Is Demand Generation The Same As Marketing?

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Marketing with an inbound approach aims to create long-term relationships with customers who will continue to purchase continuously. At the same time, demand generation creates an immediate need for the product.  

Two hot topics at the moment are growth marketing and demand generation. Companies have successfully used both strategies to increase leads and drive revenue growth.

Whether you’re trying to rebound from a down year or want to level up your marketing to boost company growth, growth marketing and demand generation are two strategies you should be evaluating.

But which is best for your company?

In this article, we’ll dive into what growth marketing and demand generation are, their unique characteristics, and their similarities and stark differences.

What Is Demand Generation?

Demand generation is one buzzword that keeps cropping up in marketing circles that no one can fully define. It’s not lead gen. It’s not growth marketing. It’s not inbound marketing.

Demand generation refers to the many customer acquisition initiatives a business uses to drive awareness of its products or services.

Demand generation marketing is the process of creating awareness and demand for your products or services.

It expands your audience, generates buzz, and drives traffic to transform interest into action.

It’s an umbrella term that covers all your marketing and sales initiatives from every touchpoint in the customer’s journey–from initial prospect interest to upselling customers.

It includes a series of touchpoints designed to raise awareness of customer challenges, position your brand as a trusted advisor, generate leads, sell your solution, and—if done correctly—foster genuine brand loyalty.

Demand generation marketing today is no longer just about creating demand for sales. Demand gen isn’t about forcing demand or tricking people into buying things they don’t need.

It’s about providing the right information to the right people at the right time so that what you’re sharing is the perfect fit for your ideal customer.

The marketing and sales teams must work together through the customer journey to bring prospective customers through the sales process.

Done properly, demand generation can create awareness around the issues most relevant to your business, provide sales the qualified leads it needs to close deals, and position marketing as a revenue generator instead of a cost center.

Demand gen can boost overall growth marketing due to its reliance on data and measurable results.

Demand Gen Strategies

Tools for demand generation include:

  • Contextual advertising

  • Direct email marketing

  • Infographics

  • Native advertising

  • Social media marketing

  • Webinars

  • Inbound marketing tactics

  • Outbound marketing

Each method will work differently for different companies depending on their resources. You are not limited to just using one of these approaches.

Often, these approaches to demand generation work best when the strategies are layered with one another.

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Identify Your Goals

The best place to start planning a demand generation campaign? In the end, of course.

By identifying the end goals of your campaign up front, you can plan the rest of your strategy around them.

Some of the goals of companies that use demand generation strategies are similar to growth marketers but with a different intention.

Set Your Target Audience

Before you decide what the programs entail, you need to know who you’re targeting.

Understanding your audience and building customer profiles will help you target your marketing more precisely.

You can develop personas based on your target audience’s roles, needs, and objectives. And the more details you can include, the better.

Because consumers today are overloaded with information, strategic audience marketing is more crucial than ever.

Builds Brand Awareness

You need potential customers to be aware of your brand. Throughout the demand generation process, your goal is to draw the prospective customer to the top of the funnel.

Once they’re deeper in the funnel, you can bombard them with lead gen content.

Demand Generation Marketing Content

There is no way around it. If you want your demand gen strategy to succeed, you must consider making dynamic content that can digest anywhere.

Your marketing team can use various types of demand generation content.

But, they all share the same goal: familiarize the right people, who have the right problems, with your brand and its solution.

It takes a measured amount of each of these tactics to power your demand generation efforts.

Create A Free Tool

Create demand for your core product or service by creating a free tool that relates to the pain point your brand solves. Think free calculators, hashtag generators, or evaluation tools.

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What Is An Inbound Marketing Strategy?

Inbound marketing makes a business visible to its target audience by engaging content and sharing how the company can address a prospect’s pain points.

Inbound marketing is a component of demand generation, which refers to how businesses generate interest in their company and attract leads.

Using an inbound strategy, a company is more likely to focus on an interested customers rather than uninterested leads.

This builds trust and relationships with the company’s ideal customers and encourages them to share a company’s content with others, whether it is through social media or word of mouth.

An inbound marketing strategy, when done right, captures the audience’s attention in a non-disruptive way, and achieves the goal of demand generation — which is to attract customers to the business and generate leads.

Suppose an organization provides its leads with helpful and informative content. 

In that case, it is more likely to make a sale than a company that does not provide high-quality information.

Noninvasive Approach

Many customers tend to research a company before doing business with them.

Inbound marketing provides informational content for prospective customers without immediately pushing them to make a purchase.

Customers can enter the sales funnel on their terms without any pressure to buy.

Marketing Tactics

Inbound marketing tactics mainly use free platforms — such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogging websites — to share content and attract website visitors.

This is a less-expensive approach than outbound marketing, which relies on cold-calling, direct mail, or TV and radio advertisements.

