2020 is underway and the economy is sputtering a bit. For small businesses, this is great news! Wait. What? Yes, this can be great news for small business as creates the opportunity for smaller companies to capture market share from larger, less prepared brands.
If…that is, your product or service is in demand and the target market values your product. Demand is more important than brand awareness because it means the target market cares and is interested in your product.
So, how do you generate demand? Two ways:
- Understand the difference between demand and lead generation.
- Don’t assume advertising creates growth.
Understand the Power of Demand (versus Lead) Generation
Most businesses try to grow by “selling” versus creating demand. Companies don’t grow by trying to sell stuff. Creating demand requires an obsessive focus on providing value. In addition, it’s critical to bring new prospects to your website while engaging them with valuable information, cultivating a relationship with them over time, and giving them a reason to buy from you.
Secondly, creating demand requires finding ways to engage satisfied customers in telling your story. When they believe in your brand and your product, and are engaged in sharing your message, they will become a referral machine. It’s also important to give them something of value that they can give away to people they care about. Special discounts, free tools/samples, etc. are all great ways of engaging your satisfied customers in brand advocacy.
IGNITE On Purpose CEO, Terri Maxwell cites two strategies to generate demand.
- First, slow down and shift thinking from action to impact. What impact are you trying to make? Is it selling stuff or growing profitably? Impact is the key.
- Secondly, focus on differentiation. Differentiation isn’t just about “being different.” True differentiation is “being different in a way that matters to your target market.”
Experiencing business growth doesn’t have to be challenging. To evaluate where your business stands and discover how to experience consistent and profitable business growth, take our free assessment.
Don’t Assume Advertising Creates Growth
Small brands inadvertently assume that advertising creates growth, and miss the fact that promotions and discounts actually decrease profit and rarely drive consistent topline growth. Advertising is not effective at generating a return on investment.
Every small business needs to grow, and every business owner makes the same fateful mistake – assuming advertising will singlehandedly change the company’s growth trajectory.
The truth is, you want to grow more profitably, so discounting doesn’t accomplish that objective. The key to small business growth isn’t more advertising. Period.
Small business growth is the byproduct of 3 things:
- Having a great product/service (which should remain your top priority)
- Understanding how to differentiate your brand in a crowded marketplace
- Implementing a consistent demand generation engine
Is your company growing? Maybe it’s time to consider a more authentic approach to demand generation. Create a growth strategy that includes building a relationship with your target market and cultivating value versus offering discounts.
IGNITE On Purpose was established to share what we call Authentic Demand GenerationTM, with founders and business owners who care for their customers, want to build a respected brand that matters, and are looking for the most cost effective ways to grow. We are so good at it, that we offer it on a Pay-for-Performance basis.
If your business is trying to do well by doing good and wants to grow profitably through authentically generating demand, contact us today.