As a professional B2B agency providing marketing consultation, we often see the terms demand generation and lead generation used interchangeably. They are, however, two completely different ingredients in marketing's recipe to increase quality B2B leads and develop sales growth.
2 important distinctions to be aware of when building your marketing strategy are:
Demand generation is for strangers. In order to attract buyers who have never heard of your company or brand, it will take demand generation tactics. Forging successful email campaigns, interesting social media postings, prominent press releases, and thorough pay-per-click campaigns are all examples of demand generation creating B2B qualified sales leads. Demand generation content tends to be broad in scope, covering topics not just about your particular business, but about your industry in general. The overall goal of a demand generation strategy is to attract leads and ready them for sales.
Lead generation works best on parties who are aware of you. Buyers who are already aware of your company and product, and who may be interested in buying are the ones lead generation initiatives target. Lead generation strives to capture the potential buyer's information with forms, whether physical forms at a trade show or online forms that must be completed before gaining access to a valuable eBook or other piece of enticing information, for example. The goal, which is different slightly than from a demand generation effort, is to gain new contacts for sales.
The similarity between demand generation and lead generation is this: both help drive growth in maximize revenue.
Smart marketing teams realize that the greatest return will result with the two ingredients being added into the recipe at different stages, complementing each other and pushing toward the overall company goal of greater ROI and bigger sales. A professional B2B agency can assist in working through the complexities of setting up successful lead AND demand generation strategies, to best maximize your time and resources.
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