Growth Marketing vs Demand Generation

Authenticity and engagement create advocacy and grow customer lifetime values organically through growth marketing. Growth marketing is all about building customer relationships and cultivating loyalty. The demand generation process consists of creating awareness and demand for your products or services. By generating demand, you expand your audience, generate buzz, and drive traffic to turn interest into action.

Two of the hottest trends in marketing at the moment are growth marketing and demand generation.

Companies have successfully used both strategies to increase leads and drive revenue growth.

Revenue is a key component of growth, but you can significantly increase revenue without seeing the same or any increase in your growth rate.

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?

What Is Demand Generation?

Demand generation (also called demand gen) is a marketing approach that helps people recognize their pains and become aware of your product or services as the best solution.

Demand generation is typically the process of creating content across a range of credible channels and networks to engage in-market prospects and gather solid intent signals over time across multiple members of the organization.

Your goal is to create interest in the audience, so they check your brand and become interested enough to provide you with their contact details.

What Does A Demand Generation Marketer Do?

Demand gen marketers often work more closely with sales teams than other marketers.

They focus on filling the sales pipeline with the most qualified leads to support sales efforts to close deals and retain loyal customers.

In the end, a demand generation marketer is measured by how they are working to grow demand and revenue for their organization, just like a growth marketer would be.

Why Is Demand Generation Important?

Creating demand is necessary to increase sales and grow your business. It helps put you in a strong branding position that will differentiate you from the competition.

It can accelerate the sales process by attracting already qualified leads.

Start filling your sales pipeline today

How Do You Know If Your Demand Gen Tactics Are Working?

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

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

Definition of Growth Marketing

Often referred to as growth marketing, revenue marketing is typically the process where the business focus expands beyond short-term tactics (e.g., generating X number of leads or MQLs, quarterly results).

Instead, revenue or growth marketing aims to create a sustainable ecosystem where marketing and sales work together.

Growth marketing uses the best-in-class intent data and decision intelligence systems (i.e., systems that use data and analytics to augment process and decision efficiency and effectiveness) to inform their demand generation and customer engagement initiatives.

The outcome is optimal efficiency and effectiveness in the customer acquisition, retention, and expansion processes.

In addition, the organization also sees better quality customers who convert faster and stay longer.

This approach helps the business measure ROI in terms of longer-term revenue across the customer life cycle.

What Do Growth Marketing Teams Do?

Growth marketing teams use awareness, acquisition, and activation to change beliefs with the intent of making a sale.

Revenue, retention, and referral are all about maintaining those beliefs to create a fan of your business. The single focus of growth marketing is growth.

Revenue marketing puts marketers responsible for generating revenue through their marketing efforts ― rather than simply raising awareness or generating leads.

Similar to the inbound methods of demand gen, revenue marketing also leverages content marketing and all sorts of marketing activities.

Revenue marketers take a results-driven approach. They use data and analytics to identify opportunities. And then craft targeted messages that will resonate with their target audience.

Revenue marketing is a marketing strategy focused on increasing sales by directly targeting customers who are likely to make a purchase.

Qualities of Growth Marketers

A head of growth owns a user’s journey with the website — everything from a free trial to account creation to a credit card swipe to nourish that user’s product journey.

This is a one-to-one relationship. A head of growth marketing must be able to blend the analytical and tactical aspects of an online conversion machine and build relationships without ever directly speaking with the end-user.

Growth marketing isn’t solely focused on building awareness or generating more leads.

A growth marketer must work closely with product to influence the roadmap and the breakdown of web revenue versus product revenue.

What's The Difference Between Growth Marketing & Demand Generation?

While both demand generation and growth marketing are current buzzwords in the marketing world, and while both contribute to brand growth, they are not the same animal.

Here are the key differences between the two.

Growth marketing or growth hacking covers the entire funnel, including their time as a customer.

Growth hacking is one tactic many up-and-coming marketers have used to great effect, but it’s important to remember that growth hacking is a one-off win, not a long-term fix.

Growth marketing is a strategic path to growth that leverages several tactics, including growth hacking, to achieve new levels of success based on increased leads, traffic, and revenue, for greater ROI.

Essentially, growth marketing is marketing for customer acquisition and retention. And demand generation is often tied to creating a new customer only.

Growth happens through profitable customer acquisition. Many growth marketers are only working on top of funnel campaigns. A referral engine is crucial for growth marketing teams.

Leads stemming from customer referrals cost less and are vital in achieving profitable customer acquisition and growth.

Demand gen focuses on the business plan and overall business goals.

