at organizing relevant leads. They can provide a complete trail of how an organization spent time on a website, details of the organization when they last visited the website, how much time they spent, which relevant sections were accessed, and what was the path they took to reach the website. Once the process of lead capture is done, marketers nurture these leads with relevant information to create opportunities, and it is at this stage that the qualified leads are handed over to the sales team for closure.

All lead generation is demand generation. You can not generate a lead without demand.

A F

Anne Fleshman

Autopilot

Social Media is the modern-day Billboard, which plays a key role in brand building. Surveys suggest that 69% of adults and 88% of companies are on social media, which makes a strong case to search for leads on social media. Surveys show that - “71% of commercial buyers begin their research with Google search. 95% of consumers read online business reviews, and 85% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation”. Social Media Management plays a key role in the Demand Generation. It provides insight into customer behavior patterns based on their preference of social network, content access, pain areas, purchase behavior, and feedback mechanism. Social media analytics helps run robust campaign management based on customer interest patterns. The advantage of social media management is that all the information related to the customer is available almost on a real-time basis – right from the path by which the customer(s) reached and accessed the information, the amount of time spent, through to the next logical move. Insight into this behavioral pattern can lead to the creation of appropriate advertisements and content management in such a manner that only relevant information is fed to keep the interest alive. The important part of social media strategy is to build trustworthy relationships with your audience where they don’t just look at you as a seller but also as an advisor to resolve their pain points.

What are the Key Features of Demand Generation Software

Key modules of Demand Generation Software include

  • Track and Filter
  • Lead Management
  • Content Creation and Management
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Management
  • WebForms
  • Messengers
  • Online Help
  • Interactive Tutorials
  • File Import Facility
  • Integration with CRMs
  • Analytics and Machine Learning capability

Who are the Users of Demand Generation Software?

Demand Generation Software is industry agnostic and can cater to any industry vertical. It can fit any business size too! Some of the major industry users are Software companies, Media and Publishing houses, Healthcare, Education, Travel & Tourism, Consumer Products, and Financial Services.

The sales team owns the sales funnel. But as B2B marketer, you feed the top of their funnel.

D K

Doug Kessler

Co-founder, Velocity Partners

End Users of this software tend to be Marketing and Sales Teams, who, as described above, use their Demand Generation muscle to work in tandem, like in a team sport, to achieve operational excellence in creating substantially higher quality marketing impact.

What are the Benefits of Demand Generation Software?

What are the Benefits of Demand Generation Software?

Demand generation software is meant for marketers to manage the customer life cycle from being a lead or a prospect to a repeat customer. The software can help the marketers segment the customers, engage them appropriately, and build long term relationships. Some products enable targeted content distribution for maximizing engagement. The software can also be used to generate interest and leads for the current, new, or next-gen products, and manage the leads from the capture through conversion. Some of the software products can also support conversion optimization and sales; in those cases, the software becomes a platform to align Marketing and Sales teams. Recent genre these Software products can also address demand generation through social media.

The lead generation process starts by finding out where your target market ‘lives’ on the web.

W D

Wayne Davis

Buyers Guide to Demand Generation Software

The Demand Generation category encompasses a wide range of marketing and sales activities. It overlaps with many other categories such as Campaign Management Software, Content Marketing Software, Marketing Automation Software, Lead Management software, and so on. The first step then is to be clear on the business needs, and then, to focus on the software category.

For instance, Demand Generation Software can aid in cleaning up and deduplication of customer databases by analyzing data from responses, participation in market surveys, user campaigns, and inbound marketing. The emphasis you will place on this capability is necessarily different for different businesses. Bringing clarity to the processes that need to be addressed is the first step in software selection.

Once the list of capabilities is well established, each of the process areas would have its own demands on software capabilities. For example, being able to access the data in your databases (data import) is a critical requirement to deliver clean and deduplicated datasets.

Similarly, for managing any customer engagement, you may need to ensure that the software is GDPR compliant.

Since Demand Generation Software covers a fairly intensive process spanning pretty much all customer interaction interfaces, deploying it is quite an involved commitment. It is important to assess the need and extent of business process migration, including change management.

You will also need to assess the integration needs with your existing marketing stack.

Many software products address a specific set of industry verticals well. Demand Generation software is no different. Similarly, the size of the business can be a determining factor for the kind of software required. It is important to prioritize the products that have a significant presence in your industry and segment.

Given the sensitive nature of the data managed by the software, security considerations play a significant role.

Other common considerations for all software product purchases include the total cost of ownership (including costs beyond price, such as implementation costs, training costs), support capabilities of the vendors, and Cloud versus on-site implementation.

ROI of Demand Management Software

The best way to arrive at ROI calculations for Demand Generation Software could be to compare the traditional and automated modes of the sales process, starting from lead generation and extending all the way to closure. The metrics that could be taken into consideration are success percentage, average lead cost, the average cost per acquisition, average deal size, and the time taken to close a deal. Another important factor that could be taken into consideration is Customer Lifetime Value representing the amount of money that a customer might spend on the company’s products during their ‘customer lifetime’.

It would also be ideal to classify the deals by their size and the kind of campaigns run to close such deals. This will give a clear picture to arrive at insights into which modes of campaign work the best, and will also help in terms of customer profiling for building future sales strategies.

Trends and AI in Demand Generation Software

Moving forward, B2B Marketing Teams will leverage the power of technology in personalizing content to resonate with the needs of the customer to make it more relevant for a faster decision-making process.

Use of a combination of Machine Learning, AI, Social Media, modern and evolving technology tools will be the new means for lead generation, and this will happen at a fraction of the investment with a better rate of success than the traditional model.

AI solutions help in analyzing large sets of data to create solutions that can be independent and can improve productivity by offloading tasks to bots, such as handling messenger queries through chatbots through predictive algorithms on a 24*7 basis thereby reducing the cost of trained executives.

Instead of white papers and brochures, Video Marketing will be a new trend for educating audiences about products and solutions. It is suggested that Videos will make 80% of the consumer online traffic, with some platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube taking the lead among social media platforms for Video Marketing.

Since all customers may not be on the same platform, the use of multi-channel strategies will be adopted for effective reach. The content will be amplified across multiple channels like Social Media, Email Newsletters, Content Distribution Platforms, Online Ads, Online Groups.

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