Factors Limiting Business Growth: Demand Generation
While there are many factors that limit business growth, demand generation issues are one of the most common bottlenecks small and medium businesses face. Many businesses focus on generating large volumes of traffic. While this can work, there will be limiting factors that arise including decreasing purchase frequencies, smaller average orders, and lost market share.
What are Some of the Most Common Demand Generation Issues?
The first common problem businesses face is the lack of leads. They invest a lot of money into advertising and marketing campaigns to drive traffic. The problem is these web visitors don’t end up converting into leads. In order for a business to get value from their advertising and marketing, there needs to be a solid strategy in place to engage visitors and convert them into leads.
The second common problem is focusing too much on generating leads. Some businesses are incredibly good at generating leads and use their core competency to generate as many leads as possible. However, the quality of the leads is just as important as the quantity. To control costs, it is vital to track campaigns and evaluate the ROI from each lead source.
The third common problem businesses face is growth plateaus. Companies need to be active with their sales and marketing campaigns. A system to constantly improve traffic volumes, conversion rates, and profitability is imperative. Companies also need to be willing to expand into new channels with which they are unfamiliar. This activity works to find new revenue sources or even combine various channels to improve existing campaigns.
How to Address These Demand Generation Issues
Demand generation is a complex process. It’s important to understand buyers don’t follow a linear customer journey. In many cases, they drive their own buyer’s journey by using a variety of channels, consuming different types of content, and getting feedback from other customers. As a result, businesses need to be sophisticated in their approach if they want to win over these customers.
Companies must ensure they are found in all the major channels their customers are on (Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Reddit, Wall Street Journal, etc.). They need to create quality content rather than mass publishing average content their customers can find anywhere else. This will differentiate their brand and business from competitors. The content also must address customers at every stage of the buying journey to bring all types of leads into their marketing funnel.
Additionally, a concentrated effort is necessary to build a brand. Active campaigns collect reviews, testimonials, and general feedback. This will convert more leads and customers especially since this information is readily available on Google. It is also beneficial to create a community behind a brand. Companies use tools like Reddit, Facebook groups, forums, and blogs to build a relationship with their audience and forge brand ambassadorship.
The Strategic Side of Demand Generation
Things need to change on the strategic front as well. Rather than following a linear strategy like a follow-up sequence, companies need to react to buyers in real time. For example, companies can use tags to follow the buyer’s journey and send out an email marketing promotion if the buyer has been tagged by specific criteria. Now companies can take action on prospects that have come across content or sales material known to increase the likelihood making a buying decision.
Companies need to go beyond lead generation with the focus on maximizing the value of the lead or customer. This is done through proper lead scoring, personalization, and analytics data. Businesses must be tracking the actions leads are taking, basing promotions on past purchases, and constantly testing new marketing campaigns to grow the value of each customer. In most cases, the cost of acquiring the customer far exceeds efforts into maximizing the value of each customer.
Finally, companies need to use technology to enable their strategy. After creating a demand generation strategy, businesses need to find a platform to help them execute it. Ideally, the platform should work with multiple channels, allow for the creation of dynamic campaigns, and integrate a CRM or have CRM functionalities to take advantage of customer profiles. Full attribution tracking is usually the best solution, especially when used with tags, dynamic content delivery, and general customer analytics data.
The bottom line? Companies need to see beyond their traffic and lead generation campaigns. Very few businesses are focusing on demand generation right now. But with the competition getting tougher each passing year, demand generation is vital to getting an edge in the industry and claiming a bigger share of the market.