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Demand generation is not about coercing people into buying your offerings. It’s about giving the right people the right information at the right time so that they remember your business whenever they’re faced with a problem that your product or service can help solve.

However, demand generation spans multiple campaigns, offers, and touchpoints, so it can be strenuous to manually execute a demand generation strategy. That’s where automation comes in.

With automation, you can set rules, triggers, and conditions that’ll help your campaigns run smoothly on autopilot. In this article, we’ll explore what demand generation is, the benefits of automating your demand generation processes, and different ways to implement demand generation automation.

What is demand generation?

Demand generation is an umbrella term to describe the inbound marketing strategies you can use to create awareness and interest in your product or service. The primary objective for demand generation is to keep your business top of mind, even when your potential customers aren’t ready to buy yet. This way, when they eventually have a problem you can solve, they’ll remember and consider your offerings.

To generate demand, you’ll need to employ various strategies and tactics, such as content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing, to increase your brand visibility, attract potential customers, nurture and convert leads, and upsell or cross-sell to existing customers.

Demand generation is important for businesses because it drives immediate sales and establishes a foundation for long-term success. By proactively engaging with potential customers and building brand awareness, you can position your business as an industry leader, fostering customer trust and loyalty.

A well-executed demand generation strategy also aligns marketing and sales efforts, resulting in a more efficient and streamlined process that allows the business to adapt better to market changes and stay ahead of competitors.

Demand generation typical methods

Here are some of the popular techniques businesses use to generate demand for their products and services: 

  • Content marketing: This involves creating and sharing relevant and valuable content to attract and engage a target audience, build brand authority, and foster customer loyalty.
  • Search engine optimization: This is the process of improving your online content and website to increase its ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs), boosting visibility and attracting organic traffic.
  • Social media marketing: This involves using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter) to drive brand awareness, connect with potential customers, and promote products and services.
  • Email marketing: This refers to sending targeted and personalized emails that provide valuable information, nurture leads, and guide prospects through the sales funnel. 
  • Paid advertising: This involves using social media platforms or search engines (like Google and Bing) to reach a specific audience, and drive immediate traffic and conversions.
  • Webinars and events: This is the hosting of online or in-person events to showcase expertise, engage with potential customers, and promote products and services. 
  • Referral programs: This involves leveraging word-of-mouth marketing to expand the customer base by encouraging existing customers to refer others to the company.

Benefits of demand generation automation

As we’ve seen, demand generation encompasses various strategies that businesses have to implement to create a healthy sales pipeline. However, implementing all of these strategies manually can be laborious and tiresome, especially as the lead pipeline increases.

For example, it can be relatively easy to write and respond to emails when you have 100 people on your email list. As the list grows to 1,000 people (and then 10,000 people), email marketing becomes harder to do—unless you automate the process.

Automation streamlines repetitive tasks like email campaigns, social media posting, and email campaigns, allowing marketing teams to focus on more important tasks, like strategic planning. By automating routine processes, you can maintain a consistent and personalized communication flow with prospects, save time on mundane tasks, and improve the overall customer experience by delivering relevant content at different stages of the buyer’s journey.

Below are five benefits of automating demand generation techniques:

  1. Improved efficiency and productivity

When you automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks like sending emails, posting on social media, and scoring leads, you’re freeing up time for marketing teams to focus on more strategic, high-priority initiatives that contribute to the company’s bottom line.

Instead of taking three hours each day to create social media content for the business, the social media manager can set aside a day to batch-create and automate one month’s worth of content across all the company’s social profiles. This allows them to spend their free time brainstorming and crafting other strategies to reach a wider audience and generate more viable leads.

  1. Improved lead nurturing and conversion

Automating the lead nurturing process allows you to segment your leads based on various criteria, including:

  • Demographics: age, gender, nationality, income level, education, job titles, marital status, geographic location, etc.  
  • Psychographics: their desires, goals, values, interests, lifestyle choices, etc. 
  • Behaviors: the social media platforms they use most often, their buying habits, how they consume content, etc.

This segmentation allows you to have personalized interactions with your leads, and deliver timely and tailored content to people at various stages of the buyer journey. As a result, leads will have a smooth experience with your business and you’ll build stronger relationships with them, which increases the likelihood of them converting into paying customers.

  1. Data-driven decision making

Automation tools provide comprehensive analytics and insights into customer behavior, campaign performance, and engagement metrics. You can analyze this data in real-time to learn more about your customers, make informed decisions, refine your strategies, and ensure that you’re allocating resources to the most effective channels and campaigns.

Making decisions based on data improves the overall effectiveness of your demand generation efforts.

  1. Scalability

If you’re a fast-growing business, automating your demand generation can help you maintain a high level of personalized communication and engagement as your customer base grows.

