What’s the Difference Between Lead Generation and Demand Generation?
- Comparing lead vs demand generation, we see they’re not the same.
- Lead generation focuses on gathering contact information for follow-up.
- Demand generation is more concerned with raising awareness in general.
- Both of them are essential because they reinforce and build on each other.
- Boom Demand provides both services alongside focused sales development!
B2B marketing has gotten more complex over the past few years. There are more marketing roles to fill, and each of these roles involves greater specialization. One of the ways that marketing helps feed the top of the sales funnel has now become clearly divided into two components. We’re referring here to lead generation and demand generation. At first glance, many people will tend to think that these refer to the same process. The reality is that while both of them use the term generation, generating leads and demand for products and services each requires a different focus. So how do we compare lead vs demand generation?
Defining Lead Generation
First, let’s examine what lead generation is, specifically. Leads are contact information that we gather and follow up on. They correspond to individual people who might have some interest in learning more about or purchasing what we offer for sale. What sales teams do with leads is call them, email them, and reach out to them on social media to discover whether they could become qualified prospects.
Lead generation, therefore, refers to the process of getting leads in the first place. The main ways to do this are by developing written content for which individuals must exchange some of their contact information to be able to download and read it. This content can come in a wide range of forms. Perhaps the most basic is an email subscription. Other forms include detailed reports, white papers, and ebooks.
In other words, lead generation relies on content with limited distribution. It involves an exchange of information.
Demand Generation: More Free Stuff!
Now, when we look at demand generation, by comparison, we’ll see that there is a very distinct difference. Demand refers to the overall interest in your products or services, your company, or even your entire industry. It should come as no surprise to marketing and sales professionals that many of their prospects have never heard of their companies before. In some cases, prospects may never have even heard that the industry we work in exists at all.
The Importance of Industry and Brand Awareness:
“‘If you build it, they will come.’ Or so says some baseball movie that everyone seems to quote in times like these.
“The problem is that it’s not exactly true. Audiences today are more inundated than ever with marketing messages, new businesses and brands, and more tools that promise privacy, security, productivity, ease of use, and efficiency.
“Building ‘it’ doesn’t mean anything if no one knows ‘it’ exists in the first place.
“Enter the brand awareness campaign. Your quest is to put your brand name in front of as many relevant users as possible. That means not spending millions on a billboard when you have no idea who’s going to read it. Untargeted campaigns are campaigns that waste money.” – Danielle Bilbruck, for marketeer.kapost.com
The object of demand generation, therefore, is simply to raise awareness. It is to make sure that people know that we are available to serve them. It’s a way of bringing attention to problems people didn’t even know they had, and that there are solutions.
The phrase “top-of-mind” is important in the field of demand generation. It refers to ensuring that when a potential customer thinks about their problem, your organization is what they think of as a solution provider.
The way we go about creating demand is by providing content for free, and distributing it as widely as possible. In this category, we find articles and blog posts, social media sharing, videos, and main web page content. Demand generation also relies heavily on specialized techniques such as search engine optimization. The idea is to get this kind of content in front of as many eyes as possible, as fast as possible.
Lead vs Demand Generation: Where Should You Focus?
There is some overlap between lead vs demand generation, but it generally only works in one direction. Lead generating content usually only works when the demand already exists. If a potential prospect is already exchanging their contact information for your content, it’s because they already have a significant interest in the subject matter. That means that lead generation content is also very unlikely to create additional demand for your products in the marketplace. It’s still critically important, but it is, at best, a second stage.
Demand generation content, on the other hand, will often feed into lead generation efforts. If your content is both useful and well-formatted, you will not only find people who didn’t know about you before, but many of them will immediately recognize the need for your product or service. They’ll search for additional information, and seek to contact your organization. Granted, this is the ideal, and not everybody who reads your content is going to convert into a customer. But you should be looking for those who will.
So, when considering lead vs demand generation, what should you focus on? The answer is, both! You need both types of content in order to have a well-rounded marketing strategy. If your demand generation content doesn’t lead to some way to actually contact you, you’re just generating demand for your competitors. If your lead generation content isn’t supplemented by demand generation, it will be less effective, because, on its own, it won’t be able to draw in as many interested prospects. This is why so many organizations now have both of these functions in their marketing departments.
Demand Generation with a Boom
We provide our clients with a comprehensive marketing and outreach service. For us, it’s not a question of lead vs demand generation. Marketing and sales are a holistic function of every business that works best when both lead generation and demand generation operate in harmony. We build on that harmony and accelerate conversion with focused sales development.
Contact us today to start scaling your marketing and sales outreach efforts!