If you’re like me, the terms “demand generation” and “lead generation” are a little bit like talking about sushi. Sure, they sound similar, but they’re actually two completely different things. So what’s the difference? Let’s break it down:
Demand generation is about informing, attracting, cultivating and nurturing the customers you want.
Demand generation is not about selling. It’s not about closing, either. And it definitely isn’t the same as lead generation, which is all about generating leads in order to get customers.
Demand generation is a multi-step process that helps you attract prospects and create relationships with them so they’ll eventually buy your product or service. The goal: To create a continuous flow of qualified prospects who want to hear from you when it comes time for them to buy what you’re selling.
Lead generation is about capturing and qualifying the interest of prospective buyers in your product or service.
It’s important to understand what lead generation is, and how it differs from demand generation. Demand generation is about capturing and qualifying the interest of prospective buyers in your product or service. Lead management software helps you capture leads by asking questions that are relevant to your business (e.g., “What’s your job title?”), then automatically assigning those leads into different groups based on their answers.
Lead management software helps you manage your leads as they move through the sales process, moving them into campaigns by category so you can stay organized and track their progress.
A demand generation marketer wants to attract a potential customer early in the buyer’s journey so they can nurture them through the research, consideration and decision stage. Lead gen marketers target prospects later in their buying journey with a clearly defined target audience and a specific action to take (i.e. download this white paper or register for a webinar).
The demand generation marketer wants to attract a potential customer early in the buyer’s journey so they can nurture them through the research, consideration and decision stage. Lead gen marketers target prospects later in their buying journey with a clearly defined target audience and a specific action to take (i.e. download this white paper or register for a webinar).
The definition of lead generation is used to describe businesses that create interest in their products or services by contacting potential customers directly. A lead generator will perform some form of research on their own before reaching out, which allows them to have insight into what needs their prospect has, what information they’re looking for, etc., which makes it easier for them to tailor the message they’re sending based on those factors.
The marketing collateral for demand gen is more broad whereas lead gen is specific to that campaigns’ objectives.
Demand gen and lead gen are similar in that they both generate a lot of leads, but they’re different in the way that they’re used. Lead generation is more sales-focused, as it aims to convert prospects into customers by offering them something in return for their contact information. Demand generation focuses on nurturing relationships with current customers by providing them with useful content or services.
Because lead gen collateral is more targeted and specific to the campaign goals, it tends to be less broad than demand gen collateral. For example, if you’re running a campaign that focuses on getting people to download an ebook about your product or service, your lead gen collateral would include things like banners and landing pages promoting this offer (along with any other relevant information). On the other hand, if you were just trying to get people interested in reading about what your company does overall then it wouldn’t make sense for these materials being very specific—it would probably be better suited towards an article written by one of your employees instead (which may end up getting shared across social media anyway).
Demand Gen takes a long term view on gaining customers while lead gen focuses on immediate sales activities
Demand Gen focuses on long term customer retention while lead gen focuses on short term sales opportunities by qualifying leads and converting them into sales opportunities.
We hope this post helped you understand the difference between demand generation and lead generation. The key takeaway is that demand gen takes a long term view on gaining customers while lead gen focuses on immediate sales activities. If your business doesn’t have time for in-depth customer research or nurturing, then lead gen might be right for you!
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