Revenue Relationships

with Steve Blank

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Demand Creation

How do you get your customers interested?

Steve Blank

8x Entrepreneur, Author, Customer Development Expert

Lessons Learned

Match your demand creation activities to what you know about your customer archetype.

Earned demand creation activities are free alternatives to generate awareness.

How do you efficiently get payers or users into the funnel and all the way through?


Lesson: Revenue Relationships with Steve Blank

Step #2 Demand Creation: How do you get your customers interested?

So once I understand who my archetypes or persona is, the next thing I want to figure out is how do I get them in to this funnel. Regardless of whether it's web or mobile, I need to somehow figure out how to get the interests of my customer archetypes, Dave in major urban area or Sally in the Midwest or someone in China or India. How do I get them interested? And there are two types of ways to create demand.

The first set of things are paid demand creation activities, a fancy word for saying "I'm going to pay somebody to get your interest." The first people I might want to pay is the public relations agency. I might pay them a certain fee per month to help get stories about my product or my company appear in newspapers or on blogs or in tech journals, etcetera. And so hiring a PR agency is a paid demand creation activity.

Another common paid activity is advertising. What kind of advertising? Well, it depends what my archetype reads. If they read a blog, I want to somehow get either keywords or banner ads or something on the blog. If they read newspapers or tech journals, or listen to radio or television, that is, I want to match my demand creation activities to what I know about my archetype. I'm not just going to randomly do this. I'm actually going to try to match what I know to what I pay for.

Next thing could be trade shows. In some industries, people still physically go to trade shows, have booths, walk the aisles, meet people. Maybe I should be in one and have a booth. Maybe I'll find out my archetypes don't even care. And by the way, just as an aside, you might also want to be worried about where your partners show up. They may show up at trade shows. The other thing that I might find out is if there are trade shows and/or webinars or might be interesting. Or I just might want to be sending them email or direct mail. The US Post Office or post offices in other countries are still happy to carry your advertising. Though, these become less and less effective the more and more people are on the web.

Then, finally, search engine marketing such as Google AdWords, Facebook ads, etcetera, are now just a standard way for demand creation activities, regardless of whether it's a physical channel or mobile channel. All of these activities are designed to feed the sales funnel. The demand creation funnel is going to be fed by these things you do.

Unlike paid demand creation activities, earned demand creation activities is just another word for the types of demand creation activities we get for free. These might be publications in journals, they might be conferences you get to speak at, speeches you give elsewhere, maybe blogs you put on your blog, or you might be invited to do guest blogs elsewhere, or guest articles. Or, most importantly, it might be social media. You might have a company Facebook page, you might tweet, people in your company might tweet. Anything you could do for free that gets you the attention of the key customer archetypes and helps drive them into your acquisition activities. And let's just take a look again at those activities.

If you remember, what we are trying to do is get, keep and grow customers. So these things on the left with all the arrows going into the funnel, those represent all the demand creation activities you were doing, either paid or free. In a physical channel, they were getting you into the funnel on the top. And for web, mobile or cloud, they were getting you into the funnel on the bottom.

Now remember, these are just visual representations of a process. The world doesn't actually look like this, but when you get good enough at this, you tend to actually look at your process literally looking as a funnel lying on its side. And you tend to think about how do we efficiently get payers or users into the funnel and all the way through.

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