In our blog posts we have spent time detailing varying marketing strategies and techniques to help bolster your organizations reach and increase your revenue stream.
Today we are going to focus on two methods frequently discussed in marketing strategies and we are going to highlight some key differences and explain why it may seem like there are so many similarities.
Let’s start with a few simple definitions.
The two methods we’ll be discussing today are Lead Generation and Demand Generation.
Lead Generation is defined as the process of attracting leads (your potential customers) into a contact management or marketing software system with the hope of nurturing them throughout the buying process to help convince them about your offerings and then convert them into a paying customer.
Demand Generation is defined as a data-driven marketing strategy that creates awareness of and interest in a company’s offerings through the use of technology.
The main difference between these two is data!
That might lead some to believe that we stand purely for demand generation, but that’s not the case.
What we have found to be true, and to garner our clients the most success is a strategic combination of both lead generation and demand generation.
They are fruit of the same tree; that fruit can be used multiple ways!
Take, for example, something as simple as an apple.
There are countless ways we’ve found to cook and eat apples; we’ve learned different methods and strategies to adapt said apple to whatever dish we are preparing.
The same can be said for these two marketing strategies.
Let’s Break These Strategies Down
Starting with demand generation (hello data!), let’s take a look at what exactly we are doing that falls under this umbrella.
Demand generation is a complex process aimed at a specific goal. Using data gathered from varying touchpoints marketers are able to combine information and reach conclusions about their audience and that audience’s needs.
Remember when we spoke about the Buyer’s Journey? Well demand generation starts at the beginning of the journey— the awareness stage.
Using data we are able to guide a prospective client down a path that leads to use and bypasses our competitors.
We do so by writing blog posts, using social media platforms, maximizing efforts in SEO, and using all the advertising tools we have in our toolkit.
Jumping over to lead generation, we are tackling a new beast— don’t worry, you’ll see how they are simpatico shortly.
Now this can take place before the buyer’s journey, leading them to the path, while we are guiding our potential client down this sales path, or it can take place at the end of the journey.
What we’re doing here is providing these prospective clients with products and information they would love access to, but we require their contact information.
This could include gated content, lead forms, or newsletter sign ups.
What we are doing here is enticing prospective clients to give us their information, granting them access to something that will provide them with relevant and educational information while capturing their information for future uses.
Are you seeing how these two go hand in hand yet?
A marketing strategy isn’t just one thing you are doing to increase your reach, it’s a combination of techniques, tactics and a constantly evolving process your organization undertakes.
This means that both demand generation and lead generation should be used in tangent with one another to have a truly successful strategy.
When crafting your strategy you’ll need to take a look at your current plan and make decisions of where you’d like to go, where and when you’d like to see growth, and what that growth looks like.
Setting those metrics will play a huge part in what tools you implement when. You’ll also need to look at this in the short term and the long term.
Where do you want to be at the end of this week? This month? This year? Without those answers, no matter how great your strategy is, you will be destined to fail.
Imagine you craft a strategy utilizing both lead and demand generation, and you see yourself growing rapidly but you have to plan or infrastructure set up to work with and aid those new clients.
You’ve succeeded in creating a great campaign, but failed at the followthrough— both are necessary to really accomplish your goals.
While many people believe that demand generation is more effective, we have to disagree.
When coupled with demand generation, lead generation doesn’t have to play like a sneaky sales pitch!
It all comes back to the data!
If you understand your potential customers, you know what they want and need, you’ll be able to offer them valuable information through both methods.
Let’s Break It Down
Here’s an example of how lead generation coupled with demand generation can work to obtain new qualified leads.
We have an understanding of what our customers look like, we know who they are in the area, and we know what questions they need answered.
Now imagine we run a culinary brand, selling kitchen utensils, cookware and everything one could need to become their own personal chef.
A potential customer who is curious about our brand and has been searching for new kitchen gadgets is led to our website through our targeted social media ads and our social pages.
This individual is known to us at this point, but they haven’t made a purchase yet. Once on the site, they get a notification to sign up for our weekly newsletter.
