While lead generation and demand generation are often used interchangeably, they are not the same. When used together, however, they make quite the powerful team. After all, without demand, there can be no leads. Let’s take a closer look at lead generation vs demand generation.

What is demand generation?

Demand generation is a marketing technique designed to help you reach new markets, promote products and features, and optimize engagement with existing customers. It is what the brand does to capture attention and awareness. The key to demand generation is identifying the problems and needs of your prospective and pre-existing customers, and convincing them your product or service is their solution. Basically, generating a demand for your products and services.

Demand generation includes a few different approaches. Newsletters are a popular form of demand generation. Blog subscribers are often sent a weekly newsletter about new products or services, relevant topics, or news about the brand itself.

The key to demand generation is effective strategies. There are many different strategies you could utilize to increase the demand for your specific product or service, and it’s all about determining which ones work best for you.

A few demand generation strategies you could try are:

  • Keeping your blog up to date
  • Utilizing social media
  • Partnering with an influencer
  • Sponsoring an event

Your demand generation strategies get them to take the next step in the customer journey. If you provide them with enough valuable information that supports their purchase decision, you’re on the right path.

Why is demand generation important?

The main objective of demand generation is to develop and maintain customer relationships, keeping them consistent and long-term. Through demand generation, a company can make sure that its content targets the best possible audiences for its products or services. Without demand generation, a company cannot successfully market to the users it is trying to reach because it has not presented itself as a “solution” to the customers’ “needs”, new or existing customers. In order for this to be effective, marketers become more interactive with their customers through channels like social media, blogs, and webinars, as well as email marketing campaigns.

What is lead generation?

The first step in understanding lead generation is understanding leads. A lead is any person that shows interest in your company’s product or service in some way. Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting users interested in your products or services. When a person fills out a form or provides their information, usually in exchange for a relevant offer from your brand, they become a lead.

Coupons are a great example of an effective lead generation strategy. If a person stumbles on your website, they may see benefits for themselves through things like coupons or offers. If they find the coupon appealing enough, they may be more likely to give their name and/or email address in exchange for it. Even though it is a small amount of information, it shows companies who have expressed an interest in their products or services.

The main priority is to attract and capture information about your target audience. Why? The fact that these folks have “opted in” by giving you their information shows a strong level of interest. It is better to have prospects initiate the relationship with you, rather than vice versa, because it means they will be more likely to buy/utilize your product or service later down the line. You can even take things further and participate in lead scoring, which can help you understand the quality of your leads.

Some approaches to generating leads can be:

  • Email Marketing (studies show that 81% of respondents consider email marketing the most effective channel)
  • Blogging
  • Social Media
  • Creating valuable, downloadable content
  • Driving traffic to your website via advertising (ex: display ads)
  • Utilizing marketing automation technology

Why is Lead Generation Important?

As technology advances, competitors threaten to attract your customers before you do. The buying process is changing, and it is crucial for marketers to stand out from their competitors.  Marketers must focus on being “found,” and building relationships with customers from there. The prevalence of accessible information in the world has led to an increase in customers wanting control. They want control over where they send their information, what websites they want to visit, and what they believe they should buy.

Lead Generation Example

Now that you have a better understanding of lead generation vs. demand generation, and the importance of each, target your prospects and customers and make them stick with you!