Demand generation versus lead generation. What’s the difference? Ever since the term “demand generation” evolved, there’s been confusion between the two.
However, B2B and medtech marketers who understand both disciplines—and use them together—can multiply your results across the sales pipeline. It’s worth the time to demystify demand generation versus lead generation, then put both to work to drive more interest, leads, and ultimately, closed sales for your business.
What is demand generation?
Demand generation is an umbrella category covering marketing activities that build awareness of and interest in your brand, product or service. Consider it your “always on” channel that’s constantly advertising, educating, talking about and keeping your brand top-of-mind in the marketplace.
Typical demand generation tactics include:
- Content marketing
- Thought leadership
- Social media
- SEO and websites
More advanced demand generation programs may leverage data-driven approaches that try and personalize content based on a potential medtech or B2B buyer’s interests and activities. Some even tap into chatbots and algorithms powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
How is lead generation different than demand generation?
Lead generation and demand generation share a common goal: identify and advance as many qualified buyers as possible through the sales process. However, they take two different approaches.
- Concentrates on the top of the sales funnel: engaging potential buyers and converting them to qualified leads.
- It employs a number of proven outbound marketing techniques to reach potential buyers, including inside sales prospecting calls, email marketing, direct response campaigns—even events and tradeshows.
- Many lead generation campaigns also rely on targeted lists, where you can identify potential buyers by company or individual contacts names.
- Encompasses the entire sales funnel, from awareness and initial inquiry through lead nurturing, opportunity evaluation, negotiation and final closed sales.
- It provides the supporting messages and sales enablement tools that help potential buyers “stick” and even move faster through the sales funnel.
- Most demand generation activities require the potential buyer to make the first move, such as conducting a Google search, visiting your website or watching a video on your social media channel. With demand generation, prospects may make a number of these visits before they complete a lead form or otherwise identify themselves.
Can you use demand generation and lead generation together?
Yes! The ideal scenario for medtech and B2B marketers is having both types of programs—lead generation and demand generation—running together. And, it’s easier than you might think.
The benefits of simultaneous lead generation and demand generation are numerous:
- Multiply your brand touchpoints in the marketplace
- Make it fast and easy for potential customers to learn about you
- Decrease the time it takes to convert qualified leads to closed sales
- Keep your sales pipeline filled
- Offer several points of engagements to meet prospect preferences
Your demand generation activities should run throughout the year. This helps build momentum and awareness of your expertise and solutions.
Then, when you execute lead generation campaigns via email, outbound calling or other vehicles, it’s far more likely your target prospects will know who you are, have a positive impression and be willing to engage with your call to action.
It’s also smart to develop demand generation materials—such as thought leadership articles, infographics and videos—that have the same themes as your lead generation. That way, if a medtech or B2B prospect gets a sales call about Widget ABC or an email about Service X, it’s easy to direct them to additional resources they can use to educate, inform and persuade others in their company to buy from you.
Try outsourced lead generation with business development professionals
Dedicated outbound calling for sales prospecting, lead nurturing and sales appointment-setting is a proven lead generation technique. An outsourced team of business development professionals like those at Volkart May can help you achieve your lead generation goals and work in concert with your demand generation tactics.