A potential client recently asked me, “What’s the difference between Demand Generation, Lead Generation and Inbound Marketing? How do they work together?”
Those are pretty good questions. Over the years these terms have often been misunderstood and interchanged for one another. Let’s begin with some definitions.
WHAT IS DEMAND GENERATION?Demand Generation: Includes all the marketing activities that create interest and demand in your company, its products and services. Demand Gen involves both inbound and outbound marketing to build and nurture prospect/customer relationships for the long term and to eventually provide sales teams with higher quality leads.
WHAT IS LEAD GENERATION?Lead Generation: Gathering registration information, often in exchange for content you provide, in order to build a marketing database for email, telemarketing or sales follow up.
WHAT IS INBOUND MARKETING’S ROLE?
As explained by HubSpot, “Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people towards your company. By aligning your content and messaging with your customers’ interests, you naturally attract audiences, connect with stakeholders, and build a culture around your brand.
Over time, a high proportion of this inbound traffic will convert into paying customers. In fact, inbound leads are 5x more likely to become customers than outbound leads. In addition to closing deals, you delight customers and build lasting, long-term relationships with your community.”But what type of content should you provide since the focus of each is different? The focus of demand generation is shaping the audience’s perspective, while the emphasis of lead generation is to capture their information.
CONTENT MARKETING FOR DEMAND GENERATION
Demand Gen content should be readily accessible to help build awareness and position your company as a thought leader and influencer. This type of content is typically given away freely and made to be easily shared. Examples include blogs, social media, videos, podcasts and newsletters.
An added benefit of this type of material is that the more it is shared, the more your SEO rankings improve.
CONTENT MARKETING FOR LEAD GENERATION
Lead Gen content is often longer and more detailed than demand gen content. Content of this type often identifies a common problem and offers help in making an informed decision for finding a solution. Examples of this type of in-depth content include ebooks, whitepapers, how-to guides , reports and webinars.Lead Gen content is viewed as valuable and is typically placed behind a “gate” to motivate form submissions. After submitting a form, your leads should be primed for receiving an eventual sales call or email from you.
THE ROAD TO SUCCESS
Lead Gen and Demand Gen are distinct tactics that work together in your overall inbound marketing plan. A successful inbound marketing strategy needs to have both types of content working with one another.
Read more, download the “The Inbound Marketing Playbook”.