Marketers talk a lot about ‘demand generation’ and ‘lead generation’ so we thought we’d clarify what they are and how they differ to help you decide which you should be using for your business.
Demand generation is about getting people interested in your business and creating awareness in your products or services.
How to do it
Provide potential customers with no-strings free, relevant content at any point they might cross paths with you. So begins the process of building familiarity, trust and credibility that will spark their interest in buying from you.
Types of content
By its nature, demand generation involves spreading your net wide but it still helps you differentiate between those who will and won’t be interested in your business; a blog about a new traffic light is unlikely to be read and shared by a chocolate manufacturer.
Demand generation content should be good quality and engaging, but as it’s provided for free this will influence how much resource you spend on it. Include a Call To Action (CTA) at the end using a much gentler tone than you would for lead generation activities e.g. ‘Find out more’.
Generating high-quality leads is one of the greatest challenges B2B organisations face. It involves turning potentially interested customers into genuine, tangible leads – with accompanying contact details.
How to do it – give and take
Because you want something, you need to give something. So, lead generation depends on the creation of high quality, valuable content that’s perceived as being worth exchanging those coveted contact details for. These are then passed to your sales team for further qualification before being progressed through the sales funnel.
‘Gated’ content could include:
So, which is best for your business?
The answer, perhaps predictably, is both! Although there are factors that might influence how you balance them (how long you’ve been in business, the products you’re selling, seasonal demand) we think of demand generation and lead generation as members of the same team – midfielder and striker – and they’re most effective when they’ve been used together.
The best demand generation tactics in the world won’t significantly grow your business unless you transform the interest you create into meaningful leads. On the other hand, lead generation tools don’t work unless you’ve created a high level of awareness about your business in the first place because a customer will only feel happy providing their details if you’ve built up a degree of trust with them first.
Keep content separate; if you try to re-work the same piece of content too extensively you risk losing your audience. Remember the customer will have different expectations about the quality and exclusivity of information they’re exchanging their information for.
At FIG we look at the big picture. We work with clients to create marketing plans that integrate demand and lead generation into a cohesive strategy that can be continually measured, reviewed and improved.