Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation for B2B Marketing

Founder of Orchid Agency
Mariya Finkelshteyn
July 19, 2022
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The terms "demand generation" and "lead generation" get tossed around a lot in business-to-business (B2B)  marketing. They're closely related, so it's no surprise that some marketers confuse them or use the phrases interchangeably. Below we share our view on the differences between the two, why it’s important for marketers to know the difference, and how both can drive results and revenue as part of your marketing strategy.

What is demand generation?

Demand generation is a term used to describe the process of building awareness and interest for your product and your company  from your ideal customer profile (ICP). Demand generation tackles how your business reaches new customers and how to generate hype for your audience.  An effective demand generation marketing strategy usually involves an omnichannel marketing strategy that delivers clear, concise and effective value propositions to your ICP at the ideal stage of their customer journey.

The process of demand generation helps you increase brand awareness, educates audiences, and generates trust. It focuses on building relationships with influencers, decision-makers.. Furthermore, it dabbles in building awareness about your brand and its value proposition. 

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What is lead generation?

Lead generation is the process of converting prospects into leads and eventually accelerating pipeline journeys and converting the prospect to leads to  customers.  Leads are typically contacts and prospects within your ICP that are a part of the buying journey - either as - 

  • Gate-keepers - typically secretaries, admins, or lower level employees on the Decision Maker's team that serve as the first filter and point of contact in a buying process.
  • Influencers -  other team members and / or cross-functional employees that are responsible for providing input into the project and the purchasing process.
  • Decision makers - Typically a project owner and is also a leader within the organization that oversees project champions and overall project.
  • Project Champions - Internal team member(s) that typically serve as change agents by promoting the need for this project/solution, etc. within the company.  
  • Advisors - People within your ICP company or could be external contractors that serve as advisors to the decision makers or C-level executives. 
  • Financial/Budget owner - Usually a CFO or someone from the finance team or procurement team that has budgetary responsibility and can go/no go to decision.
  • CEO/ President - company CEO and President is involved in a buying journey, when applicable. 

Lead generation strategies can take many forms: from creating a compelling piece of content that drives traffic to your website, to running a paid ad campaign on platforms like Facebook or Google Adwords, to developing an email list so you can send out relevant offers when they're needed—or all three! The overall goal of lead generation is leading your prospects from being interested in your product or service, educating them, and finally getting them to take that last step, leading to a purchase.

Why Should You Use Both For Your Marketing Strategy?

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The main difference between demand generation and lead generation is that demand generation is about increasing your brand awareness while lead gen aims to convert brand-aware prospects into customers. Both lead generation and demand generation are important in your business and contribute to the marketing funnel. So, rather than focusing on demand vs. lead generation, you should focus on utilizing both tactics for maximum results.

After understanding how both demand and lead gen work, using them in tandem is a no-brainer. Whether your tactic for increasing brand awareness is through blogging, social media, or email you’ll be garnering the attention of your prospects. Once you’ve gotten them interested or educated in your offers, you’ll be able to provide solutions to their problem points, turning them from interested prospects to buying customers. Include a CTA in your blog or email, nurture your mailing list, and share relevant content with your customers to really reap the benefits of demand and lead generation.

Conclusion

Both demand generation and lead generation are necessary components of today’s marketing landscape. With the tools for measuring and sharing information readily available, it’s important to use them in order to drive business success. 

Combining these two strategies can help you grow your business and drive sales. If your demand generation strategies are effective they will help you attract potential leads. When you’ve successfully hooked your leads, lead generation strategies can nurture them into satisfied customers.

We are happy to answer any questions related to both demand generation and lead generation- drop us a message

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