Good automation tools are designed to accommodate the growth of a business, so you’re able to: 

  • Manage and nurture a larger volume of leads without significantly increasing the workload
  • Deliver personalized and relevant content to an increasingly growing audience
  • Maintain a cohesive brand voice across various marketing channels and touchpoints
  • Execute your marketing campaigns seamlessly regardless of the audience size, whether that be launching a new product/service/feature, running a promotion, or nurturing leads through a complex sales funnel
  • Make data-driven decisions, adapt quickly, and refine your demand generation approaches continuously
  • Facilitate efficient collaboration between the marketing and sales teams by creating integrated systems and seamless workflows, which ensures that data is synchronized across the organization and that both teams have a holistic view of customer interactions
  • Create adaptable customer journeys that can scale with the increasing complexity of customer interactions

8 ways to automate demand generation

The main way to automate demand generation is to use automation tools. However, the automation tools you use will depend on the demand generation strategies you implement for your business. That said, here are 8 types of demand generation automation you can apply: 

  1. Marketing automation

Marketing automation platforms like HubSpot, Marketo, or Pardot allow you to create automated workflows that nurture leads through personalized email campaigns, behavior-based triggers, and lead scoring. By setting up predefined rules and actions within these tools, your marketing team can ensure a consistent and seamless engagement process, saving valuable time and resources. 

  1. Social media automation

Tools like Buffer or Hootsuite can help social media managers schedule posts in advance, do social listening, and manage a unified inbox, among other things. This allows them to maintain a consistent presence across your company’s social media profiles, monitor brand mentions and relevant conversations, and respond promptly to customers’ comments and DMs.

  1. Chatbots 

Tools like Intercom or Manychat allow you to incorporate chatbots on your website, which automate real-time interactions with website visitors. The bots can answer common queries, gather contact information, and qualify leads. This, in turn, enhances customer engagement and provides you with data for further personalized communication.

  1. Email marketing automation

Platforms like Mailchimp or ConvertKit allow you to automate email campaigns based on user behavior, preferences, or specific triggers. Automation in email marketing includes sending welcome emails, scheduling drip campaigns, and delivering personalized content based on user interactions. This ensures prompt and tailored communication with leads, guiding them down the sales funnel.

  1. Lead scoring automation

Lead scoring automation tools leverage data and algorithms to streamline the process of identifying the most promising leads for sales teams to prioritize. This saves time and resources, and enables sales teams to focus on the highest-quality leads, increasing conversion rates and revenue.

Here’s how automation tools help with lead scoring:

  • They can monitor and track the online behaviors of leads, such as website visits, email opens, content downloads, and social media interactions. This behavioral analysis helps the tools assign scores based on specific actions that indicate interest or engagement.
  • They can implement predefined criteria for lead qualification, automatically assigning scores based on demographic information and firmographic data. This ensures that sales teams prioritize leads that meet specific criteria, such as industry, job title, or company size.
  • They provide real-time updates on lead activities and interactions. As leads engage with content or take specific actions, the tool adjusts their scores accordingly. This ensures that the lead’s score accurately reflects their current level of interest or engagement.
  • They allow businesses to create sophisticated lead-scoring models by assigning different weights to different actions or behaviors. For example, downloading a free eBook might have a lower score than attending a webinar or requesting a product demo.
  • They integrate seamlessly with customer relationship management (CRM) systems, which ensures that lead-scoring information is shared between marketing and sales teams. This facilitates a unified approach to lead management.
  • They segment leads into different categories based on their scores, which allows for more targeted and personalized marketing and sales efforts.
  1. Retargeting ads

Implementing automated retargeting ad campaigns helps you keep your brand in front of potential customers who have previously interacted with your website but didn’t convert. 

Through pixel tracking and automated ad platforms like Facebook Ads or Google Ads, you can display targeted ads to specific segments of your customers, reminding them of the products or services they were interested in. This automated strategy improves brand recall and encourages users to re-engage with your brand.

  1. Webinar and event automation

Platforms like GoToWebinar and Zoom have features for automating different aspects of webinars and virtual events, including registration, reminder emails, and post-event follow-ups. Automated event workflows save time and resources, while allowing you to maintain a high level of engagement with your audience.

  1. Customer Relationship Management automation

Integrating CRM systems like Salesforce and HubSpot with marketing automation platforms allows for seamless data synchronization. This ensures that lead information, customer interactions, and customer data are up-to-date and shared between sales and marketing teams. This way, there’ll be a unified view of customer information, which enhances collaboration and streamlines communication.

Automation best practices: How to successfully implement demand generation automation

If you’re planning to automate your demand generation processes, here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Define clear objectives: Before automating anything, clearly outline what you want to achieve—whether it’s increased customer engagement, improved lead nurturing, or smoother collaboration between the marketing and sales teams.
  • Segment your audience: Create targeted audience segments based on demographics, behavior, or preferences to tailor your marketing efforts, improve engagement, and boost conversions. 
  • Personalization is crucial: Use personalized content and messaging to connect with your audience on a more meaningful level. When leads feel like you’re addressing them specifically in your content, they’re more likely to convert.
  • Run A/B tests: Continuously test different elements of your marketing campaigns, including email subject lines, content, and CTAs, to optimize for better results over time.
  • Monitor analytics: Regularly analyze performance metrics to identify what works and what doesn’t. Use these insights to refine your strategy and improve future campaigns.

Wraping up

While the implementation of demand generation automation requires careful planning and continuous optimization, it does offer an undeniably high return on investment in terms of efficiency, engagement, and conversion potential. The ability to seamlessly connect with a precisely targeted audience, nurture leads with personalized content, and adapt campaigns based on real-time data can save time and resources, and increase customer engagement, lead nurturing, conversions, and revenue over time.

Cass Rosas

Cass is a content creator at DemandPlaybook, she is passionate about creating human-centric SEO content, she also covers topics such as search engine optimization, content operations, e-commerce, and social media marketing. In her spare time she likes listening to music, doing oil painting and watching SciFi movies.