You’ve heard of lead generation, but what about demand generation?
At its core, demand generation is the act of generating demand for the products or services of a business. Instead of just generating leads to sell to, demand generation is a more intensive process that aims to spread marketing messages to audiences that would be receptive to that form of message.
Demand generation and lead generation may seem very similar, but there is a big difference in how they identify leads. With lead generation, what is identified as a lead and prospect may be one and the same. Demand generation takes special care to qualify prospects through a more intensive process that focuses on their individual actions.
Instead of your typical lead generation funnel (all contacts, qualified leads, prospects, opportunities), demand generation is more advanced and has three stages with multiple actions to complete each stage.
Demand Generation is a long-term marketing strategy to help build brand awareness. In this first stage you can use events, content, interactive communication, and direct responses to move contacts along to the second stage, Lead Nurturing, and become leads. During the Demand Generation stage, you can use strategies similar to lead generation to communicate with leads such as scoring, reporting, and measuring results. Of the unqualified leads in this stage that progress, they will be moved along to the Sales stage of the funnel. Here, you qualify and engage leads while proposing solutions and negotiating a deal. There are three results that can come from here: win the client, lose the client, or they become delayed.
In typical lead generation strategies, lost or delayed clients are stalled. With demand generation, they simply move backward through the funnel. So, a client that is delayed or lost in Sales goes back to Lead Nurturing as a delayed opportunity. And, if they are uninterested in the Lead Nurturing stage, their opinions move back to Demand Generation as marketing feedback.