What does this look like in practice?
Demand capture vs. demand generation
You’re probably familiar with the term “demand generation”. You may even know someone with it in their title. The UPSYD model reframes this commonly used function by highlighting that, in fact, many demand generation marketers are not actually generating demand but capturing it.
Let’s revisit the UPSYD model; we recommend that companies begin with a focus on solution-aware, you-aware or deeply-aware prospects – those who may already have desire or demand for your solution or one like it. They may be Googling things like your category, your product or brand name or your competitors. They may be visiting your website, browsing your store, or looking at online reviews. At these stages of awareness, you’re not working to generate demand with this audience. Instead, you should be laser-focused on working to capture it – on persuading these prospects to choose you. Here, tactics such as nurturing; remarketing; conversion rate optimization; review recruitment; and mid- and bottom-of-funnel SEO, SEM and messaging can yield the quickest time-to-value at lower costs. These investments can also help compound returns as an increasing number of people move through your funnel over time.
Once you’ve worked to build a repeatable approach to demand capture, we recommend turning to the problem-aware then unaware prospects. These are the prospective customers who may not know they have a problem, may not think the problem they have is a big deal or just don’t know there are solutions out there. For these groups to move down the funnel, they need to understand the pain, the urgency, what they can gain by choosing you and what they stand to lose if they don’t. Here, consider investing in education and evangelizing the problem your product or solution is designed to solve through storytelling, content marketing, PR, thought leadership, paid and organic social, broadcast media and other top-of-funnel tactics.
Across the growth stage companies with whom we partner, we’ve seen teams have the most success investing in true demand generation after they’ve fine-tuned their demand capture engine. Otherwise, you might end up generating demand that gets captured more effectively by your competitors. For example, we’ve worked with numerous software companies that have found they can effectively and quickly capture demand with a strong profile on software review sites like G2, Capterra, and Gartner Peer Reviews — common destinations for solution- or you-aware prospects. If you’ve prematurely focused on demand generation, and you’re not strong on these types of platforms, it’s possible that you generate demand for solutions like yours only to have it captured by a competitor with a more compelling review profile.