The difference between lead generation and demand generation is subtle, yet incredibly important to understand. Where one focuses on the entire lead-to-revenue process (demand gen), the other focuses on the top of funnel conversions (lead gen).
Demand Generation: Demand generation focuses on positioning and brand awareness, and is typically done through marketing campaigns. The entire purpose of demand gen is garnering excitement about your overall company, product, or service—making people want to buy from you and then nurturing that interest into business opportunities. Demand generation primarily focuses on the entire customer journey.
Lead Generation: Lead gen is also based on marketing campaigns, yet the goal of it is to collect information about potential customers and turn them into leads that will then enter the sales funnel. When it comes to lead gen, content is also crucial, yet it’s used in a slightly different way. Lead gen is predicated on gated content that directs potential customers to a landing page, where they can then fill out a lead form in exchange for the content they want. Gating content helps keep less qualified leads out of the sales funnel, and allows salespeople to focus on those who are more likely to buy.
There is considerable overlap here in purpose and tactics. For instance, both demand generation and lead generation may use the following:
- Data sheets
- Blog posts
But the positioning of each tactic varies. Demand generation teams may decide to host a thought leadership webinar about a particular industry pain point. The content, in a demand gen webinar, would primarily be evergreen and product agnostic in nature. Whereas a lead generation webinar would focus more on trying similar problem-solution messaging, but with a more direct tie into a brand’s value proposition through the use of product features and customer testimonials.