“Your north star for 2023 should be to become the BEST at creating demand.” - Chris Walker
Ok, let’s unpack this a little more.
Most marketing and sales teams today dedicate the majority of their time and resources trying to find and capture existing demand (the roughly ~3-5% in the market who show intent to buy - P.S. I'm being generous w/ that percentage).
We see this through tactics such as:
But in merely focusing on capturing existing demand, many companies (especially in B2B) are leaving a ton of opportunity on the table.
Today, we’re starting to see modern brands broaden their reach and increase opportunity by focusing on demand creation, which speaks to 100% of the total addressable market.
With branding and value at its core, some of these demand-creation tactics can include:
Hosting a podcast
Writing a weekly newsletter
Launching a private community
Hosting live events (virtual or in-person)
The goal: To be THE choice when future customers are ready to buy.
This isn't to suggest we stop focusing on "capturing" demand - rather, we build an integrated strategy that helps our consumers along the buying journey and makes their decision-making process that much easier.
So, if demand creation is on your radar for 2023 - here’s a quick, 3-step plan to get you moving in this direction.
A / Build and execute a content strategy that delivers enormous value to future customers
Get crystal clear on WHO your future customer is (demographics, pain points, interests, goals, etc.)
Choose content topics they find most relevant, helpful, and engaging
Select a weekly “content-driven pillar” to deliver value-based content. Here are a few ideas:
Insightful and relevant newsletter
Podcast featuring interviews with industry experts and influencers
Private community promoting peer support, knowledge, exchange of information, & professional growth
Live events, webinars, or workshops focused on professional development, networking, and skill-building
Build out a content calendar outlining topics, formats, publishing dates, etc. to maintain consistency
Explore partnering up with industry influencers and experts to add credibility to your content and broaden your reach.
B / Use pillar content to fuel your online presence, build community, and drive engagement.
Identify key social platforms or forums your future customers are “hanging out” on and focus your efforts here
Transform your pillar content into bite-sized excerpts, highlights, and visuals to share and engage with your social followers
Develop a social media posting schedule that compliments your content calendar
Double down on distributing content your audience finds most valuable
Interact and engage with current and future customers and industry thought-leaders by responding to comments, asking questions, and seeking out opportunities to connect with others
Always. be. testing. - Experiment and tweak your content and strategy based on your audience’s response
C / Amplify your top-performing content and messaging via paid media
Select paid platforms that align with your ideal customer profile (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.)
Build ad creatives that highlight your top-performing content
Set up targeting parameters to reach your future customers
Regularly monitor, experiment, and test to optimize to maximize the impact of your efforts
This plan above is just the first step in getting your brand's momentum up and running on creating demand for your business.
Thriving in today's market requires a shift in marketing/sales mindset.
It calls for marketers and sales professionals to move from spending the majority of their time and marketing dollars trying to chase existing demand (~3-5% of the market) - And instead, balance this with value-driven content that attracts 100% of the market, helping to consistently position your brand as the go-to choice when it's time to buy.
This isn't to say we stop focusing on capturing demand - rather, through demand creation tactics we feed the pipeline with more qualified opportunities in the long run, making conversion that much easier when our customers are ready to buy.
P.S. I first learned the concept of create vs capture demand from Chris Walker of Refine Labs. Follow him here for expert insight on creating demand.
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