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They’re not the same and are easily confused. But, what is the difference?

Demand generation is precisely about stimulating demand and interest in your products and services through education and relevant information and targeting your market as a whole. Go for reach.

You’re not looking for instant qualified marketing leads. It’s a slower burn when your target is at the pre-consideration stage. Later, when they’re in buying mode and informed, they’ll think of your brand.

Demand generation is not about collecting leads and nurturing them over time. This approach is ‘lead’ generation.

Lead generation targets known prospects. Those who are aware of your brand and services. They’re at the consideration and buying stages. Leads nurtured through a marketing and sales pipeline programme.

Demand and lead generation both share the need for investment in time and budget. Unfortunately, there’s no instant success. It requires commitment and consistency. Switching campaigns on and off at a whim or when sales fall off the cliff and expect an avalanche of prospects ready to convert is way too late. This on/off approach is an easy way to consume effort and burn cash. They’ll be very little return to reassure the c-suite the business is on track.

All too often, management pushes aside brand and product awareness campaigns. It’s considered an expensive luxury. Instead, they pursue an overzealous laser-like approach to target everyone with product demo offers and expect sales to boom – otherwise known as the scattergun and wishful thinking approach.

If you’ve adopted this strategy, stop. Get upstream. Go for top of funnel activities to build brand awareness. Focus on increasing saliency.

Do the heavy lifting first. It will help to supercharge the performance of later lower-funnel activities, i.e demand and lead generation campaigns.