Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation: Integrating To Drive Growth

Bootstrapped startup Omnisend carved out a $19 million niche in an already saturated vertical. How? With a tactical understanding of two completely different advertising and marketing methods: demand era and lead era.

Whereas your rivals pump out gated ebooks and “state of the {industry}” lead magnets that generate low-to-no intent MQLs, faucet into present demand to construct a pipeline of excessive intent leads.

On this article, you’ll study why every advertising and marketing technique works and stroll away with an armory of ways to gasoline your personal progress advertising and marketing efforts. 

Demand era vs. lead era: Important variations 

Demand era is about creating demand. Lead era is about capturing demand.

Demand era entrepreneurs create and distribute strategic content material (largely free of charge) to construct consciousness and demand for his or her model or product. 

Lead era entrepreneurs capitalize on the curiosity demand era creates. Sometimes, they use gated content material to seize the prospect’s contact info so the gross sales group can nurture and convert them.

Demand era paves the way in which for surgical lead era 

With no centered, built-in demand era technique, lead era delivers disinterested leads that frustrate gross sales reps and end in low conversion charges.

Demand era is an umbrella time period that covers any exercise meant to create consciousness for and curiosity in a services or products. 

It contains model consciousness ways like press releases and influencer advertising and marketing, in addition to extra product-specific efforts, similar to case research and middle- or bottom-of-funnel walkthrough movies.

A requirement era supervisor’s tasks contain creating and distributing focused content material (weblog posts, podcasts, and thought management) that educates potential prospects on fixing widespread challenges related to their product or {industry}. 

Take Omnisend, an e-mail advertising and marketing, SMS, and automation platform for ecommerce sellers.

Their podcast options interviews with {industry} specialists (leveraging their company’ audiences). It dives into extremely related matters, like decreasing cart abandonment charges by automated e-mail sequences.

Screenshot of Omnisend Podcast Feature

The podcast is only one a part of their content material advertising and marketing technique. 

Screenshot of Omnisend Resources Page

The suite of sources helps unfold consciousness of the Omnisend model and product. It positions them as an authoritative market chief that gives useful, actionable recommendation, fueling future demand for his or her product.

When it comes time to contain lead era and seize that curiosity, Omnisend appeals to an viewers who already know and respect their model.

Lead era capitalizes on demand era’s success 

Whereas demand era is accountable for mustering pleasure and curiosity round a services or products, by itself it doesn’t produce enough alternatives for gross sales engagement. 

Demand era campaigns have to be supported by a strong lead era technique that captures certified, high-intent results in nurture and convert.

Lead era strictly focuses on designing worthwhile provides that prospects would get in change for his or her contact particulars (usually an e-mail tackle). 

Leads then get scored (prioritized based mostly on buy intent indicators) and nurtured. Certified leads go to the gross sales group to encourage by the gross sales course of.

Extra direct approaches, similar to reside occasions and junk mail, additionally fall below the lead era umbrella, although entrepreneurs at the moment usually depend on kinds of content material like:

  • Ebooks;
  • Guides;
  • Webinar entry;
  • Free instruments;
  • Electronic mail newsletters;
  • Checklists;
  • Whitepapers.

Omnisend’s whitepaper discussing the advantages of selecting an ecommerce-first e-mail supplier is an instance of 1 such lead magnet.

Screenshot of Omnisend Whitepaper

This lead era instrument is efficient because it straight addresses Ominsend’s target market (ecommerce companies) and alludes to key info contained in the whitepaper that their viewers will discover useful (a very powerful options an e-mail supplier should provide).

Lead vs. demand era: Use each to drive progress 

Whereas demand and lead era occupy distinct domains, the methods usually are not mutually unique ventures. 

With no strong demand era technique, advertising and marketing leads arrive with an absence of schooling and understanding of the {industry} and product and little intent to buy. 

With out intentional lead era campaigns (and compelling provides for prospects at hand over particulars), demand era builds hype, consciousness, and curiosity in a product however doesn’t capitalize on it.

Coordination between the 2 disciplines is essential for accelerating gross sales progress.

Lead era groups, for instance, have to be conversant in how demand era attracts new audiences (i.e. what sort of content material they’re creating, the place and the way they’re distributing it, what ache factors they’re chatting with, and so forth.). 

Combining this data with how nicely segments have interaction with kinds of content material helps place higher-value content material that generates worthy leads.

Take gross sales CRM Pipedrive.

A weblog submit masking the ins and outs of chilly calling scripts (content material that sits throughout the demand era area) is straight away backed up by lead era content material: a downloadable checklist of customizable chilly calling scripts.

Screenshot of pipedrive cold calling script template blog

As a result of each groups are built-in and collaborative, lead gen can design compelling, related provides to capitalize on the curiosity demand gen creates.

Generate demand by fixing essential buyer issues

The best and dependable technique to construct curiosity and belief in your model (and due to this fact demand) is to unravel your prospects’ most urgent challenges.