That invitation explains that with each email, readers get access to coupon codes, recipes from celebrity chefs and tutorials on our gadgets.
Our client is intrigued and signs up for the newsletter. Her curiosity is appeased after browsing the site, but no purchase is made, at least not yet.
Now that this client has signed up for your emails— a tactic that falls into the lead generation category— they won’t be able to forget about your brand and all you have to offer.
Furthermore, because those emails will contain information and details that your client base craves, this customer is more likely to remain a reader and be driven back to your site and eventually make a purchase.
This details just one individual but when these methods are actually implemented you could have thousands of potential clients who just aren’t ready to make a purchase yet view your site, and because of the strategy you have in place, you aren’t losing them when they log off, you’ve formed a connection with them and it’s likely you’ll see them again.
Data provides us with the information we need to create the content our clients crave.
Without that data, we’d be losing individuals who may be the perfect clients before they even have a chance to see what your organization can do.
Two is Better Than One
The winning combination of lead generation and demand generation is still fraught with confusion in the marketing field.
Some find that lead generation is almost duping a client into your rolodex and they only see the upside to demand generation.
This may be true in some cases, but it is important to remember there is room for versatility within all marketing techniques, a method is a framework not a step by step tutorial.
Instead of duping clients we encourage you to provide them with information they can truly obtain value from, so they won’t feel tricked into giving you their contact information, and you start your relationship with them from a place of aid and knowledge instead of trickery and sleazy sales pitches.
The main goal of both of these processes is to acquire clients and increase your brand’s visibility.
Why only tackle those goals from one angle when more are offered. Just remember to strategize, plan for the future and grow along with your client base.
If you do that, you will see just how wonderful these two work together and you’ll wonder why you weren’t doing this before!
- Data is your friend—be sure to obtain it, understand it, and use it!
- Versatility breeds ingenuity! Don’t remain in the preset confines of these marketing techniques, use them as a jumping point and make them work in your favor, in your way!
- Two is better than one. Combining methods, creating a plan of action, and adjusting along the way is how to achieve success. Get creative and forge your own path.
Account management services play a special role within marketing organizations.
It’s their job to work with clients on a day to day basis and to help achieve the client’s goals and represent their company in non-support customer interactions.
These teams and individuals are tasked with contract renewals, planning long term and short term goals with clients, and conducting research and working as the middle man across channels for their client.
They work to make sure you are provided with exceptional work across the board.
They’ll sit in on meetings, make sure projects are working in alignment with your organization’s long term and short term goals and report back to you, our client, their findings.
Now, we understand that lead generation is the marketing process of stimulating and capturing interest in a product or service for the purpose of developing a sales pipeline.
So how do these two work in tandem?
Though we live in a digital age, we haven’t forgotten the value of human intervention! What we are doing now is taking a look at the other side of the marketing world.
The inner workings depend on individuals who are knowledgeable in marketing and skilled communicators.
Those individuals shine as account managers.
You’re probably wondering, “How does any of that help an organization generate leads?”
I knew that would be your next question— so I’ve prepared some answers!
Alignment: Lead generation is all about acquiring clients, that’s clear enough, but how many clients are you looking for?
It’s easy to ask for all the clients in the world, it’s a whole other story to actually be prepared to take that many new and needy individuals on.
Also, depending on what business you’re in, maybe it’s just one sector you are looking to grow or perhaps you’re just testing the waters to see what is possible before you make a big move.
Without the answers to these questions a lead generation campaign is useless and can actually do more harm than good.
You’re not expected to know all of that though, the experts you hire are there to help you navigate the new terrain and help you make the smartest decisions. An account manager will meet with you and understand your organization and your needs before anything begins.
The two of you will work together to form a plan, set goals, and envision a future.
Without that individual advocating for you, your campaign may go array, and that’s not to say those who work to generate your leads are incompetent, instead, they are doing exactly what they are trained to do— an account manager works with you to provide guidelines and those guidelines are set to ensure your success and focus on your individual brands needs.
Partnership: Your account manager will work to build a partnership between your organization and their own.
