How to kickstart your Demand Generation Program in 4 steps!

November 5, 2023
November 9, 2023
Marketing Operations Optimization
"Demand Generation Infinite Loop"

Marketers and business people spend copious time on the sales funnel and how to improve it. A lead comes in, you nurture them, your sales team talks to them, they become a customer. The end. Once they have purchased your goods or services, the lead falls off your radar. Surely that's all that is needed in a demand generation program?

This thought process is definitely going by the wayside nowadays as people have realized the importance of customer retention. For that reason, the traditional sales funnel is better visualized as an infinity loop instead of a leaky funnel:

  •  A lead comes in
  • They are identified on your website through gated content, form-fill or other means,
  • They are nurtured, handed off to sales, 
  • Become a customer and the process begins again, as we earn the privilege to renew their business.

Since demand generation programs span this entire loop, it is best to break them down into 4 categories. 

  1. Awareness 
  2. Nurturing 
  3. Sales enablement 
  4. Customer retention 
Demand Generation Infinite Loop
The Customer Journey Infinite Loop ensures that leads don't fall off and get forgotten after they become customers. I small change from the traditional lead funnel.

As a lead enters and makes their way through our customer journey loop, they pass through marketing where they build awareness, engage with marketing materials, and receive nurture content until they are ready to be handed off to sales. As sales goes through their process, they guide the lead to becoming a customer and hand them off to the support and success teams. As they become an engaged client, we have training, videos, case studies, upsell opportunities and various other interactions where demand generation can be implemented again to continue to delight the customer in preparation for renewal, where the process begins again and we earn the privilege to their continued business.

What is Demand Generation?

Demand Generation is the execution of a data-driven market strategy that generates awareness and interest in a service or product. Through technology, demand generation is responsible for every interaction in the buyer’s journey.

A Demand Generation program focuses on optimizing the performance of your marketing initiatives to generate leads, nurture them, and create sales qualified leads. This program needs to have content that helps guide the lead through the demand generation loop or traditional funnel, via marketing automation. Marketing and sales alignment is key. Knowing what kind of information is necessary at which step, having alerts and scoring in place to help communicate to sales where the lead is in the process and when they are ready to buy.

Read more about what demand gen is and how to get started with your planning here.

Where to start with your Demand Generation Program

Step 1: Show me the data

The first place to begin when creating a demand generation program is understanding your lead sources, buying signals, and content requirements. Data is your best friend. Determining which channels are the most effective for delivering content will be important. I always like to establish your "Marketing Pillars". This helps you to determine where is the best place to spend your effort. Which marketing channel is your most lucrative for lead generation? Which has the highest cost per lead? In a typical offering, you might have: 

  • events, 
  • webinars, 
  • website content, 
  • emails, 
  • PPC, 
  • social media.

From there you will want to determine your internal process, aligning content with different stages of the customer’s journey and determining which of your content pieces are the highest performers. 

Step 2: Determine the journey

In an ideal situation, what is required to warm up a cold lead and hand it off to your sales team to close the deal? How long does your sales process take? How can you speed that up? One great place to look for answers to these questions is talking to your customers as opposed to your sales team. Obviously, you need to consult them as well, but if you really want an unbiased view, the client is the place to go. They will likely appreciate being involved in the process and this is a great step in developing a relationship and building trust for future renewals and up-sells. 

After that, you want to compare this to your internal processes. Looking for places to automate customer touchpoints so that it looks personal is key. A lot of buyers will delete a typical marketing email without even reading; no matter how carefully you craft that subject line. But, a one-on-one, text email will likely see a lot higher open and click through rate. The main reason for this is that people assume email is a personal interaction. That being said, there is no reason that you can’t automate that first touch!

Step 3: Build it out

With the preparations done in previous steps, this is the easy part. Determining the best automation tools, how to create all of the processes, and ultimately optimize your buyers journey. Having the tools in place will allow you to collect data and further optimize your processes as you go. These days, there are lots of tools on the market that allow small-medium sized businesses to automate their marketing actions. What was reserved for the mega rich companies, is now feasible for smaller companies to optimize with marketing automation.  Automate manual tasks, free up your sales and marketing teams to make more connections and create better content to reach those elusive prospects!  

Our team at the Yellow House have worked with multiple tools for all sizes of organizations and can help you find the best fit for you or work with your existing tools! 

Step 4: Optimize and iterate 

Having worked in demand generation for over a decade, I know first hand that the role of a demand gen marketer never ends. You are constantly reviewing channel performance, experimenting with messaging and marketing pillars to drive efficiency, journey optimization, and revenue. As your organization runs with a process, it will often change as staff turnover occurs, new sales processes come into play, or the buyers want content at a different pace. It is important to review content and channel performance on a regular basis and have a demand generation program that is flexible to adapt to change. 

About Yellow House Marketing:

We work with organizations of various sizes to help optimize their buyers' journey. They come to us with a gap in their customer infinity loop. Whether it’s selling beer online, generating more leads through social media, developing content for different parts of the buyer’s journey or developing full fledge marketing operations strategies to implement marketing automation software. We take a holistic approach to optimizing marketing operations. Having worked with a variety of budgets and scopes, we have experience working with everything from simple solutions to large scale MarTech solutions, like Salesforce, Marketo and Pardot.

Download our Free demand generation Planning Guide

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