Demand Gen VS. Lead Gen – What’s the Difference?

Industry research reports the three most commonly used B2B lead generation strategies are email marketing (78%), event marketing (73%), and content marketing (67%). When we look at this stat, it makes sense, yet it’s also a bit misleading considering email marketing, event marketing, and content marketing are all technically demand gen strategies.

You see, many folks use the terms demand generation and lead generation interchangeably. However, while they’re both vital to your B2B marketing strategy, they serve different purposes. Let’s define them to make this a little less confusing!

Demand gen is more of an umbrella term whose goal is to create awareness about your industry, company, brand, product, or services through inbound and outbound marketing. This includes:

  • Free educational content
  • Thought leadership
  • Blogs
  • Social media posts
  • Videos
  • Infographics

Lead gen builds on the awareness created by demand gen. Lead gen makes leads tangible through trading contact permission for valuable information. Sales and marketing teams can then follow up in a way appropriate to the type of content consumed.

Fortunately, they work even better together than they do on their own. The key to distinguishing them is to remember lead gen is a subset of demand gen. You can’t measure the ROI of demand gen without lead gen results and lead gen requires the buzz of demand gen for strong conversion.

We hope this info helps you understand the differences between demand gen and lead gen, but most importantly how they can best work together. If you want to know more or have any points to add to the discussion, please feel free to send us a note. We love hearing from our smart marketing friends!