For example, demand gen may focus on retaining or upselling X% more customers or setting goals for “marketing-influenced revenue.”

Demand generation is a data-driven marketing strategy focused on generating demand for your product or service.

Like growth marketing, demand generation companies are data-driven and must have a solid alignment between marketing and sales.

The outcome is a funnel of tactics and channels to generate qualified leads, nurture them, and pass them to sales.

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

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

Start filling your sales pipeline today

What Is The Customer Journey?

The customer journey refers to a consumer’s steps to become a customer. It starts with attracting potential customers by identifying a problem with a solution.

Until you convert them into paying customers, the strategies work to identify customers’ needs and pain points and then craft solutions that address those needs.

Measuring Metrics

Marketers are obsessed with results. Metrics are essential for measuring their success. But when it comes to revenue marketing and demand generation, the metrics can vary.

For instance, website traffic is a top-of-the-funnel metric that measures how many people your brand reaches.

But it doesn’t guarantee the lead qualification unless your demand gen is effective.

Social Proof

Both growth marketing and demand generation rely on social proof. For growth marketers, it drives retention and referrals.

It acts as a trust signal for demand gen experts to bring new leads into the pipeline and keep them moving through it.

What Is Customer Lifetime Value?

Customer lifetime value measures the value of a customer to a business throughout their relationship.

It shows you how much money a customer is likely to spend with a company throughout their lifetime.

When you drive demand in both pre-sale and post-sale, you optimize your CLV.

Marketing Qualified Leads

These leads fit your ideal customer profile and have downloaded lead magnets. Building awareness can convert icy cold users to warm.

But there has to be lead nurturing to eventually turn them into hot prospects or opportunities.

This means that leads from demand gen are qualified leads if you evaluate them against marketing metrics.

Sales Qualified Leads

These leads are MQLs that have continued to interact with you, have been qualified through activation efforts, and are most likely to buy.

Marketing Automation

As anyone in the marketing world knows, marketing automation is essential to efficient working.

By using tools to automate repetitive tasks, marketers can free up their time to focus on strategic planning and creative work.

Demand Gen vs. Lead Gen

Demand gen (and lead gen) is a part of the overall revenue marketing strategy.

Demand gen will help you attract qualified leads, while lead gen will capture the contact details of potential customers. Both are essential for revenue marketing success.

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

So we can conclude that revenue marketing is a holistic marketing approach.

Can Demand Generation & Growth Marketing Work Together?

Absolutely. You could say that marketers should use demand generation as a larger growth marketing strategy.

Because demand generation is all about growing leads, conversions, and sales, it integrates seamlessly with your growth marketing approach.

Moreover, both demand gen and growth marketing target your ideal customer to bring reliable growth to your brand.

Both utilize content and lead magnets to attract consumers and fill your pipeline. And both are data-driven, relying on key metrics to test, adapt, and grow the brand.

One strategy or tactic may move the needle for your brand in the short term, but to achieve long-term, sustainable growth, you need to take a holistic approach.

This is why growth marketing and demand gen often go hand in hand.

Demand gen is an effective and important part of a larger growth marketing strategy, and when done correctly, it will drive results.

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

Start filling your sales pipeline today

The Best Approach To Business Growth

With customer expectations being what they are, no B2B marketer can afford to think of lead generation, demand generation, or growth marketing in silos.

Choosing which strategy is right for you depends on your business and growth stage.

If a company is selling a product already in high demand, it makes sense to jump into the revenue marketing phase.

However, demand generation may be necessary for early-stage businesses and companies selling novel products to create awareness and generate interest first.

How should my marketing team proceed then? The idea of revenue marketing vs. demand generation is rather faulted.

For many successful companies, revenue marketing is an umbrella term where demand gen and lead gen are two stages of the overall revenue marketing process.

The best approach is to build a strong intent data-enabled ecosystem, streamlining the people, processes, and technology needed to generate intent data, mine it for insights, and activate those insights with campaigns that deliver.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, no matter what terminology marketers use, efficient and effective marketing should lead to sustained growth and revenue outcomes for the business.

More than terminology, B2B marketers need a mindset shift where investments across the buying journey and customer lifecycle should be directed towards high-quality customer acquisition, retention, and expansion at scale, designed for optimal customer experiences.

So, whether you’re in demand generation, lead generation, a program manager, a growth hacker, or simply have the title of marketer, think about how to increase your company’s value by developing interest, acquiring customers, and then making them successful.

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 new 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.

Schedule a Demo -
Grow Your Business

Subscribe For

Get started with Kennected today!