Demand Generation is an inbound marketing process that focuses on invoking demand for your products/services amongst your prime market segments. Rather than pursuing prospective customers with persuasive selling, it propagates higher product/service awareness, brand recognition, and building credibility. While lead generation involves soliciting contact details and proactively following up with prospects, demand generation draws in potential customers organically.
No doubt, B2B demand generation is a much-discussed topic in corporate talks nowadays. But it is equally important to highlight the importance of B2C demand generation, especially for the retail industry.
5-Fold Importance of Demand Generation in the Retail Sector
- Being a targeted marketing initiative to drive product awareness and arouse interest, it is an important revenue-driving activity.
- Demand generation involves streamlining various inbound marketing campaigns by tailoring their offerings as per the latest customer requirements. This leads to higher footfalls and conversions in the long run.
- As compared to other retail marketing avenues, demand generation requires minimal investment. Be it content marketing, social media ads, or local SEO, the costs involved are lesser than that of conventional advertising and door-to-door selling.
- Aiming to ‘pull in’ customers rather than pushing a sales agenda, demand generation focuses on a superlative in-store experience.
- Demand generation campaigns are aimed at maximizing the loyalty program enrolment and referral program success of retail brands.
B2B Demand Generation versus B2C Demand Generation
The B2B marketing format involves businesses forming profitable liaisons with other businesses. It could be the association between a wholesaler and a retailer, a manufacturer and a supplier, and so on. On the other hand, the B2C marketing format involves enticing the end consumers directly to buy the products or avail of the services.
While there are certain similarities, there is one remarkable difference between B2B and B2C marketing. The latter has a shorter sales funnel and relies on impulse-led sales to a large extent. The former on the other hand is more process-driven and involves multiple stages of client persuasion and approvals.
This is why it is natural to think of B2B demand generation as a plausible marketing endeavor as compared to B2C demand generation. But many B2C companies, especially in the retail industry have successfully harnessed the power of demand generation. Let us take a look at some interesting examples in this regard.
Brilliant B2C Demand Generation Strategies by Retail Brands
- Amazon– The digital marketing campaigns of the world’s undisputed e-commerce leader are a league apart. Demand generation underlines a majority of these marketing strategies, especially in the digital realm. For instance, they commenced operations in India in 2013. Starting with mainly books and electronics, the e-commerce giant systematically targeted SEO and Google AdWords to build credibility. The team focussed on steady brand-building and tailored services to gain the loyalty of online shoppers.
- Nike– The personalized email marketing campaign of Nike has received a tremendous response. Their demand generation campaign is aimed at keeping customers engaged with their latest offers, events, celeb endorsements, and so on. In particular, the customized emails and exclusive offers for Nike plus club members have invoked a tremendously positive response.
- GoPro– As a tech brand, GoPro has made its mark in the highly competitive global electronics market with exceptional content creation. From riveting visual content to amazing user-generated content, the brand has crafted superb demand generation campaigns.
- Green Toys– Many retail brands have joined the eco-friendly bandwagon. From recyclable packaging material to paperless retail audit, sustainability practices are at an all-time high. But capitalizing on your supply chain transparency and sustainability is only possible if you highlight these via consistent demand generation. Green Toys has thus tapped right into the environmental-conscious consumer base with a top-notch online marketing campaign.
The Future of Retail Marketing
Of late, the retail industry has opened up to invigorating prospects in the field of technology and data analytics. For instance, the conventional physical retail audit has been replaced by the virtual audit. Similarly, manual merchandising has been replaced by automated planograms and virtual shopping assistants. Given the big blow dealt by the Covid-19 pandemic, retailers need to embrace new-age marketing strategies. With a greater focus on customer engagement, rapport-building, and customer loyalty, demand generation can indeed be a game-changer for retail brands.
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