Great businesses create their own demand

If you’ve followed me on social media for any length of time, you’ll know I am not a lover of Apple. I am an Android-loving-Windows-using-Apple-hater. The one thing I can appreciate about Apple is that is have created demand for their products.

I’m not talking here about the stripping out USB ports, headphone ports or SD card readers forcing you to buy ‘accessories’ which used to be core features. I am talking about the queues at Apple stores from people who bought a phone last year and now want the new ‘shinier’ one.

Why do people trade their 12-month-old phone for a new one, which essentially has the same features?

Apple like all successful retail brands have connected emotion, aspiration and innovation.

That is all well and good for Apple, but how does that work for a smaller business and how does that work for B2B businesses?

Great products don’t sell themselves. In an established market recommendations, brand awareness all work, but where the real growth lies is bringing new people into the market for your products and services. This is demand creation.

Demand Creation is essentially “educating and informing the consumer of their need for a product or service so they become a motivated buyer.”

It’s exposing the problem the consumer or client has and then selling the problem you solve.

All great businesses solve problems for their customers. The core principle of demand creation is to help people see they have a problem that needs solving in the first place.

Demand creation is about connecting an emotional or physical need to the service or product you offer.

 

When you get it right, the phone rings, the emails come through and the ad’s just work! It’s not a miracle; it’s hard work and a well thought through strategy paying off.

As business owners, we have challenges and problems to tackle on a daily basis, some of those problems are not on our priority list, they are issues or niggles which we know ‘at some point’ or ‘we could’ solve but more important issues push these niggles to the bottom of the list.

The key is pushing the problem you solve to the top of the list. 

A small percentage of customers wake up and decide to solve low priority issues. The majority, work through the most important tasks each day. We don’t have time to think about low priority tasks.

So we have to push our service or product to the top of our customer’s agenda. You don’t do that by discounting and you certainly don’t do it by reminding them you are “just checking in”

You do it, by connecting your product or service to a higher priority issue.

We all want to save money, but if the business is doing well, there is no rush.

We all want to use our time more efficiently, but we don’t stop ourselves when we waste an hour stalking people on social media.

If a company has lost money or is under financial pressure, guess what, there is an imperative to save money.

If an executive is over-stretched, delegation and time efficiency flies to the top of the agenda.

So what are the issues you can connect your service to that is of high importance to your prospective customers?

What are the pain-points and high priority issues your service could help alleviate?

Most businesses never venture into demand creation because they focus on the direct benefits, so their service never connects at an emotional level.

Pain points within a business can come from two sources, people and the organisation. Often in the buying process one of these is out of step with the other, this means many sales are delayed, postponed or never implemented until they rise up the priority ladder.

A priority ladder can be a lonely place, so smart marketers show how their product is connected to high priority items. 

A CRM is connected to revenue, new business, profit and productivity. But productivity doesn’t matter as much if a sales team is performing well. Whereas, revenue, new business and profit do.

Apple connects their technology and solutions to aspiration. Their imagery, pricing, culture is all geared towards aspirational people. They solve three types of problem, technological, physiological and the top of the tree – self-actualization.

So the key elements of demand creation…

  • Don’t promote your solutions, promote the problem.
  • Don’t sell the benefits, share the outcome of your solution.
  • Make the offer, then ask if people want to buy.

Demand Creation should be a part of your marketing activity. It’s part of the mix of winning new business. Like all marketing, it’s a process, not an event.

Demand Creation is part of your business plan. In our media-soaked, over-advertised world, you need to have a clear plan and strategy of how you are going be one step of the competition creating demand for your business.

Let’s talk

If you’d like to know more about how I can help you get a competitive edge in your business, you can schedule a time to talk using Calendly.com