CMOs and their marketing teams are increasingly responsible for the success of the company. Marketing drives sales, and a savvy marketing team-and their B2B agency partner- knows they need to show strong ROI on their strategic initiatives to keep the C-suite happy. Demand generation and lead generation both play an integral role in marketing's overall success in being able to generate qualified B2B leads. However, these initiatives are not interchangeable.
Demand generation and lead generation are basically different legs of the same journey. Smart marketers know lead generation doesn't generate qualified B2B leads to the full potential without a stellar demand generation strategy.
Think of it as an airport. Demand generation is an airport in New York. Many potential buyers arrive at the airport, having a wide variety of destinations. Demand generation encompasses ALL marketing aspects, from brand awareness, to a trade show booth, to pay-per-click campaigns, to broad industry news. It includes both inbound and outbound marketing. Every action that falls under the marketing umbrella to attract attention is demand generation.
Lead generation is the portion of the journey that is more targeted. Still rolling with the example above, lead generation would be the prospects actually boarding the plane, having made a commitment to go on the journey. Lead generation begins when a prospect fills out a form to receive an eBook, registers for a webinar, or subscribes to the company blog or newsletter. This is the portion of the process where marketers actually capture the potential buyer's information, and then begin targeting them specifically.
So, why care?
In order to generate qualified B2B leads, the marketing team must employ strong lead generation tactics. However, demand generation cannot be ignored! The more comprehensive a demand generation strategy, the more prospects it will feed into the lead generation pipeline.
A professional B2B agency can assist in creating and implementing the right mix of demand generation and lead generation tactics that will maximize ROI and achieve the desired payoff.
Smart marketers understand that it's imperative to establish and consistently perfect multiple avenues for demand generation. The benefit will be a successful lead generation campaign that reaps lots of new clients and profitable business. And that is the destination we all want to visit!
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