Inbound marketing aims to drive organic traffic to content rather than rely on advertising-driven traffic.

This method increases brand awareness and provides prospective customers with relevant content to guide them through their buyer’s journey.

What Is Outbound Marketing?

In this scenario, a sales representative initiates conversations with qualified leads.

This approach is less targeted than inbound marketing and aims to reach a larger audience, rather than focus on one type of customer.

Demand Gen Teams vs. Growth Marketing Teams

Demand gen teams rarely have the singular focus on one goal as growth marketing teams do.

Demand generation programs are usually spread across multiple teams, such as creative, content, strategy, and lead nurturing teams.

In a growth marketing team structure, there is one cross-functional team.

Growth Marketing Modeling

Growth marketing is not subjective. You pick an endpoint, model back from that, and have to hit the numbers.

For example, if website traffic is the critical driver of business growth, you may set a goal of 10x-ing your website traffic over the next three years.

All you need is your baseline numbers, the end goal of whatever number 10x is, and you can create an objective growth model of the numbers you need to hit every month.

What Is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?

Account-based marketing (ABM), another demand-generation method, is key to identifying the right audience for successful demand generation.

The ABM approach to demand generation flips a traditional marketing approach on its head.

Traditional marketing aims to attract people to your website, nurture them with automated emails, and then identify target companies.

An ABM strategy uses a company’s resources, budgets, and campaigns to target a specific group of accounts to make sales.

Influencer Marketing

Influencers come in all industries and levels, and they are a proven way to reach new audiences and achieve unprecedented growth.

Today, micro-influencers are all the rage among B2B brands.

These may include existing customers and early adopters of your product or outspoken social media leaders in your industry.

TikTok is a hotbed for finding influencers that can broadcast your brand to a wide following.

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Demand Generation Compared To Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing and demand generation are easily confusing, but they are different. Here are the key differences between demand generation and inbound marketing.

The first thing to note is the difference between demand generation and inbound marketing is that demand generation is a function. Specifically, it is the function of generating leads.

Demand generation focuses on finding ways to make people feel as though they need your product for one reason or another.

Typically, when marketers think of demand generation, we think of it in terms of the various stages of the marketing funnel (visits, leads, MQLs, SQLs, opportunities).

Inbound marketing aims to drive organic traffic to content rather than rely on advertising-driven traffic.

This method increases brand awareness and provides prospective customers with relevant content to guide them through their buyer’s journey.

How Do You Know Your Demand Generation Strategy Works?

The biggest indicator across the board is website traffic, but that’s not all.

Source engagements, lead quality, and cost per lead are valuable metrics to track to ensure you’re optimizing your demand gen strategy to achieve sustainable growth.

What Is Lead Generation?

Lead generation describes turning suspects (or prospects) who show interest in your product or service into bonafide customers.

Lead generation is the fruits of your demand generation marketing efforts. In other words, you got their attention through demand gen. Now you’ll get their money through lead gen.

It involves gaining the interest of potential customers and adding them to your marketable database.

Once captured through a nurture program, these leads can then be handed to sales development to guide them through the sales funnel.

The goal of lead generation isn’t just to generate more leads – it’s to generate more high-quality leads that will sales accepts and will go on to convert into revenue, proving the ROI of your lead generation marketing.

Email Matching

One of the most obvious ways to increase the efficiency of lead generation campaigns is to avoid targeting people who are already leads.

As with your demand generation campaigns, email matching can exclude these people from targeting for lead generation campaigns and increase your overall CPL.

Lead Generation Tactics

When considering lead generation tactics, it’s important to think beyond copywriting.

Audio and visual content such as webinars and podcasts aren’t just good for accessibility reasons. They’re also easily digestible to prospective customers.

What Is Gated Content?

Gated content is content that can only be accessed or downloaded after an online visitor (or your prospective customer) comes to your website and gives you some specific information about themselves.

This contact information is then passed on to the sales team to make a connection.

Gated content is a fabulous way to capture important information about the people visiting your web properties.

The idea is to capture as many relevant leads as possible by giving people a reason to share contact details and making it easy for them to do so.

On the other hand, if you make the content freely accessible and then pay to distribute it to as many relevant people as possible, you are in the business of generating demand.

Usually, this information comes in email addresses, titles, company names, and/or phone numbers.

Total Campaign Cost

Calculate your total campaign costs by the number of leads that came in.

This tells you about your demand generation campaign’s cost efficiency, and it’s a valuable metric to discover how much you should expect to spend to keep your funnel full.

Keep this metric in mind when planning new demand generation campaigns and calculating your demand gen ROI.

Utilize Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Use your key performance indicators (KPIs) to see if your demand generation program is achieving its goals.

