Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation: Is It the Same Thing?
You often hear people use lead generation and demand generation interchangeably. Lead generation is essential to keep your sales pipeline full, but lead generation only applies to one part of the marketing funnel.
Lead generation focuses on attracting the attention of a prospect and collecting information so they go into the top of the funnel. Then, it’s up to the marketing team to nurture them as they move down the funnel. Often, prospects don’t come into your pipeline until they have a recognized problem and are already seeking solutions.
Demand generation focuses on creating demand for products and services. It often requires educating prospects about challenges they may not be aware of and explaining the importance of finding a solution.
Effective sales and marketing teams know that demand generation and lead generation are crucial to their success.
So, how do you create demand to drive growth?
Demand Gen Strategies to Drive Growth
Here are five proven B2B demand generation strategies that work:
1. Content Marketing
Today’s buyers are consuming content at a remarkable pace. 64% of B2B buyers are online conducting research before ever connecting with a sales rep. On average. B2B buyers will consume more than a dozen content pieces before making a purchase decision. Gartner predicts that 80% of B2B sales interactions will occur in digital channels by 2025. We’re already well on our way.
The challenge becomes content that provides the information prospects are seeking at each stage of the buyer’s journey. If you’re not producing relevant information at each stage, your demand generation will suffer.
You need different content messaging depending on where buyers are on their customer journey. For example:
- Top of the Funnel (TOFU): Informational blog posts, videos, and guest posts
- Middle of the Funnel (MOFU): Whitepapers and eBooks
- Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU): Case studies, demos, blog posts with high-purchase intent keywords
Throughout the entire process, you are continuously doing outreach to prospects to drive them to your content and creating personalized landing pages to keep them engaged.
If they’re looking for the products and services you have — and they are not finding your brand when they search — you’re missing out on an opportunity to capture leads and get them into the sales pipeline.
2. Content Orchestration
Content marketing on its own is not enough, however. You also need content orchestration.
Sales and content orchestration is a more holistic approach to producing aligned marketing campaigns. Through the effective orchestration of teams, channels, data, and your tech stack, marketers can focus more on the creative aspect in a centralized way. This creates an alignment of efforts to produce the content marketing materials needed to drive effective sales solutions.
Sales struggle when there’s a lack of alignment across the organization, but it’s more common than you might think.
Only 7% of salespeople report that the quality of leads they get from the marketing team is of high quality. That’s a lot of wasted effort (and money) to generate leads that aren’t going to close. That may be the reason why marketing teams report that half of the leads they generate are ignored by sales teams.
Yet, 87% of sales and marketing leaders say content orchestration and alignment between sales and marketing enables the business growth they need.
3. Trust and Risk Mitigation
What one thing must happen before any sale occurs? Trust.
Trust is what gets customers to engage with your brand. Before making a purchase, B2B buyers must trust the solution you’re selling will do the job. You also must maintain that trust through the decision-making process and well into the future to build a healthy customer relationship.
You build that trust by nurturing relationships over time with helpful, educational, and relevant content as part of your inbound and outbound marketing strategies.
So much of sales is about risk mitigation. When you remove the risk of doing business with you, prospects are more likely to trust you and convert.
Demand generation requires you to build trust and mitigate the risk for your prospects.
4. B2B Account Based Marketing
B2B account based marketing focuses on more intense efforts aimed at decision-makers in your target accounts. An effective account based marketing execution strategy targets high-value leads with personalized marketing.
Marketing and sales teams can get very creative when it comes to ABM solutions by personalizing content to specific company needs and individual decision-makers. More than two-thirds of B2B brands are using AMB solutions and the majority say it’s their most productive marketing approach for demand generation and revenue.
By segmenting audiences, you can create more targeted content to address specific needs and situations. If you think of general brand messaging as a shotgun approach, ABM is more like a rifle shot. You’re targeting a few individuals and personalizing your content specifically for them.
Email sequences, landing pages, blog posts, content, video, ads, direct mail, and more can all address specific situations. The more you personalize efforts on high-value prospects with a greater need for your products or services, the more likely you are to close deals.
5. Continuous Optimization
There is a famous saying in marketing circles:
Half the money I spend on marketing is wasted. I just wish I knew which half.
Today, we have the tools to answer that question. By establishing KPIs at the beginning of any campaign, you can measure what’s working and what’s not when it comes to demand generation. For example, you can track performance metrics such as:
- Cost per acquisition
- Lead quality scores
- Customer lifetime value
- Content conversation rates
- Return on ad spend (ROAS)
You can track everything in the B2B buyer’s journey from the first contact through sales and post-sales customer support.
Smart marketers are also using A/B tests and multivariate testing to determine what messaging, channels, and approaches are working best. This allows you to constantly refine and optimize your marketing to improve demand generation. By tracking KPIs through the entire customer lifecycle, you produce the data you need to improve every step of the way.
A B2B Marketing Platform for Improving Demand Generation
Folloze lets you launch sophisticated and personalized journeys that allow prospects to choose the content that interests them most. By creating campaigns and microsites that work together, you can align content orchestration with sales to create personalized content to improve conversions across the entire buying journey.
Robust tracking and measurement tools help the demand gen team determine the exact moment when it’s time for sales to engage to close deals.
Contact Folloze today to book a demo of our B2B marketing platform and boost the impact and ROI of your demand gen programs.