Don’t feel bad if you’re a bit fuzzy on the differences between demand generation and lead generation. Few marketers will argue that you can get away with just one or the other. Most marketers agree that the best result is when both work together in sequence.

You’ll find some marketers who will tell you that demand generation is just a rebranded way of looking at lead generation for the digital age. Both are a part of building relationships with prospects. Both must accompany them along the sale cycle. But one works best when it comes before the other.

 

Start with demand generation

Demand generation is any type of marketing that seeks to build awareness and drive interest in your business. Much of demand marketing today is comprised of content creation, social media posts, and other forms of inbound marketing. It focuses on the problemyou share with them.

Demand generation efforts capture leads by generating enough interest by a prospect that they’re willing to provide you with contact information so you can deepen your relationship with them. This type of generation is often viewed as a long-term effort. Your focus is on brand positioning and awareness. Often, you know who your buyers are and where they exist online. Your objective is to demonstrate to them that you understand their pain points, and that your product or service can solve them. You are manufacturing attraction. Demand generation can and often does result in capturing contact information, but these prospects are likely to still be in the information gathering stage of the buyer’s journey. They probably aren’t ready for a sales pitch.

 

Follow up with lead generation

Demand generation is all about creating want or need. Now you must decide which of these prospects warrant further investment of your time. Your marketing content becomes more specific and customized. This is also known as lead nurturing.

The type of content marketing that works most effectively to get people who are ready to buy to step forward and identify themselves is less about the problem and more about the solution. People further along the buyer’s journey are more likely to provide direct contact information in exchange for white papers or eBooks, webinars, and how-to guides. They’re trying your product on for size.

But there’s a problem. Thanks to technology such as voice search, a growing number of prospects are becoming more anonymous, even as their desire for information about your product or service grows. You need a solution stronger than demand generation to fuel lead generation.

 

Are we right for each other?

Both types – demand generation and lead generation – have the same objective. Get closer to those who want to buy what you sell. But we all know that not all prospects are ready to make that decision. Generally, just 3 percent of those in your market are ready to buy right now, and only an additional 7 percent are open to buying but not looking.

Demand generation goes after that 7 percent. The focus of your lead generation efforts must be on that top 3 percent. We can help you identify them. Learn more.