This includes early-, mid-, and late-stage metrics covering everything from the program cost, new targets, and cost-per-target to the number of opportunities your campaign has generated and how much revenue you can attribute to it.

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Segment Your Web Audience For LinkedIn Targeting

Segmenting your audience enables you to segment visitors to your website based on which pages they view – and then use these segments for your LinkedIn targeting.

This provides a powerful tool for targeting prospects by the type and level of interest they have shown in your business.

Technologies help you remember customers and their preferences when they return to your site, measure how they use the website conduct, market research, and gather information about the ads you see and interact with.

Because the website retargeting feature in LinkedIn Matched Audiences segments your website visitors by the different pages they visit, you can identify them and target them specifically with your lead generation campaigns on LinkedIn.

Their higher propensity to convert enables you to generate more relevant leads and to do so at a lower cost.

You can tailor demand generation campaigns to people who have read particular thought-leadership posts on your blog, for example, relating your solutions to issues that you know these people are thinking about.

LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

LinkedIn lead gen forms are in-app forms, automatically generated and mobile-optimized to suit the way audiences engage with LinkedIn through smartphones.They are pre-populated with prospects’ LinkedIn profile data, and you can submit them instantly.

Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation

While lead generation is primarily concerned with the awareness stage, demand generation drives interest in the products or services you’re offering and leverages several marketing tactics to achieve growth in both areas.

Demand generation aims to grow your audience by bringing new visitors to your website and introducing them to your solutions.

On the other hand, lead generation aims to convert your audience into qualified leads. It’s a subtle distinction, and the two strategies are deeply connected.

Unlike the broad net of demand gen, lead generation strategies are much more specific and targeted.

You shouldn’t differentiate your demand generation and lead generation content just by whether there’s a lead capture form in front of it.

Your content needs to reflect the different objectives that you’re seeking to achieve.

Whereas lead gen is about getting as many leads in the funnel as possible, demand gen focuses on what you do with them once they’re in there.

But just as with lead gen, acquisition is critical to the success of any demand gen campaign.

The channels you use may not be different, but the way you move leads through the funnel will be, so carefully consider where you’ll find them, what you’ll do with them, and how you’ll nurture them toward conversion.

They may include gated content marketing with optimized landing pages such as webinars or white papers. Or, they can focus on longer-term lead nurturing email drip campaigns.

Optimization For Demand Gen & Lead Gen Campaigns

The clearer the visibility you have into the quality of your leads and the route they take to converting, the more scope you have to optimize your lead generation efforts, apply learnings, and keep improving ROI.

Demand Generation vs. Growth Marketing

Whereas growth marketing focuses on the entire buyer journey, demand generation focuses specifically on one section of the buyer journey: getting traffic, nurturing leads, and ultimately passing qualified leads for the sales team to close.

Successful companies have used both growth marketing and demand generation strategies.

Growth marketing and demand generation focus on targeting ideal customer segments versus blasting a message to anyone and everyone.

They both use content and lead magnets targeting customer segments to build a sales pipeline.

Both strategies also place a premium on lead nurturing and qualification to focus their efforts on converting buyers most likely to purchase.

Finally, growth marketing and demand generation are strategy and data-driven.

How Does Kennected Leverage Data For Demand Generation?

It’s become important for us to leverage the data from our target audience in a context where they are open to engaging with us.

LinkedIn profile data is ideally suited to identifying the most relevant prospects for a demand generation campaign.

Connecting with others via Kennected allows our staff to leverage user data (location, cell number, occupation, education, etc.) for marketing and sales teams.

This has become especially important since Google’s recent announcement of third-party cookies disappearing.

Because LinkedIn is naturally a public platform, sending and accepting connection requests is a natural opt-in for marketing automation.

Hop-On The Kennected Train

According to HubSpot, 61% of companies name their top marketing challenge is generating traffic and leads.

If you’re part of that 61%, keep reading because what you’re about to discover could be a game-changer for you and your business (like it has for thousands of people before you).

So many business owners & sales professionals that come to us are struggling to get ahead because they’re stuck relying on referrals, lead lists, or manual prospecting.

This is taking up too much of their time and isn’t creating the consistent income they’re looking for to fund the lifestyle they want for themselves and their families.

Four years ago, the founders of Kennected had the same struggles. They found that lead generation was way too complicated, expensive, and time-consuming, knowing there had to be a better way.

So they developed a new way of getting qualified leads that turn into paying customers on the #1 platform for B2B lead generation… LinkedIn.

In the four years since we developed this lead gen strategy, we’ve earned a spot on the Inc. 5,000 list of Fastest Growing Companies in America.

And more importantly, it helped over 17,000 businesses get new leads and sales for THEIR businesses.

Want to see how it works?

Click here to see how you can use Kennected to fill your sales pipeline with qualified leads in less than 10 minutes per day.

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