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Understand Your Buyer's Journey: When to Use Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation

Learn about the key differences between demand generation vs. lead generation and how they work together here.

Demand generation and lead generation are both key parts of building your customer base, but there are several differences between the two. Because these are two separate strategies, lead generation efforts look a lot different than demand generation efforts, and the results differ as well.

Understanding when to use lead generation and demand generation is essential if you want to build your business. Both strategies can help you build your customer base and increase sales, and combining several marketing strategies is often the most effective way to grow your business.

Before you can fully understand how to use lead and demand generation marketing, you need to understand your target audience and the nuances of these two strategies. Learn more about the difference between demand gen vs. lead gen and how you can combine the two to benefit your business.

What is demand generation?

Demand generation marketing is a strategy that's used to increase interest in your brand and its products or services. The goal is to boost brand awareness and position your product as a quality product that people can trust.

While other parts of your marketing strategy may be focused on converting traffic to sales or encouraging customer loyalty, lead generation is specifically aimed at generating buzz that increases brand recognition and brings more attention to your product. There are several components to an effective demand gen strategy, but effective demand generation can eventually make it easier to increase lead generation down the road.

Demand generation objectives

Generating demand isn't as simple as pumping out content that focuses on your target audience. An effective demand generation strategy can help you build buzz that can ultimately lead to sales, but it starts with setting clear objectives and taking steps to meet those objectives.

The main goal of demand generation is to increase interest in your products and services. You've probably seen some of the products that have gone viral on social media, all of which are excellent examples of generating demand. You can tell people about your product, showcase it in a video, and use other strategies to build awareness.

Your demand generation content should also be focused on educating your customers. Many business owners make the mistake of using traditional marketing channels as their primary form of marketing, but educating your customers without selling a product positions your business as an authority and not spammy. Ultimately, you want to build attention around your brand without blatantly trying to sell your product.

Lastly, building relationships with prospective customers is a big part of demand generation. The more you build trust and form relationships with your customers, the easier it is to deliver valuable content. People also like brands and products that don't feel like faceless entities.

Demand generation objectives and tactics

Demand generation tactics

When it comes to generating demand and getting people started on the customer journey, you have a lot of work ahead of you. Combining several tactics is the best way to build buzz and generate demand for your products and services.

Account-based marketing is a common strategy if you know your target audience well. The idea is to target specific accounts with marketing messages by addressing their unique situation and needs instead of creating generic content. This is different from email marketing, where you're typically creating a set of marketing emails and sending them to an entire mailing list.

Social media and influencer marketing are also popular tactics when it comes to demand generation. We mentioned all the viral products you see on social media these days, and that's a direct result of social media and influencer marketing. Traditional advertising can help you reach a larger audience, but that audience probably won't share your message and help you boost your brand. With the help of social media and influencers, your brand and product can get an organic boost through audience engagement.

Free stuff is always an effective way to generate demand for your product. By giving people a taste of your product and letting them experience it for themselves, whether at a trade show or community event, you can increase awareness about your products and services.

Webinars and other educational content can also be helpful. People don't want to buy products if they feel like they're being coerced into making a purchase, so educating prospects through webinars is a great way to familiarize them with your brand and product without explicitly selling anything.

What is lead generation?

Lead generation is a different part of the sales funnel that involves both attracting prospective customers to your business and nurturing those prospects to convert them into customers. The goal is to provide content that's relative to your prospects, so you can encourage them to use your products or services as a solution to their problems. Lead nurturing is a crucial part of building your customer base alongside demand generation, but it has its own unique challenges, objectives, and tactics.

Lead generation objectives

With lead generation campaigns, the objective includes increasing brand awareness and identifying leads. You want to figure out who your potential customers are and target them with lead generation content that encourages them to check out your brand and its products or services.

When generating leads, the goal is to build a database of potential customers and identify your qualified leads. To understand which leads are qualified leads, you need to look at the buying power of each lead, their organization, how much they need your product or service, and how much they've engaged with your brand. Ideally, you want leads with high buying power who need your products or services and have engaged with your brand frequently, as they're the easiest to convert.

Brand awareness is also a key part of lead generation. Boosting brand awareness increases engagement with your brand, which can help you generate leads. Over time, your lead generation strategy can help you increase revenue as a result of increased brand awareness.

Ultimately, converting leads into customers is the primary objective of lead generation. As important as the other objectives are, you should always focus on increasing your conversion rates.

Lead generation objectives and tactics

Lead generation tactics

Effective lead generation starts with using the right strategies, and there are several ways to do that. Traditional marketing campaigns can be great for lead generation, but generating leads also has a lot to do with your content strategy and how you target prospects with relevant content.

From email campaigns and referral programs to paid advertising, all the traditional marketing techniques can help you generate leads. When it comes to using traditional marketing channels, keep in mind that your campaign is only as effective as the content within it.

A call-to-action (CTA) is a great way to convert leads to customers. A CTA is a short message in the middle or at the end of content that encourages readers to take action. You can use CTAs at the end of marketing emails, social media posts, and blog posts to help convert customers.

Speaking of blog posts, blogging is another key part of lead generation. People who are interested in your product will want to learn more through educational content, and you can use those blog posts to answer questions that may be preventing prospects from making a purchase.

Live chat services are also effective. When customers have a question about your product, live chats allow them to get a quick answer before they decide to shop elsewhere.

What is the difference between lead generation and demand generation?

Lead generation and demand generation are very different, with different objectives and tactics as well as different results.

Demand generation vs. lead generation

Demand generation is designed to build buzz around your brand, which gets people to check out your website to learn more about your products and services. However, those prospects are just prospects until you convert them into a customer. Lead generation is the actual process of converting a potential customer into an actual customer by capturing contact information through CTAs and offering solutions to customers. These two strategies work together in some ways, but you don't want to focus on demand generation when you should be focusing on converting leads.

When you're just getting started and trying to build attention, demand generation is often the way to go. Once you have prospective clients or customers, lead generation allows you to focus on converting them into paying clients or customers.

How do lead generation and demand generation work together?

While lead generation and demand generation are different, they go hand-in-hand when it comes to boosting your business. These strategies are both parts of the sales funnel, which you want to move customers through to convert traffic into sales. Demand generation gets people to check out your brand and its products or services at the top of the funnel, while lead generation helps you convert potentially interested customers to sales at the bottom of the funnel. Successful businesses focus on both lead and demand generation.

Grow your brand through demand and lead generation marketing

As a business owner, you have a lot on your plate. From B2B marketing to building awareness around your product, your marketing efforts have a major effect on the success of your business. Fortunately, you don't have to do everything alone.

With Mailchimp, you can use insights and analytics to learn more about your target audience. Our email marketing tools and campaign templates can help you create engaging content, from emails to landing pages and signup forms. If you need help growing your brand through demand and lead generation marketing, try Mailchimp today.

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