More than ever, marketers are being tasked with and evaluated on lead quality over quantity. With limited resources, tough 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 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 to drive the company's efficiency, awareness, and revenue. 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.
Demand Generation VS. Lead Generation
Lead generation and demand generation are similar in using tools and tactics. Both rely on intelligent, precise targeting matched with compelling, relevant content. However, they use targeting and content for different purposes. Lead generation is essential to your overall marketing and demand generation strategy. Here's how to think about it:
Demand Generation: Generates awareness and gets people interested in your company, your products and/or services, or sometimes your industry. Essentially, you're creating demand for what you offer.
Lead Generation: This is the task of using content and turning that generated interest into names and contact details (leads) for future sales follow-ups.
Demand Generation Gains Trust
Demand generation nurtures prospects from the awareness stage by presenting a problem the prospect has and how you can solve it. Gaining your prospect's trust and confidence in your brand will help differentiate you from other solutions. Lead generation then works with demand generation to translate 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.
Demand generation and lead generation have an important place within your marketing strategy. Be clear about your goals with each campaign, focus on helping the buyer move to the next stage, and have a strong call to action for the next step. Organizations can implement successful demand generation and lead generation tactics using the right tools, technology, and strategic development.
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