demand generation vs lead generation

Demand Generation Vs Lead Generation | The Ultimate Comparison

Demand generation and lead generation are tricky for beginners to distinguish since they share many similarities such as the strategies they can use and the goals they need to meet.

However, understanding clearly these two digital marketing efforts can help bring better marketing performance, thus improving businesses’ earnings.

Demand generation

Demand generation is a marketing effort to generate demand for a business’ products or services. Demand generation is a marketing practice that is mostly done for a new brand and product.

Demand generation is a very complex task and it requires skills, knowledge, dedication, and a lot of money. The most used strategy for demand generation is paid advertising, followed by cold emailing or/and calling.

Lead generation

Lead generation is also a marketing effort. Lead generation aims to reach out to prospects and turn them into leads. Leads are the people that have expressed interest in using or purchasing a product or service.

Lead generation is a crucial task for any business because in order to generate sales, businesses will need to generate leads first. The more effectively businesses are generating leads, the more successful they will become.

Lead generation is also a very complex task, however, it doesn’t rely much on paid advertising which is costly. Lead generation’s best strategies include SEO with lead magnets, cold emailing, social media, and paid ads.

Key differences between demand generation and lead generation

1. Guidance

The main characteristic of demand generation is that businesses have to create a lot of guides such as tutorial articles and videos for prospects to learn about the product and brand. Whereas, lead generation for some products doesn’t need to provide much guidance to users.

2. Using ads

Demand generation relies very heavily on paid advertising, therefore, if you’re planning to sell a product or service that is still new in the market, you may need to think again.

Ads are becoming more expensive as time passes. Most of the time, the cost of paid ads is what bothers start-ups the most.

Lead generation, on the other hand, can work around ads. Businesses can utilize more affordable methods such as cold calling and SEO to generate quality leads.

3. Using influencer marketing

Similarly to paid ads, demand generation generally relies more on influencer marketing than lead generation does.

Regarding selling new products, influencer marketing can be very effective since influencers can effectively guide their followers on how the new product can help and how to use it.

4. Support

Effective demand generation generally requires more customer support such as live chat support or call guidance than lead generation.

In the case of physical products, lead generation relies less on prompt customer support compared to demand generation. However, if we’re talking about products as services, demand and lead gen require pretty much the same amount of customer support to convert prospects.

5. Cost

Since demand generation relies more heavily on paid ads and influencer marketing, it’s more expensive than lead generation.

It’s not just the cost that is giving businesses headaches, poor performances of paid ads for demand generation, in the beginning, can deter businesses immediately.

Demand generation is a hard-fought battle, especially at the beginning when people haven’t heard about the brand and its products. However, if the product provides real value, demand generation campaigns will become more effective over time.

When it comes to selling new products, there are a big risk and a big reward. The risk is that businesses may lose all their investment and effort and the companies go bankrupt. The big reward is pioneering new products and making a lot of money.


demand gen vs lead gen


Some top tips for demand generation

1. Focus on your marketing content

In the beginning, it’s hard for businesses that sell new products to gain trust and create a good image. That’s why high-quality marketing content is crucial.

The quality of your marketing content heavily influences how your prospects perceive your brand and products. If your marketing content seems mediocre, your prospects will highly likely ignore you.

Preferred marketing content for demand generation is video tutorials that show exactly how it’s done and how the products can help make life easier for your customers.

2. Define your value proposition clearly

Before creating or running any demand gen campaign, it’s a must to define your value proposition clearly.

You don’t need to be fancy and lengthy when it comes to crafting your value proposition. You should just make it clear and concise to avoid any confusion for your potential customers.

3. Focus on your customer support

Your prompt customer support is key to an effective demand generation effort. As new products can cause confusion and reluctance to your prospects, make sure you are as responsive as possible when people ask you for more information or guidance.

Having people interested in your products and asking you about them is already challenging, don’t let them slip away easily!

4. Focus on making your first customers happy

New customers are extremely valuable for businesses that sell new products because your happy clients can bring you new sales more effectively than marketing campaigns.

When it comes to selling new products, nothing is more effective than having your happy customers refer people in their connection to try what you have to offer.

Therefore, businesses need to focus on making their current clients happy. There are several ways to do this such as providing constant support to them or offering them rewards or discounts.

5. Create promotions and offer trials/samples

Everybody is reluctant when it comes to trying new products, especially when they have to pay money for them. Providing appealing promotions or offering free trials or samples are highly recommended.

Businesses must be thoughtful when designing promotions. Promotions need to be appealing enough to motivate prospects to take action while being cost-effective. The promotions need to be shareable as well since your prospects may want to introduce them to their friends.

Effective promotions and free trials/samples not only bring you clients but also help spread your business name around quickly. these offers also pair very well with paid ads and influencer marketing.

Some top tips for lead generation

1. Focus on the quality of your prospects’ data

Effective lead generation relies heavily on high-quality data. For example, when you’re running cold emailing campaigns, valid information such as contact information, names, locations, industries, etc will decide the outcome.

Incorrect and outdated data will lead to poor performance, wasted time and resources while posing a risk of damaging your own company’s image. Therefore, when generating prospects and data for your lead gen campaigns, data quality is vital.

2. Buy excellent prospects for faster and more effective lead generation

Lead generation comprises two important steps. The first step is prospect generation and the second one is outreach.

To generate excellent prospects for cold emailing and targeting ads, businesses will need to spend a lot of time collecting and sorting through tons of data from the Internet.

To skip this time-consuming process, it’s highly recommended to buy prospects from a reliable contact database. An excellent prospect provider like Limeleads will help you generate tons of verified and fresh prospects within a few clicks.

Limeleads also provides free trials (no credit card is needed) and 24/7 expert support to make sure our users have the best possible experience.

3. Make sure you provide excellent support

Getting leads is challenging, it’s even more difficult to keep your leads interested in your brand and products. Therefore, make sure you provide prompt support and regularly get in touch with your leads.

To provide fast and constant support effectively, live chat is recommended. You can also ask your leads to give you their phone numbers so that you can contact them later.

Great customer support doesn’t only help turn leads into clients but also generates more sales in the way of referrals. Another important thing to remember is that businesses must provide personalized support as much as possible, and avoid automated messages that sound like a robot.

4. Use exit pop-up

Traditional popups could be annoying to users because they pop up unexpectedly and block their view. This is not the case with exit popups. Exit popups only display when they detect users’ intent to leave your page.

Exit popups track your users’ mouse pointers and are triggered when users are about to leave or close your page. Exit popups help increase the chance of keeping the users on your page and motivate them to take action and convert.

Exit popups are not complicated and they are also affordable. If you’re using WordPress, there are a good number of free exit popups that you can use.

5. Create gifts

Since everybody wants free and useful stuff, businesses should take the time to create gifts for their users in exchange for the users’ contact information. These gifts are called lead magnets.

Lead magnets could be a useful checklist, eBook, or free tool. Lead magnets can boost your lead generation effort significantly, they also can be used for paid ads to improve their performance effectively.

If your website has a good amount of organic traffic, creating a useful lead magnet is a must. If you don’t, you’re trailing behind most of your competitors.