More than ever, marketers are being tasked with, and evaluated on, lead quality over quantity. With limited resources, strict competition, and so much of the buying decision occurring before a sales interaction – sales teams must focus on leads with the highest indication of intent to buy. This means focusing on the entire revenue cycle instead of defining the funnel in terms of sales. Throughout the stages of the revenue cycle, demand is generated by qualifying lead readiness and instigating personalized, targeted attention to each prospect.
The shift in our marketing vocabulary to “demand generation” is an evolution of thinking from lead generation (top of the funnel) to generating pipeline opportunities and revenue (bottom of the funnel). Demand generation marketers constantly test, experiment, and optimize in order to drive efficiency, awareness, and revenue to the company. By supporting the entire marketing and sales cycle, demand generation highlights marketing’s direct contribution to revenue and encompasses every touchpoint during the buyer’s journey.
So what’s the difference between demand generation and lead generation?
Lead generation and demand generation are similar in the usage of tools and tactics. Both rely on smart, precise targeting matched with compelling, relevant content. However, the two use targeting and content for different purposes. Additionally, lead generation is an essential component of your overall marketing and demand generation strategy. Here’s how we like to think about it:
Demand Generation is the process of generating awareness and getting people interested in your company, your products and/or services, or sometimes your industry. Essentially, you’re creating demand for what you have to sell.
Lead generation is the task of using content and turning that generated interest into names and contact details (leads) for future sales follow-ups.
Demand Generation takes prospects all the way…
Demand generation nurtures prospects from awareness by presenting a problem the prospect has and you can solve, through gaining their trust and confidence in your brand, and finally to definite interest in what your solutions can do for them. Lead generation then translates the generated interest into something tangible and actionable.
Examples of Demand Generation Techniques:
- Sharing thought leadership content that demonstrates your sector expertise
- Distributing free resources and tools that show how useful you and your services can be
- Sharing influencer posts from your leadership that showcase your brand values
“Every interaction you want an individual to have with your content must be focused either on lead gen or on demand gen.” —Content Marketing Institute
Demand generation and lead generation have an important place within your marketing strategy. It’s important to be clear what your goals are with each campaign, be focused on helping the buyer move to the next stage, and have a strong call to action to this logical next step. Using the right tools, technology, and strategic development, organizations can implement successful demand generation and lead generation tactics.
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