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  • Claire

Lead Generation vs. Demand Generation

Updated: Apr 6, 2018

Confusing the difference between lead generation and demand generation can mean missing out on leads or focusing time, money and resource on marketing initiatives that don’t perform.

By understanding the difference, and making this distinction in your marketing strategy, you will start to drive more relevant leads and ultimately, win new business.

So, what is the difference between the two?

Well, to put it simply;

Lead Generation is long, detailed and often gated.

Using content or other marketing initiatives you can collect visitors’ contact info by typically, placing content behind ‘gated’ walls on your website, where visitors will have to fill in a form or provide some personal information to access your content.

By capturing visitor’s data, this then gives you the opportunity to reach out and engage with these contacts, so you can start nurturing them through your sales funnel.

Typical Lead Generation content is often very detailed and lengthy. It will often identify a problem that your potential client or customer experiences, or it can offer helpful insights or recommendations on how to resolve these issues.

In essence, it’s valuable and educational content.

Demand Generation is short, sweet and free!

Demand Generation on the other hand is content generated to shape perceptions and drive interest in your services or products. Although it doesn’t immediately procure leads, Demand Generation can help shift perceptions over the long term. It can also benefit other marketing strategies, such as SEO.

By giving away loads of free, valuable content, you can build your brand awareness whilst developing trust and confidence in your brand. This is a slower burn strategy, but it will increase your chances of gaining organic leads further down the line.

However, just because you’re giving this content away for free doesn’t mean that you can’t include a clear call to action and capture some data. This will often come at the end of the piece of content and be an opt in recommendation, such as ‘Get in touch to find out more’ or ‘Subscribe to our Newsletter’.

Both Lead Generation and Demand Generation are hugely important marketing strategies that need to work in synergy with each other.

Lead Generation may provide a long list of potential leads, but they still need to be nurtured over time through your sales funnel to build belief and trust in you. Likewise, Demand Generation on its own will lose lots of its value if you can’t convert that demand into leads.

Combining these two strategies is even more important if you want to stand any sort of chance of winning new business or avoiding the pitch process entirely (Side note - if you haven’t yet heard about the ‘Inside Track’ theory by Blair Enns, then you need to read up on this ASAP).

When facing a new business opportunity, it’s important to be able to gauge early on - in any pitch situation - whether your potential client recognises and values your expertise. This will put you in the driving seat.

One of the best ways to gain this control is to have developed belief and trust from your potential client early on, through the creation of relevant and valuable content that can help to nurture relationships.

Without raising your brand awareness (Demand Generation), your lead-focussed campaigns will have a harder time reaching people. And if you don’t track and measure your content (Lead Generation), you’ll struggle to prove your contents impact on sales.

So, as with many things in life, balance is key.

If you need support in planning and creating content that delivers value to your prospects, then please get in touch to find out more.

(See what I did there… 😉)

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