Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation in 2021 (Updated)

desktop computer with analytics showing demand generation marketing

What if we were to tell you there is a marketing practice that can result in a 50% increase in sales-ready leads. And 33% lower costs?

Well, there is, and it happens to form a part of demand generation marketing.

Demand generation is a powerful umbrella marketing technique. It encompasses a number of inbound generation marketing practices.

Because of this, there exists some confusion around what exactly is demand gen marketing. As well as how to successfully implement it. Fortunately, demand generation is not a complex idea, and we are about to dissect it with you here and now.

If you want to get crystal clear on what is demand generation marketing—the need-to-know strategy for every marketer—read on.

What Is Demand Generation?

Demand generation marketing is geared towards stimulating demand for a company’s offering. This is done through various marketing techniques.

Unlike other aspects of marketing, demand generation spans multiple departments. This integrated reach functions holistically to optimize customer (and potential customer) experience.

Like other conversion paths, demand generation is a funnel. The initial stage of the funnel is the identification of target audiences that are likely to be most receptive to an offering. This is implemented through techniques such as content marketing and email campaigns.

After this point, qualifying leads pass to a lead nurturing team. The team then fully qualifies prospects, and segments leads into varying levels of buyer readiness.

This process is highlighted in demand generation marketing and can be lengthy to ensure results. Do you remember the stat at the beginning of this post? Well, it referred to exactly this, lead nurturing. If done right, lead nurturing can yield increased sales and lowered costs.

Once highly qualified leads have been fully nurtured, the nurturing team then passes these on to the sales department.

When leads have passed through the demand generation funnel, they can be retargeted. Re-nurturing can then promote further demand and return customer conversions.

How Is It Different From Other Marketing Strategies?

You might be wondering, how is demand generation any different from lead generation? Or inbound marketing? Let us look at how demand gen fits into digital marketing.

Demand Generation vs Lead Generation

Lead generation and demand generation are integrally interlinked marketing methods.

However, demand generation is more encompassing than lead generation. Lead generation is typically a component of demand generation.

Demand generation creates brand awareness and interest in products or services. This reaches right up to the point of sale, and beyond.

Lead generation, on the other hand, is used within demand marketing to qualify people into leads. These leads can then continue through the demand generation funnel.

Demand Generation Marketing vs Content Marketing

Like lead generation, content marketing is a digital marketing tool that is used within demand generation.

For example, a company will produce blog posts and other content as a part of its broader demand generation marketing plan.

Demand Generation Marketing vs Inbound Marketing

As with content marketing, inbound marketing is a strategy that can be utilized in demand generation. Most demand generation campaigns will include inbound marketing. However, demand generation can also leverage outbound marketing if need be.

Demand Generation vs Digital Marketing

Lead generation and content marketing are subsets of demand generation marketing. In turn, demand generation falls under digital marketing.

Digital marketing refers to all types of marketing that utilizes digital channels. Demand generation is a part of digital marketing.

Why Demand Generation Marketing Is Important

It is no secret that marketing is going through a transformational shift. This is thanks to the disruptive effect of technology on consumer behavior. Although advertising is more than 4,000 years old, in the past few years marketing has been evolving faster than ever before in history.

Demand generation is the new refinement of advertising in action. It works primarily on data and is fine-tuned to cater to users’ wants, desires, and the buyer-cycle stage.

Gone are the days where cold calling and ruthless inbox spamming were effective. In today’s era of user-first marketing methods, practices like these will simply drive away potential leads.

Because of this, more and more companies are implementing demand generation campaigns. Not doing so will leave your offerings to fall behind the competitions’.

An example of this is email marketing. According to research, 91 percent of U.S. adults surveyed stated that they like receiving marketing emails from companies they engage with.

One of the reasons for this is that today’s marketing communications are useful and engaging to prospects. If yours are not, then good luck getting recipients to click open.

In short, with the help of user-centric demand generation, promotional efforts are more likely to be welcomed by potential customers. Anybody who is not aiming for this quality of engagement is likely to miss out on a significant amount of market share.

Tips and Techniques for Successful Demand Generation Campaigns

Implementation of effective demand generation marketing is critical. But how does one go about creating a demand gen campaign that is successful?

Here are a few techniques and tips to get you started:

  • Clearly define target audiences
  • Create content and free offerings (such as tools, resources, apps, etc) that are of value to them
  • Partner with thought leaders in your space on webinars, interviews, etc
  • Focus strongly on lead nurturing
  • Ensure that leads are qualified before proceeding through the sales process
  • Conduct ongoing A/B testing
  • Rely on data
  • Ensure that data is accurate and not duplicated
  • Engage with prospective leads on social media, one-to-one, with comments, share, and likes
  • Customize content for lead segments

These are a few of the key areas that contribute to a strong demand generation strategy.

Demand Gen Marketing Is Constantly Evolving

As B2B marketing morphs with new trends and technology, so does demand generation marketing. Demand generation is constantly evolving and adapting to suit consumers’ and business needs.

Do you want to stay ahead of the game and be able to evolve your demand generation campaigns to suit the times? If so, consider contacting us to find out more about our services.

Why would you want to do this? For the simple reason that we specialize in helping marketers and B2B organizations create demand generation marketing systems that run like well-oiled machines.

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