By Ed Pierce, Fleet Industry Marketer
Last month, I wrote about the differences between demand generation and lead generation, which are often used interchangeably despite significant differences.
Demand generation requires that the sales team converts product or service interest into demand. Possible marketing tactics that support a demand generation strategy include Inbound and website marketing, content marketing, content syndication, event marketing, social media marketing, paid advertising, lead nurturing, scoring and marketing automation, and various sales/marketing alignment activities, such as sales enablement.
A Look at Lead Generation
Lead generation is best seen as a sub-category of demand generation. It is the practice of collecting information on targeted individuals that can then be used to qualify and nurture prospects into sales-ready leads, pipeline opportunities and eventually customers.
The goal of this program in a B2B environment is simpler than that of a demand generation program: to convert targeted audiences into a high volume of quality leads. The focus is on top-funnel performance, while demand generation addresses performance throughout the entire funnel.
Lead Generation Activities
Lead generation tactics can comprise…
• Third-party content marketing offers, such as whitepapers, case studies, and so on
• Inbound content offers on company website and landing page forms
• Paid, targeted advertising on social or in search
• Ad retargeting
• Live events
In some cases, Inbound marketers and B2B marketing teams adopt lead generation tactics independent of demand generation. Their success is attributed to the use of best-of-class practices to optimize landing pages, A/B test form fields, and the creation of original, high-quality thought leadership content.
But B2B marketers are less likely to provide the full support necessary to ensure leads convert to real value for the business in the form of customers, revenue and profit without the down-funnel focus employed by demand gen strategies.
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