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Lead Generation and Demand Generation: What’s the Difference?

Lead Generation and the Demand Generation

Think of the most popular restaurant in your city, the one where you’ve got to make a reservation because there is never an open table.

Do you see it in your mind? That restaurant most likely hasn’t been advertised in years. Their happy customers are their only marketing department.

A wise advertising wizard by the name of Roy H. Williams once said:

“Advertising is a tax we pay for not being remarkable.”

So how do we become remarkable? How do we get to the point of success where our customers are advertising for us?

One strategy many thriving businesses use is demand generation. Nope, not lead generation — demand generation.

At this point, you may be wondering “what the heck is that?” 

In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about demand generation and how it’s different from lead generation so your business can start reaping the benefits.

What is Demand Generation?

Demand generation is a data-driven marketing strategy that uses the inbound methodology to surge awareness and engagement throughout the entire buyer and customer lifecycle. 

This process’ primary focus is on revenue creation and can become the most lucrative when executed through an single unified marketing strategy. 

A true demand generation strategy considers every touchpoint in the buyer’s journey — all the way from the first time they become aware of your product to when they (hopefully) become a lifelong customer and advocate. 

Building a demand generation strategy can take a lot of experimentation. If you want to skip the costly steps, Wizard of Ads™ can help!

Our team of marketing professionals has demand generation down to a science. We have the know-how, experience, and tenacity to bring your demand generation strategy to life in a way that will increase leads and conversions, generate sales — and most importantly — boost ROI. 

Book a call with us today to learn more!

Demand Gen vs. Lead Gen

Demand generation and lead generation are two important concepts in marketing. Though they are similar, there are some key differences between the two. 

Demand generation is focused on building demand or interest in a product or service. This can be done through various marketing campaigns, such as advertising, public relations, or even word-of-mouth marketing. 

Lead generation, on the other hand, is focused on collecting information about potential customers and turning them into leads. This IS done through digital advertising tactics, including PPC, funnels, and online form submissions.

The Demand Generation FunnelThe Demand Generation Funnel

Now that you understand the key differences between lead gen and demand gen, let’s take a journey through the demand generation funnel so that you can see how it all comes together.

Awareness

At the top of the funnel is awareness. In order for someone to eventually become a paying customer, they first need to be aware that your product or service actually exists. This way, when potential customers are finally ready to buy, they will already have a positive association with your brand.

Research

The next stage in the demand generation funnel is research. Prospects should now be researching their options and trying to learn more about their potential purchase. 

If you can provide helpful information that prospects can use to make better purchasing decisions, they will be more likely to do business with you. By creating informative content, you can build trust and credibility with your audience, which will eventually lead to a sale.

Consideration

In the consideration stage, buyers have done enough research, and now they are evaluating options and comparing vendors. At this point, they are looking for more specific information that will help them make their decision. 

During this stage, your goal is to educate the buyer about your product or service and position yourself as the best solution to their problem.

As buyers move through the consideration stage, they will begin to narrow down their options and make a decision on which company they believe offers the most value with the product or service they need. 

Purchase

At the purchase stage, your potential customers are ready to buy. They’ve done their research and they know what they want. Your job is to make it easy for them to buy from you.

There are a few things you can do to make this happen:

  1. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and that it has a clear call-to-action (CTA). Your CTA should be visible and obvious, and it should be easy for potential customers to find the product or service they’re looking for.
  2. Offer multiple payment options. The more options you offer, the more likely it is that potential customers will find a payment method that works for them.
  3. Offer discounts or promotions. This can be a great way to entice potential customers who are on the fence about making a purchase.
  4. Provide excellent customer service. If potential customers have any questions or concerns, they should be able to reach someone who can help them.
  5. Make it easy to return items. No one likes dealing with returns, but it’s important to offer this option in case potential customers are not satisfied with their purchase.

By following these tips, you can make the purchase stage of the demand generation process go smoothly and increase your chances of making a sale.

Knowing the Concept and FundamentalsKnowing the Concept and Fundamentals

The demand generation funnel is a huge part of gaining new leads, but it’s nothing without fully understanding the key concepts and fundamentals. To hit a home run with your online leads, make sure you are familiar with these concepts:

Brand awareness

So at this point, we know the role brand awareness plays in demand generation, but what are the methods you can use to properly showcase your brand?

You can start by building a strong brand identity. Create a message that exudes who your company is, what you stand for, and how you want to be perceived. You’ll need to consider your target audience, what aesthetics represent your company well, and what type of voice you want to use when communicating with others.

