Lead Generation and Demand Generation – Is there a difference?

Lead Generation and Demand Generation – Is there a difference

First of all, yes.

Demand Generation encompasses all marketing activities that drive awareness about one’s company, brand or product. It aims to position a brand in the minds of its target audience.

Meanwhile, Lead Generation is the actual process of gathering leads through multiple channels available. It is the measurable output of the sales and marketing machine.

In short, Demand Generation helps in making Lead Generation easier. One can still gather leads even without carrying out a deliberate demand generation campaign, but it would certainly help if both elements co-exist side-by-side.

Think of it as a movie. Before the release date of a film, production companies would spend millions of dollars in promoting over the internet, creating movie trailers, posters, merchandise, and other things that let people know that such a movie is coming out, which then motivates them to watch it. That’s demand generation.

So lead generation, in this context, is the process of actually distributing the film to movie theaters around the world so they could sell the tickets. It’s the measurable output; a film’s success is usually based on box office earnings.

Now, they could still sell tickets without going through all the hassle of promoting it, but if that’s the case, only a handful of people would flock in. That’s the relationship dynamic of demand and lead generation.

Now that that’s out of the way, what exactly are the activities involved that draw the fine line between the two?

Demand Generation usually involves activities that are purely marketing in nature. It focuses on introducing not only a business’s products and services but also the industry it belongs to.

This is particularly true for non-mainstream businesses that most people don’t encounter on a daily basis. These industries rely on demand generation to position themselves so that their target market could actually know that such an enterprise exists.

Examples of demand generation are whitepaper, blog posts, viral videos, or product launch events.

Lead generation usually comes in the form of emails with subscriptions links, sign-up forms found on blog pages, telemarketing calls, tracking website visits and any other medium that aims to collect information from people which would then be used to bring them along the sales funnel.

Both lead and demand generation have one common goal, and that is to bring in potential buyers into a business. Although done differently, all of their activities are vital in sustaining brand awareness in an industry that’s bursting with competition.