What’s the Difference Between Creating and Capturing Demand?
Demand is the lifeblood of any business. In order to sell products or services, B2B technology companies first need to create “demand” for whatever they have to offer. The digital marketing funnel, and all of the other practices companies use to engage with customers are part of a full “demand strategy”.
While demand generation and demand capture both stem from the same notion that demand is essential to your business, these processes focus on different goals 🎯.
In a “demand creation” strategy, the focus is on generating a sense of need for a specific brand or product in the market. Marketers work on campaigns to educate, inform, and excite audiences. Alternatively, demand capture is about pushing potential buyers through the sales funnel, to generate revenue.
Let’s take a closer look at the key differences between demand creation, and demand capture.
What is Demand Creation? Defining Demand Gen
Demand creation, otherwise known as “demand generation” or demand gen, is a process used to drive awareness and interest in a product or service. Companies leverage SaaS marketing strategies like content marketing and SEO, social media advertising and video to position themselves in front of their audience.
Demand generation tactics can include everything from traditional media strategies like TV commercials and radio ads, to digital solutions like paid display ads, email campaigns, and content production. All of these channels give companies a way to reach their audience and raise awareness.
B2B technology brands need to invest in a consistent strategy to “capture” demand from their target audience, so they can constantly attract new prospects and sales opportunities to the business.
How do Companies Create Demand?
The core focus of demand creation is building awareness around a product or brand. Using structured content and various distribution methods such as email, podcasts, videos, and social media, companies inform their audience about their offering, while also demonstrating value.
Notably, while demand creation should eventually have an impact on a company’s bottom line, it’s rarely measured through conversions and sales. Instead, companies track metrics related to engagement and awareness to determine whether “demand gen” efforts are paying off. For instance, a brand might look at the following metrics when measuring demand creation:
- Reach: Content interactions and other traffic metrics
- Engagement: Clicks, views, comments, and shares
- SERP visibility: Brand keyword rankings, volume and mentions
- Cost per acquisition: The price of bringing new customers to the business
- Sales velocity: How quickly customers are coming to the business
Good demand creation strategies also consider every step of the sales funnel, not just the initial “awareness” phase. Although it’s important for demand generation strategies to make customers aware of a brand, they should also help to nurture and educate each prospect, providing opportunities for future sales.
What is Demand Capture?
Demand capture, on the other hand, is a strategy used to capitalize on the success of a demand generation strategy. Once a company has built awareness and begun nurturing consumers with content like media coverage, blogs, videos and articles, demand capture steps in.
Companies use demand capture towards the end of the sales and marketing funnel, to grab the attention of customers with a high level of purchasing intent. With demand capture, businesses concentrate on engaging buyers who are already aware of the product or service. These high-intent prospects usually show buying signals in different ways like searching for phrases like “Best UCaaS Providers” or requesting demos and free trials.
Demand capture includes some of the lead nurturing steps involved in demand generation, and may leverage some content marketing tactics. However, it’s more likely to be focused on the use of targeted, paid marketing, landing pages, and lead magnets.
How Do Companies Capture Demand?
The demand capture process for any business will depend on how a prospect has come into contact with a product or service in the past. The focus of demand capture is convincing buyers with interest in a solution to take the leap and buy something.
Companies leverage intent-based data to create tailor-fit campaigns for their specific target audience as they move across the purchasing pipeline. There are even specific marketing strategies dedicated specifically to demand capture. For instance, account-based marketing (ABM) involves sending customised communications to customers based on their previous experiences and interactions with the brand.
Brands can leverage online ads targeted at people already looking to purchase an item or service, or use landing pages to help convert leads with specific offers. It’s also possible to set up automated workflows for demand capture, which leverage the information collected by the marketing team, as well as the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform, for personalized sales.
When measuring the results of a brand capture strategy, companies look at things like:
- Average conversion rates
- ROI (Return on Investment) and ROAS (Return on Ad Spend)
- Win rate (the percentage of deals won)
- CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)
- Marketing cycle length
Demand Creation vs Demand Capture: Which is Most Important?
To successfully attract, nurture, and convert customers, companies need a comprehensive content marketing and distribution strategy. This involves combining elements of both demand generation, or demand creation, and demand capture, into an end-to-end plan for success.
To begin with, generating demand is more important than capturing it. When companies focus on creating demand, they address the market as a whole and cultivate interest in whatever they offer. It’s important for any business to have a high level of brand awareness if they want to draw prospects into their sales funnel for future conversions.
At the end of the buyer funnel, however, demand capture becomes more essential. This allows companies to personalise the marketing and sales strategy to the specific needs of each customer. With demand capture, the focus is on making sure the traffic and interest being generated by “demand creation” doesn’t go to waste.
Both tools need to be a consistent part of any company’s branding and marketing initiative, to ensure organisations can simultaneously create new opportunities, and convert prospects into clients. In other words, companies can’t just focus on demand generation or demand capture – they need a campaign which delivers equal focus to both areas.