While seemingly similar, demand generation and lead generation have some key differences. However, for a new business strategy to be effective, businesses need to ensure they implement both. They complement each other, and when executed well, can help generate high-quality, high-value customers for your business. Essentially, all of your marketing efforts work to raise brand awareness, which generates interest and desire for your product — and it is a crucial step towards acquiring new customers. But, this interest needs to drive new business before organizations see results. Without demand, there are no leads. If demand does not convert into high-quality leads, then efforts can seem wasted. Discover how to implement both strategies to work in harmony and gain new business.
How demand generation can impact your lead generation
In B2B marketing particularly, there are often multiple decision-makers and the buyer journey has evolved. According to IDC, 84% of CEOs and VPs use social media to make purchasing decisions. And, Sirius Decisions found that 67% of buyer research is now done digitally. Plus, according to Gartner, an average of 7 people are involved in most buying decisions. This increase in decision-makers, elongated process and increase in research requires the content to support it. When it comes to your digital marketing efforts, almost everything will link back to your website. Whether it is social media marketing, email marketing, a content campaign, or a business blog. Everything you create helps establish your organization, build your reputation, and guide buyers towards their decision. Each demand generation platform works as a referrer channel — as well as a way to obtain customer insight and qualify leads before they impact your sales funnel. Generate better quality leads, find them faster and nurture them effectively through your pipeline.
Lead generation without demand generation
Demand generation is a little like putting in the groundwork, or building the foundations, before moving onto the next stage. If your brand is relatively unknown, then you do not have the reputation or level of awareness to generate interest organically. Since you are relatively unknown, search engines will not rank you highly. This makes you pretty hard to discover. You do not have a social strategy in place — so you won’t get discovered there either. If a potential customer happens to lands on your site, what happens when they get there? With no active blog, there is nothing to keep them around. Without free, downloadable content, nothing is enticing them to leave their details. Perhaps they decide to inquire — having seen no content or social posts before, they may have a number of questions. This can be time-consuming for your customer service team. And, since they know so little about you, who is to say your organization is even what they are looking for?
Demand generation solves all of these issues, as well as fueling your teams with hordes of content to support those leads throughout their journey. To improve your reputation, you may put efforts into improving SEO. Post content regularly, improve load times, create a high-quality user journey, and reduce your bounce rate with engaging long-read blog content. You may decide to invest in lead generation advertising online. Outline who you are targeting — can they afford your product or service? Are they interested? Coschedule found that successful marketers are 242% more likely to report conducting audience research. Putting in the initial research to establish your target audience, developing a lead scoring model and outlining a buyer persona will help you ensure the click-throughs you receive are from the right people.
3 tips for using them together
There is a lot to consider when implementing strategies for demand generation and lead generation. You can discover our best practices here. Here are three key tips for harmonious demand and lead generation
● Lead qualification is key
According to Marketing Sherpa, more than 79% of leads do not convert to sales due to a lack of lead nurture. Qualifying leads early is crucial and helps ensure they do not cause problems further down the sales pipeline. Thanks to quality content, a strong SEO ranking and well-targeted advertising, potential customers have a great knowledge of what you do. And, with a clearly outlined lead qualification criteria in place, your team will understand whether or not they are a potential lead. Identify referrer channels and utilize data and software to gain insight. If they have a low lead score now, they may convert one day — but prioritize leads that are likely to convert to customers.
● Content marketing is a necessity
According to Dragon Search Marketing, 61% of consumers are influenced by custom content. This means it is time to get personal! Get to know your audience and create content for different industries, sectors, demographics and stages of the pipeline. A decision-maker that has just discovered your brand will require different content to someone about to make a purchase, or even an existing customer. Nurture your leads with information, position yourselves as thought leaders, and watch your leads go from interested to fully engaged and sales-ready. And, be sure to provide a mixture of free and gated content on your site to generate interest, provide educational content and also acquire contact details.
● Embrace marketing automation software
According to the Annuitas Group, businesses using marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads. Ignoring the power of marketing technology could impact your business in a truly negative way. Software streamlines processes, eliminates human error, speeds up day-to-day tasks and more. If you do not currently use technology as part of your strategy, it is time to consider including it. From demand generation through to sales, there is a software for every strategy.
Lead Forensics is an effective lead generation software that reveals the previously anonymous identity of your website visitors. Users receive real-time notifications of the businesses visiting their site and gain access to contact details of key decision-makers. This way, sales and marketing teams can reach out to the right people at the right time. Make use of detailed user journeys to tailor your sales pitch to the individual organization, cross-sell and upsell to existing customers, and provide the ultimate customer journey. Streamline your teams, supercharge your lead generation strategies and support every stage of the funnel with Lead Forensics. Book your free trial today.