Generating demand for your product takes more than a one-off campaign. It’s a continuous effort with endless puzzle pieces, and if they don’t all match together, it’s nearly impossible to finish the puzzle and convert prospects into customers.
From email marketing to social media and sales outreach, there are various ways in which you can continuously generate demand for your product. The problem isn’t so much the lack of ideas but having the resources to realize them. Therefore, it may not be surprising that 39% of businesses are looking at marketing automation to drive their demand-generation efforts.
Demand generation tools leverage automation technologies to help you understand your customers better and make data-driven decisions. But there isn’t a one-tool-fits-all-your-needs available in the market: you still have to pick your demand gen battles.
What is a Demand Generation Tool?
A demand generation tool is software that helps businesses attract and engage with their target audience, raising interest in their product and driving prospects through the sales funnel.
These tools offer a range of functionalities, including:
Social data analysis
They may also focus on a particular marketing activity, such as SEO, social media, email marketing, or paid campaigns.
Demand generation and lead generation tools serve interconnected yet very different purposes. Lead generation tools focus mainly on conversion: it’s about getting prospects’ information through methods such as gated forms or targeted campaigns. Prospects’ details often go to the sales team for direct outreach or are put into nurture streams.
Demand generation tools have a much broader scope and focus on improving engagement and awareness through the first few steps of the customer journey.
Types of Demand Generation Tools
While some companies prefer to look broadly at marketing automation, others may choose a tool for a specific purpose, such as sending newsletters. There are many types of demand generation tools, including:
Content marketing tools optimize SEO, analytics, and competitor analysis.
Email marketing tools offer list nurturing with segmentation and automation.
CRM tools help you manage contacts based on funnel stages, track and analyze interactions, and segment prospects and customers.
Visitor analytics tell you how visitors found you, what they did on your website, and for how long, as well as their top landing and exit pages.
Benefits of Demand Generation Tools
Demand generation tools help produce targeted marketing campaigns that keep your brand top of mind and desired by your ideal customers. They provide real-time notifications and tracking and can be integrated with other tools for amplified efforts.
Many demand generation tools offer data accuracy, which makes strategy planning better. As a result, you often get enhanced customer engagement, lead generation, nurturing, and conversion.
Key Features to Look for in a Demand Generation Tool
58% of marketers struggle to target content to desired audiences. Your demand generation tools should help you personalize content to your audience’s interests. They can do so through various features, such as audience segmentation, personalized messages, emails, or content recommendation widgets.
Look for tools that automate some of the more tedious tasks, such as social media scheduling or newsletter sending. This will allow you to focus on driving your broader marketing strategy forward.
Reporting and analytics
Demand generation tools should help you better understand your customers’ behaviors or how your audience perceives your brand. Features like social listening can help you get a real-time, accurate view of your customers’ interests and ensure your content is highly effective.
Integration with other tools
No tool can be a one-stop-marketing shop. Ensure that all the demand gen tools you use seamlessly integrate to create a seamless flow between marketing and sales processes. For example, Oktopost’s social media management platform integrates with various CRM tools so you can follow your prospects’ journey from the moment they interact with your brand online.
Compliance and security
This may seem like a given, but customer data protection is an increasingly worrying problem. Ensure that the demand gen tools you use safeguard personal data and comply with all the relevant data protection regulations, such as GDPR, CCPA, and HIPAA.
Top 10 Demand Generation Tools
Content Marketing Tools
SEMrush is a widely used platform that focuses on content marketing and SEO. It offers an array of capabilities, such as keyword research, keyword tracking, SEO optimization, and backlink analysis, to enhance website health and improve search engine rankings. It also offers complementary features such as advertising analytics and competitor benchmarks, enabling teams to stay ahead of their competitors online.
SEO specialists and digital marketing teams.
“I have found their keyword research tool to be beneficial in identifying high-value keywords, and their site audit tool… invaluable in identifying and fixing on-site SEO issues.”
Oktopost is built specifically for B2B marketing teams, enabling you to streamline social media management with one platform. Its features include automated social publishing, social listening, and an employee advocacy tool to revamp your social selling strategies. It also offers comprehensive social media analytics reporting to help you showcase the ROI of your social media efforts and continuously improve your content to engage prospects.
B2B marketing leaders who want to streamline their social media plan and tie social media directly to lead generation and marketing KPIs.