They win only when you win, so the goal is to fight for your success and represent your team when you aren’t in the room.
Your job is to run your organization, their job is to make sure you are reaching the goals you two set; they do so by attending marketing meetings, working with account executives, understanding the inner workings of their platform and knowing yours.
Your account manager is who you reach out to for explanations regarding your returns, they are the ones who deal with you on a day to day basis and they work to make you happy and they work to prove themselves profitable.
They play an interesting role, both an employee and an advocate.
Imagine you are working with an account manager and they aren’t able to differentiate you from their other clients on calls, they can’t answer questions when you ask them, and they aren’t passionate when they speak to you.
Do you think the leads you’re getting will work out well for you? Do you think that an account manager is working to ensure your needs are met if they aren’t even sure who you are?
There is the proof in the efficacy of this type of partnership. An account manager that knows your businesses inner workings and needs, as though it’s their own.
An account manager that fights for you when you aren’t there, that account manager will get you strong leads and that account manager is vital to your success.
Building Relationships: When you find success with a lead generating platform, it’s not only because of stellar technology (although we have that as well), it’s also due to the efforts of your account manager.
Any happy client will tell you, a knowledgeable and accessible account manager could count for half the reason a client remains.
It’s impossible to promise wins across the board, errors will be made, adjustments will be necessary, but when those issues arise a client doesn’t want to call a 1-800 number and speak to a random representative.
Calling someone with an understanding of your business, a comprehension of your products and a relationship with you seems like a far more successful solution.
Issues will be dealt with swiftly, there would be no need for explanations. That relationship, the client and the account manager, is one of mutual benefit and mutual destruction.
If your account manager isn’t doing their job well, they stand to lose a client and if you don’t have a dedicated individual assigned to you, you are left to your own devices.
An account manager that works alongside you can keep you on as a client for life, and if your goals are being met , you’ll never want to stray!
Communication: Communication is key, always! We’ve discussed alignment and partnership; encompassing the both of those is communication.
Communication is paramount in any relationship but especially in a relationship like this one. Your account manager is needed to communicate to you and for you.
They’ll need to understand your goals but more importantly they’ll need to know when they can push you forward or warn you that you may need to pump the brakes.
They’ll also need to communicate your needs and the goals you set to other teams within their organization.
It’s one thing to have an account manager that understands your goals, but to have someone who can speak to them is essential.
Again, this is a major component in regard to lead generation! If your account manager isn’t able to verbalize the metrics you’ve set and why you’ve set them the entire process falls apart.
Reporting: Marketing strategies require adjustments, changes, edits, and do overs.
There are things that happen daily and it would be impossible for individuals running organizations to keep tabs on all of that.
Luckily you don’t have you!
Your account manager keeps track of leads, changes in data and trends, they know what is work and what might need some adjusting and they are ready to break it all down for you.
Whether you work on weekly or monthly calls, your account manager knows the answers to every question you may have, and they have a detailed view of the journey taken to get you your results.
Account managers are tasked with closely monitoring how your organization is performing and how that aligns with your goals.
They know the in’s and out’s of all the analytical tools being used and they know when a call needs to be made or a change needs to happen.
Account Management Services: The Golden New Standard
Lead generation and account management services go hand in hand.
Can one work without the other, sure, but why should they when there is only an upside?
We are able to glean things from data other organizations aren’t, but we also understand the holistic view of marketing.
We’ve hired account managers, adept at the holistic view of marketing.
Account managers who are trained not only to understand our technology and process, but individuals who’s background make them amazing communicators and advocates for their clients.
Your leads will be strong, with a higher probability to convert because you’ve got a teammate on the ground, making sure the work is down properly.
We work to provide our clients with the best results humanly— and technologically— possible.
We do so by utilizing our state of the art AI and machine learning platform and by hiring individuals who see the future of marketing and technology, and are ready to usher organizations like yours, there alongside us.
An effective account manager has the ability to revamp your entire program and bring life back into your processes.
An effective account manager works to ensure the leads generated are the best possible.
An effective account manager knows who you are.