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Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation: The Difference and Why You Should Care

Demand generation and lead generation are two separate and important elements of any effective inbound marketing strategy. It’s easy to wonder what the difference is between the two because the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.

Demand generation and lead generation may share many of the same tools, tactics, and objectives, yet each tactic leverages them differently to create success. Mixing them up could mean your campaigns won’t help you get the kind of demand — or leads — that you’re looking for.

In this article, we sort out the differences between demand generation and lead generation and make a clear distinction between the two, which will help you generate demand effectively for your brand, products, and services that translates into qualified leads.

Demand Generation Versus Lead Generation – The Difference

Demand Generation

  • Creates consumer demand for your products and services.
  • Focuses on brand awareness and product/service education at the top of the sales funnel.
  • Gets people interested in what your company stands for and what you have to sell.
  • Explores the problems people need to solve and creates awareness and interest in your solutions to their problems.

Lead Generation

  • Creates sales leads for your products and services.
  • Focuses on converting prospects into qualified leads that can be nurtured into customers.
  • Translates consumer interest into tangible, actionable assets to generate.
  • Turns people’s interest (demand) into actual names and contact details for your sales teams.

Demand Generation Campaigns Versus Lead Generation Campaigns

Both demand generation and lead generation campaigns depend on relevant content and precise targeting to be effective. However, lead generation often relies on demand generation campaigns to pave the way for prospects to convert to customers. As a result, demand generation and lead generation use targeting and content for different purposes.

  • The main objective of a demand generation campaign is to get as many people as possible engaging with your content, i.e., learning about your brand, products, services, expertise, or values and thinking about why they may want to buy from you.
  • The main objective of a lead generation campaign is to capture as many leads as possible by giving people a reason to share contact details and making it easy for them to do so.

Lead generation campaigns ask for a prospect’s contact information. Demand campaigns do not. If you gate your content behind a form asking for contact details, then you are running a lead generation campaign. If you make the content freely accessible so as many people as possible can engage with it, then you are running a demand generation campaign.

Using Demand Generation and Lead Generation Together

Since demand generation and lead generation complement each other, it makes sense to use the two in tandem to help drive new business to your company. Demand generation efforts actually impact lead generation in more ways than one.

For instance, no matter what marketing efforts you use — social media marketing, email marketing, compelling content on a blog, or lead magnet — all of it impacts prospects who are researching solutions to their problems. Your efforts will link them back to your website, establishing your brand, building your reputation, and guiding them toward their ultimate decision to buy.

A demand generation campaign acts as a way to get insight into potential customers and qualify leads before they journey through your sales funnel. This could help you generate better quality leads faster and nurture them effectively through your pipeline.

Here are three keys to help you seamlessly implement demand and lead generation and watch your leads go from interested to fully engaged and sales-ready.

Create Targeted Quality Content

Get to know your audience and create content for different industries, demographics, and stages of the pipeline. A person who just discovered your brand needs different content than someone who’s ready to make a purchase. Nurture not only your leads but also your existing customers with relevant information about your company, products, and services, plus sprinkle in thought leadership articles, too. Give your audience a mixture of freely accessible and gated content on your site to generate interest, educate, and acquire contact details.

Qualify Leads

After the quality content and strong SEO ranking of your well-targeted demand generation campaign take effect, prospects will have greater knowledge of your brand and your solutions. With a clearly outlined lead qualification process in place, it will be easier to learn whether or not your prospects are qualified leads. Prioritize legitimate leads who are likely to convert to customers.

Implement Marketing Automation Software

Automation software will help you streamline your process, eliminate human error, and speed up day-to-day tasks. Plus, companies using marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads.

11outof11 for Demand Generation

If you need a content marketing agency to help create demand generation campaigns with lead generation in mind, connect with 11outof11. Request a complimentary call with an 11outof11 expert. Contact us to learn more.

Topics: Marketing, Outsourced Marketing, Digital Marketing, sales leads