“Our team [was] impressed by the easy UI… Social advocacy was a great decision to invest in and add to our social strategy. Social BI is powerful and can be tailored to preferences, and the standard experiences of publishing content and managing an inbox are really strong.”
Email Marketing Tools
HubSpot automates various marketing, sales, and customer service activities. Its features include content management, email marketing, website building, social media, and lead nurturing. The platform also offers a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to manage customer interactions and track leads throughout the sales pipeline.
Businesses that need demand generation tools as part of a bigger platform, including sales, service, operations, and B2B commerce.
“When we needed to quickly set up a new customer portal (something that would typically require a lot of dev time), we were able to… get that ready to roll in a matter of days… [It’s] our solution for scalability and being ready for the unknowns of future growth.”
Mailchimp allows businesses to create, send, and track email campaigns. Its drag-and-drop capabilities and user-friendly interface simplify the email creation process. Other features include customer journey tracking, email list segmentation, automation workflows, A/B testing, and recommendations to optimize campaign performance.
Marketers who want to increase their email list conversions.
“I love the segmentation and personalization… I have used it for many nurturing emails… Implementation is super easy and almost intuitive.”
Zapier integrates over 6,000 web apps, from productivity tools to marketing platforms. It enables users to automate workflows and data exchange between apps, streamlining repetitive tasks. Its key feature is the creation of “Zaps,” which are automated workflows that link different apps and trigger actions based on specific events.
Companies that want to automate workflows and scale faster without necessarily relying on their developers.
“You can create workflows for different apps in one place. You can re-run a workflow or deactivate it in one click. You can track each run. And receive notifications if it fails.”
Salesforce Marketing Cloud Engagement, formerly Pardot, is integrated with Salesforce CRM, enabling teams to create personalized and targeted campaigns. It offers various features, such as full-funnel, multi-channel and touch journeys and attribution, engagement history insights, and AI-driven lead scoring, to improve collaboration between marketing and sales teams.
B2B companies that want marketing automation in their CRMs.
“I can send a one-to-one email, leveraging a pre-built Pardot template, directly from our Salesforce CRM. Conversely, Pardot allows me to segment specific prospects based [on] the criteria I specify – allowing me to create segmented lists.”
SugarCRM offers robust contact and lead management features, sales automation, and pipeline tracking. Businesses can tailor the CRM system to their needs and trigger workflow automation to manage customer interactions throughout the customer journey. The tool also offers reporting and analytics to understand customer satisfaction and inform marketing strategies.
Companies who want automated CRMs that integrate marketing, sales, and service.
“There are so many report templates in SugarCRM that allow you to analyze data interactively.”
Website and Visitor Analytics
Google Analytics (updated to Google Analytics 4 in July 2023) is a Google service that tracks analytics from websites and apps. Its features include user journey visualization, cross-platform tracking, event-based data measurement, real-time website and visitor analysis, anomaly detection, and audience segmentation.
Companies that want to improve their websites’ performances.
“It does the best task in terms of traffic analysis… I love the number of options, the ease of use, and the integration… It helps me [make] informed decisions.”
Dealfront, formerly Leadfeeder, identifies companies visiting a website and provides detailed information about their interactions. It offers real-time tracking of website visitors, leads scoring, and segmentation based on their activity.
B2B companies that want better value leads.
“We can now proactively reach out to potential leads that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.”
Hotjar helps businesses understand user behavior on their website. It offers features like website heatmaps to identify high or low-engagement areas, user session recordings, and visitor surveys to gather comprehensive feedback.
Marketers who are frustrated that their website analytics tool isn’t telling them everything.
“HotJar has helped us determine what can or cannot go below the fold on our website. Additionally, seeing where and how [visitors] navigate a page lets us know how easy it is to find information on our pages.”
Generating Demand in 2024
Demand generation tools speed up your marketing efforts and increase awareness. Do a quick inventory of the tools you already use, and understand your current challenges to see what other demand gen tools your team may benefit from. Regardless of the tools you are using, they must integrate with each other to avoid silos and ensure a smooth flow between marketing and sales.
If you want to improve your social media in 2024, Oktopost may help. Oktopost provides a complete social media management platform for post-scheduling automation across networks and profiles. It also offers social listening and analytics to track engagement in real-time and adapt your marketing strategies to meet your customers’ interests. Plus, you can integrate Oktopost with all the most popular CRM systems, including HubSpot, Salesforce, and SugarCRM. Learn more here.