Demand Generation Vs. Lead Generation | 4 mins read

Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation- Key Differences

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Hanh Truong

By Hanh Truong

Introduction to Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation

Many of today's marketing efforts are focused on demand generation and lead generation. While both concepts sound similar, the two initiatives are very different in their own ways. Business owners should be aware of the key differences between demand generation and lead generation. This will allow for an effective marketing strategy, which will boost customer conversion rates and maximize profit margins.

Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation

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Demand generation is the practice of targeting marketing tactics throughout a customer's buying journey. A key focus of this technique is helping prospective consumers identify an obstacle they are experiencing and posing the brand as a solution. For instance, if a person looks up Best Places to Eat in Orange County, they may find a demand generation blog post that promotes a restaurant in the Orange County area.

The most common demand generation efforts include content curation for social media and website blogs. Some companies will also have marketing teams create videos, podcasts, and infographics to post online. These techniques emphasize marketing for wider audiences and being relevant to consumer bases.

On the other hand, lead generation is the process of leading a potential buyer to a final sale or subscription sign-up. This tactic is considered more natural, compared to demand generation. While demand generation focuses on engaging directly with customers and promoting brand awareness, lead generation builds on customers' existing interest in the brand. For example, a retailer helping a customer, who was examining a shoe advertisement, find the right sized pair is participating in lead generation activities.

With lead generation, the sales team is reaching out and helping customers relieve their pain points and needs. Then, they directly suggest solutions and options the customers can find down the sales funnel. Some of the most common tools businesses use for lead generation include webinars, events, and step-by-step blog posts.

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Which Businesses Should Use

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The demand generation and lead generation strategies company leaders should use depends on their mission, objectives, and consumer base. It is also dependent on how the business operates and what types of goods they are selling. For instance, if a brand wants to focus on awareness and product education, they may find demand generation most beneficial. Whereas, if the company wants to enhance its customer conversion and revenue, lead generation is a great marketing tactic.

As both concepts have different initiatives, they have distinct activities, as well. The following are the most common demand generation and lead generation projects-

Demand Generation

  • SEO Best Practices - Having a search engine optimization strategy will improve a brand's search rankings, which will boost website traffic.
  • Blog Posts - Companies can also improve their website ranking and traffic by curating blog posts related to the brand. This shows the company is an expert in the industry and can help build brand awareness.
  • Social Media Marketing - Brands can post photos, videos, and infographics about their products and services on social media to attract potential customers.
  • Accessible and Free Resources - Providing free trials, estimation tools, and walkthroughs will help potential customers understand more about the product or service.

Lead Generation

  • Email Marketing - Sending potential customers personalized emails about products or services will help generate leads.
  • Call to Action - Companies can provide call-to-action statements or instructions on their websites, blog posts, or social media accounts. Letting customers know how, where, or when to buy an item will drive up sales.
  • Landing Page - A unique and intuitive landing page will motivate customers to input their contact information in exchange for resources, information, and deals.

How to Balance Demand Gen and Lead Gen

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Fundamentally, demand and lead generation have the same common goal - expand consumer bases and boost revenue. These two initiatives work well together to help businesses have a seamless marketing pipeline. With a robust demand generation team, brands can attract audiences. And with a lead generation team, the company will turn these interested groups of people into sales numbers.

Businesses can find the right balance between their demand and lead generation by establishing their goals and overall mission. If a new small business needs to emphasize awareness, then they may invest in demand generation strategies more than lead generation. A restaurant may do the opposite to maximize its profit margins.

Key Takeaways to Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation

  • Although demand and lead generation can help businesses boost sales, these two concepts are different.
  • Demand generation emphasizes brand awareness and helping customers throughout their buyer's journey.
  • Lead generation focuses on helping interested customers relieve pain points to make a final sale.
  • Having the right balance between these two marketing efforts will help ensure seamless customer conversion and increased profitability.

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