Performance marketing is unlikely to make the intended impact without strategic demand generation. If you are like most business owners, you are understandably uncertain as to what the terms “demand generation” and “performance marketing” mean. Below, we answer the question of “What is demand generation?” and also explain why it is integral to performance marketing.
Demand generation catalyzes interest in a business and its offerings. Performance marketing is best defined as payment for marketing efforts after a specific action is taken on the target customer’s end, be it a click, the completion of a contact form, or an actual sale.
Restrict your marketing efforts and budget to either demand generation or performance marketing and you’ll sabotage your business’s financial future. Here’s why.
Demand generation is centered on creating and delivering substantive content to target customers through consistent engagement on the web. Ideally, demand generation creates meaningful engagement that motivates the target audience to learn more about the business and its value offering.
A business that successfully addresses a customer’s pain point will succeed in catalyzing demand. However, there is no sense in paying for ads on the web or elsewhere if they aren’t noticed by members of the target audience.
Pay-per-click (PPC) ads are an example of performance marketing as they only cost as much as their respective clicks. A PPC ad that receives zero clicks will only spur an opportunity cost for the business in the sense that time and effort are invested in the creation of inbound marketing ads that yield no results.
Performance marketing that limits spending to ads that receive clicks and other forms of response such as the completion of contact forms yields sales, revenue, and potential profitability. The challenge lies in generating sufficient demand that sets the stage for performance marketing efforts to make the intended impact.
Take a moment to consider how your business is perceived by members of your target audience. Though individual consumer psychology differs from one person to the next, buyer personas are characterized by overarching themes. If your target audience is unaware of your company, its products, services, and value proposition, they won’t consider converting.
Alternatively, target prospects made aware of your business and products/services through strategic demand generation are inclined to consider your value offering and eventually convert. The onus is on your marketing and sales team to guide prospects through the sales funnel.
Examples of consumer education and outreach that make your investment in performance marketing worthwhile include:
- Blog posts on your company blog
- Guest blog posts on other relevant blogs
- Free whitepapers
- Social media content
Invest a portion of your marketing budget in demand generation and you will generate sufficient momentum through online content. Even some conventional outbound advertising offline will make your performance marketing efforts that much more impactful.
Each point of contact with target customers through demand generation amplifies your company’s performance marketing all the more. Even a gesture of goodwill such as a no-cost consumer guide, editorial, chatbot, calculator, or another offering will ramp up consumer interest to the point that performance marketing proves not only worthwhile but profitable in the context of the bottom line.
Every penny and second of time invested in demand generation reinforces performance marketing, ensuring your online content is not created and published in vain. The most successful business owners are quick to recognize that it is in their interest to only pay for a legitimate interest that manifests in the form of actual clicks, form completions, and sales.
Demand generation combined with performance marketing creates a unified whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Your business can achieve and maintain consistent growth marketing that generates sales if you are willing to invest in developing an initial web-based momentum. The aim is for your marketing efforts to culminate in a metaphorical critical mass that has the potential to prove unstoppable for the foreseeable future.
Your company’s growth marketing starts with demand generation, continues with economically efficient performance marketing, and results in ever-increasing sales. However, your demand generation will eventually stagnate or regress without continued effort. Remain in touch with your target audience, update your blog and social media at regular intervals, provide your audience with shareable content, and tailor that content to each unique buyer persona.
Make it easy for your target prospects to find you on the web, join your email list, befriend you on social media and convert from strangers into loyal customers. Proactively remove all barriers to conversion and your demand generation combined with performance marketing will stimulate demand without depleting or straining your limited capital.