Other methods include identifying buyer personas, a process to help you zero in on the types of leads you want and the content they’re interested in, as well as thought leadership, or creating content that establishes you and your company as experts in your field. You can also use social media, events, and PR to get your brand out there.

No matter what method you use, the important thing is to be consistent with your messaging and design. Your goal is to make sure that when people see your brand, they instantly think of the values and qualities that you represent.

Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing is a demand generation strategy that focuses on creating and distributing content that attracts leads to your company’s products or services. It is an important part of any overall marketing plan and can be particularly effective in driving sales. 

Some methods in inbound marketing are:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO): This means creating content that is keyword-rich and optimized for the search engines so that your target audience can easily find it when they are searching for information related to your product or service. 
  • Social media: A strong branding presence on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn can help you reach a wider audience and generate leads. By sharing your content with your social media followers, you can get more people to visit your website and learn more about your product or service. 
  • Email marketing: By sending out monthly newsletters or targeted email campaigns, you can keep your customers and prospects informed about your latest offerings and generate more leads. 
  • Lead generation: Once you have attracted more visitors to your website and increased your social media following, you can start generating new leads by asking people to sign up for your email list or contact you for more information.

Sales enablement

Sales enablement is a term used in business to describe the activities that facilitate the selling process and help salespeople be more effective. 

This strategy aims to provide salespeople with the right tools, training, and information so they can sell more effectively. It also involves processes and systems to help manage and track sales activity. 

Some methods of sales enablement include:

  • Providing salespeople with content such as product sheets, case studies, and brochures.
  • Offering training on products, services, and company processes.
  • Creating a central repository for sales materials.
  • Implementing systems to track customer interactions and activity.

Sales enablement is an important part of demand generation because it not only helps ensure that your salespeople can sell effectively and efficiently, but also gives them the confidence to perform well. When salespeople are properly equipped with the right tools and information, they’ll close more deals, generate more revenue for the company, and be genuine advocates for your brand.

Customer retention

Customer retention

As we all know, customer retention is key to any business’ success. But what exactly is customer retention? Simply put, it’s the ability of a company to keep its customers coming back for more.

There are several different strategies that businesses can use to improve customer retention. Some common methods include offering loyalty programs, providing superior customer service, and creating a strong brand identity. 

You can also execute client marketing initiatives like customer win-backs and customer satisfaction surveys, generate upsells and renewals such as cross-sells and product bundling, or even just show your customers some appreciation with a handwritten thank you note. 

Of all of these methods, the most important are having a powerful brand story and an exceptional customer experience. Your brand and the value that you offer through a world-class buying experience are what sets you apart from your competitors, and it’s what customers will remember long after their purchase.

When you can build a loyal customer base, you’ll get free leads because they’ll do much more of the marketing work for you!

Level Up Your Demand Generation Campaign

If you want your demand generation strategy to be truly effective, you need to account for revenue operations (RevOps). This means aligning technologies, stakeholders, and business processes to fuel growth.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to do this, whether through an in-house RevOps team, a partner, or a combination of both. By taking advantage of all the resources at your disposal, you can ensure that your demand generation program is as efficient and effective as possible.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when setting up your RevOps strategy:

  • Make sure your technologies are integrated and able to talk to each other. This will make it easier to track data and measure results.
  • Get buy-in from all stakeholders on the process and what success looks like. Everyone needs to be on the same page for this to work.
  • Define what your lead scoring criteria are and how leads will move through the funnel. This will help you prioritize opportunities and focus your efforts.
  • Set up reporting and analysis so you can identify any gaps in the funnel or pipeline. You need to be able to see where there are problems so you can fix them.
  • Train everyone on the process so they know how to use it and what their role is. No one can be left out or things will start to break down.
  • Follow up regularly to make sure the process is still working and that everyone is still on board. Things change, and you need to be able to adapt.

If you can do all of these things, you will be well on your way to setting up a strong foundation for revenue operations. This will pay off in the long run by helping you optimize your demand generation strategy and effectively attribute marketing’s contribution to revenue.

“Each of us is a point-of-contact with our customer, a channel of communication. When we use the brandable chunks – signature phrases – that were introduced in our mass-media ads and reinforced on our website; when each of us delivers the personality that we promised in our ads, we have channel alignment. When we fall short of this, we are guilty of bait-and-switch.” 

— Roy H. Williams

Channel alignment is key to a successful Demand generation strategy, and we at Wizard of Ads™ have the tools you need to make sure your brand is delivering on its promises. 

If you’re feeling intimidated by all the changes in today’s marketing landscape, don’t worry — we can help. 

Book a call with us today and let us show you just how easy it can be to create a winning demand gen strategy for your business.

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