Let's face it: no one likes the hard sell. Consumers can smell it a mile away, and that's just how far they'll run from your brand if that's how you approach their customer journey. What do people respond to and actually want to hear? That you understand their problems and know how to fix them. And that's exactly what you'll give them when your company revamps its demand generation strategy.

What is demand generation?

Demand generation isn't about conversions, though it most certainly leads to them. Instead of trying to convince a target audience to buy your product, demand generation does exactly what its name suggests: it creates a demand for your products through educational, solutions-focused messaging.

The most successful demand generation strategies should feel like a breath of fresh air to your consumers; in a sea of "Buy me!" advertising, your demand generation messaging should get consumers excited about your products, build your brand authority, and highlight the fact that you truly understand what your customers need and want. In short, it's a method of gaining new customers without overtly trying to gain them. Rather, you're focusing on educating your audience with no apparent expectation of a return.

Without ever explicitly "selling" your products, demand generation can help your business reach new demographics, promote new products, increase brand awareness, and keep existing customers engaged. Whereas lead generation is designed to capture consumer information so you can follow up and help push them through the sales funnel – sometimes before they're ready to move – demand generation takes a more subtle approach.

When is demand generation helpful?

amp customer journey road map

Demand generation strategy is most helpful when applied to the customer journey. Keep in mind that while no two customer journeys will be identical, creating a roadmap of touchpoints is key to influencing consumer buying decisions.

Every interaction a customer has with your brand is part of their customer journey, from becoming aware of their own pain points to making the decision to buy. Here are a few helpful examples of how your business can revamp its demand generation strategy to maximize the customer journey.

  • Awareness Stage: People in the Awareness Stage are just realizing they have a problem or need. Generate demand for your products by delivering solutions to common customer problems. This can be in the form of educational videos, white papers, blogs, e-books, how-to guides, or free online courses.

  • Consideration Stage: In the Consideration Stage, consumers are weighing their product options to see which one offers the most benefits. Use demand generation to educate potential customers on specific ways that your products can solve their unique problems (and more importantly, how you can do it better than your competitors). Provide concrete evidence like comparison guides and charts, success stories and case studies, or social media proof.

  • Decision Stage: At the Decision Stage of their journey, your customer is ready to make a purchase, but they need an extra push to seal the deal. Your demand generation strategy can help move them toward conversion by providing the motivation to continue. Think free consultations, demos, or promotional offers that they receive by making a purchase.

  • Retention Stage: Keep your customers engaged and coming back for more by continuing to supply the solutions they need. This might take the form of educational social media content, live chat or email support services, publishing a product reference guide or knowledge base, or simply making your customer service team more approachable and accessible.

  • Loyalty Stage: Demand generation is particularly useful in the Loyalty Stage because its educational nature continues to nurture buyers long after they've made a purchase. For example, your business can supply easy-to-share content that people want to promote on their personal channels or develop a referral program that allows customers to earn rewards by advocating for your brand.

How can a media agency partner optimize my demand generation strategy?

Because demand generation focuses so intently on identifying customer needs and delivering educational content to keep your brand top-of-mind, it can be a difficult strategy to implement. On paper, demand generation sounds simple enough, but in practice, it can require a great deal of additional time, effort, and planning – something many internal creative teams just don't have.

Partnering with a media agency is a great way to move your brand's marketing needle forward without exerting much additional effort. Media agencies can play a crucial role in creating a winning demand generation playbook for brands. This customized guide can include methods to maximize reach in the Awareness Stage, optimize A/B testing and performance analytics in the Conversion Stage, and so much more.

If you'd like to learn more about how a media agency like (amp) would develop your brand's demand generation strategy to optimize your customer journey, here's a breakdown of four practical tactics that will help you drive success at each phase.

1. Generate awareness with a strategic media mix.

To maximize reach and engage your target audience, carefully consider your mix of paid and organic media. This includes broadcast, connected TV, pre-roll, digital radio, display advertising, and social media placements. Agencies like (amp) can help you develop engaging content and eye-catching visuals to ensure you’re not only advertising on the right channels, but you also have the right messaging for your audience as well. When you share content where your audience spends most of their time, you'll naturally create demand for your products or services.

2. Build interest with programmatic engagement.

Programmatic advertising can help you capitalize on your audience’s interest by delivering personalized content. This includes behavioral targeting, dynamic creatives, and retargeting campaigns. (amp) has access to proprietary tools like humanView that offer data-driven insights so you can tailor your messaging to align with the specific interests of key audience segments and create deeper engagement.

3. Develop strategic partnerships to amplify content.
image of lunazul discovery channel partnership
By partnering with respected channels and influencers, you can amplify your brand’s messaging so it's a top-of-mind consideration. Consider tactics like sponsored content, influencer partnerships, and thought leadership pieces. At (amp), we've built a legacy of successful partnerships that elevate and amplify brand messaging. In fact, our recent collaboration with Discovery+ helped us propel our client Lunazul from a little-known yet high-quality tequila brand to an adventurous beverage for the discerning cocktail connoisseur.

4. Drive conversions with tactical strategies.

As consumers move toward the intent to purchase, tactical strategies can help seal the deal. This could include dynamic CTAs, personalized offers, strategic ad placements, A/B testing and performance analytics. The (amp) team uses robust analytics to help our clients leverage actionable insights, continually optimize their ad placements and messaging, and deliver maximum ROI and efficient conversions.

5. Track and optimize post-conversion behavior.

Now that you’ve successfully converted a customer, leverage your investment by creating a loyal and repeat customer. Behavior tracking can help determine how – and how often – to retarget and send follow-up communications. Post-conversion activities like performance metrics, user feedback, and analysis of conversion data can help you refine future campaigns. (amp)’s integrated UX team can help clients develop seamless on-boarding for new clients to ensure a positive brand experience and post-purchase engagement.

How can I start optimizing my demand generation customer journey?

While your creative team may be everything you could want and more, they often cannot handle every aspect of your brand's expansive marketing ecosystem. Partnering with a veteran media agency that knows how to seamlessly blend into the culture of your company and drive results can be just the solution you've been searching for.

At (amp), we have years of experience developing successful demand generation strategies for our clients. We pride ourselves on recommending the right tactics and channels at each stage of the customer journey, from Awareness and Consideration to Conversion and beyond. Implementing a smart demand generation strategy can help lower your cost-to-convert and create loyal and repeat customers after conversion, and when you join forces with (amp), that's exactly what you'll gain.

Our team of specialized experts carry a proven track record of helping clients optimize every step of their demand generation funnels. Reach out for a consultation today to see how an (amp) partnership could help you reach your customer journey goals.