‘Chronicles of a Head of Digital’ – 17

So, it’s all about stimulating interest right? Getting a response. An interaction. Be that a click, a read, a follow, a like, a sale, whatever. That’s what this marketing/advertising game is all about.

From this lowly article up to that global campaign, the core want is to get ‘interest’ and ‘recognition’.

Yes, even I would like to get a comment, a subscribe, a like, anything… Give me anything back.

So, let’s say this is the basics of demand gen, one of the core functions of my industry. Demand gen can be some pithy thought leadership (unlike this), to some ambient media, to some aggressive outbound, or some SEO/PPC. It can take many forms. Demand gen is, basically, creating awareness. And one of the most overlooked techniques these days, as we get so wrapped up in buzz terms and trends and wrap things up with many labels and stickers. But it’s awareness. Demand gen is getting you out there to know of me, remember me, and buy into me. Be that through GeoAds, remarketing, VR, content marketing, SoLoMo, big data, TVCs, sponsored posts, PR, viral activity, AR, account-based marketing…. They are all sides to the same coin in their early genesis. Demand gen.

But then, how does demand gen differ from lead gen?

Well, there is a distinct difference, and I always picture it against a story of when as I ran my first social campaigns back in the day – anyone remember Bebo and Myspace? #Mems.

#MannequinChallenge – that’s a no then #ShowingMyAge.

When setting up anything on social, the key has always been to buy in trust and interaction first. Start conversations, get some two way going, and never open with sales from a soapbox. An engaged audience will always respond better, remain longer, and buy bigger. Be that getting unknowns to a secret gig for an unknown girl band to launching a global network convergence application. Seed the right audience in the right way, build in enough lead time to do it properly, engage these people, get to know them, let them know you and then you can model your sales patter around what they want, not just shout ‘GOLF SALE’ with a big stick and scoop up maybe 1 sale.

That is demand gen. Now for lead gen – the conversion of these friends and followers into customers. Theoretically, if you have done that first bit right, you will know what they want so when you build in that secret gig, you know most of your fan base is in London, and they are the sort of people you want to sell to, that gig you leak is in Camden, not Plymouth. Leaking that gig, getting word out, getting people to ask, sign up whatever it is, that is lead gen.

So the difference is, demand gen is building that brand, the trust and the awareness of you.

Lead gen is the conversion of that buy in to a quantifiable measure. Be that bums on seats, footfall, sales, meetings, forms filled out, downloads, subscribers or whatever your goal is. Plan your activity right, draw up your plan, with your goals up front, and steer towards them. Build a journey. The route, messaging and format can evolve. That is the joy of digital, optimising as you learn, but bide your time, plan, do those two steps. And there you go.

Now, anyone fancy tickets to see the Osmonds this weekend?