Free instruments and sources can present on the spot worth, registering an implicit affiliation between your model and trustworthiness. 

Appearances on common podcasts and thought management on social media can set up your model as an {industry} knowledgeable. 

Search engine optimization-focused content material can drive new visitors to your web site whereas offering prospects with a step-by-step information to a persistent downside.

Focusing your demand era efforts on fixing buyer issues takes benefit of the negativity bias, the idea that folks are usually extra involved with damaging stimuli (issues) than optimistic. 

It additionally primes your lead era group to leverage the reciprocity principle, the notion that individuals are extra more likely to comply with your request in the event you’ve given or accomplished one thing for them lately.

Search engine optimization ought to lead with intent

Natural search is a extremely aggressive area for a lot of SaaS verticals (e-mail advertising and marketing, for instance). Weblog posts that merely rehash present content material already rating on your chosen key phrase aren’t going to chop it.

Worse, content material that targets key phrases pulled out of your Search engine optimization instrument, with out analyzing present SERP outcomes, is a recipe for catastrophe. Take into account the distinction in search intent between these two seemingly comparable search phrases:

Screenshot of google search result on how to build ar app

Google delivers content material about constructing purposes for the key phrase above. However the key phrase under shifts the main focus solely to AR rifles. An Search engine optimization play concentrating on augmented actuality seekers could be amiss to ignore the intent behind these comparable phrases.

Screenshot of google search result on how to build ar 

To make an influence, search-focused content material must be deeply worthwhile to the reader and designed to serve their particular search intent.


Their article “Developing an effective work plan” is meant to focus on the search time period “work plan,” a fairly aggressive phrase with a robust month-to-month search quantity.

Screenshot of work plan keyword monthly search volume

Their article presently ranks on web page one for this search time period for a number of causes:

  • Clear definitions. Phrases which can be essential to grasp when creating a piece plan, similar to “purpose,” “technique,” and “targets,” are outlined concisely. Every definition additionally discusses why the idea is essential and features a useful instance.
  • Free template. The article supplies a free useful resource that helps readers get began instantly.
  • Information on work plan creation. The article describes a transparent strategy to creating a piece plan and useful suggestions for designing strategic targets.’s article satisfies search intent. Readers looking for “work plan” (together with “what’s a piece plan” and “what’s included in a piece plan,” two different key phrases for which this text holds a web page one place) want to grasp:

  • What a piece plan is and why it’s essential;
  • What elements a piece plan contains (and what they imply);
  • go about creating one.

This piece of demand era content material additionally feeds neatly into the lead gen realm. The free work plan template is constructed on, so readers might want to create a free account on the platform.

Alt Tag: Screenshot of free work plan template on Monday

Use thought management to spark dialog

Thought management is just not a synonym for pondering out loud. Thought management content material needs to be strategic (i.e. associated to the corporate’s worth proposition), and above all, helpful to your viewers.

Take Ross Simmonds, Founder and CEO of Basis Advertising.

Simmonds is a powerhouse on Twitter and has developed a big following for his insightful and actionable thought management posts on content material advertising and marketing.

Screenshot of Ross Simmonds Twitter Profile

Take this submit on content material creation classes, for instance.

Screenshot of Ross Simmonds Tweet on creating content

Simmonds then breaks down every of the 11 classes in separate feedback beneath his submit. 

Every serves as a brand new dialog (the place he can chat together with his viewers), and supplies particular recommendation that readers can motion instantly.

Screenshot of ross simmonds tweet

Social media posts similar to this are deeply worthwhile to readers but in addition strategically aligned with the corporate’s service providing (content material advertising and marketing).

Free instruments present a glimpse into your product’s capabilities 

A robust technique for constructing curiosity in your product is to create a free, publicly accessible model of one in every of its most helpful options.

Ahrefs’ free instrument, Backlink Checker, provides customers an perception into the capabilities of their intensive suite of Search engine optimization instruments whereas offering a genuinely helpful useful resource for figuring out the highest 100 websites that hyperlink to the person’s area.

Screenshot of ahref backlink checker page

This demand era instance does an ideal job of fixing a particular buyer downside and likewise paves the way in which for efficient lead era.

After coming into a website and viewing the checklist of high 100 backlinks, a easy CTA banner directs customers to Ahref’s pricing web page for individuals who want entry to the complete checklist.

Screenshot of ahref backlink profile analysis for

Cater to bottom-of-funnel prospects with product walkthrough movies 

Techniques similar to weblog posts and social media content material are nice for creating top-of-funnel curiosity, however demand era efforts ought to goal all levels of the funnel.

Prospects towards the underside finish of the advertising and marketing funnel are much less fascinated by understanding the results of the issue they face however extra in studying how your product solves that downside.

Product walkthrough movies could be an efficient approach of speaking this. 

Take as soon as extra. produced a series of YouTube videos that define particular options of their work administration system and present them in a real-life state of affairs.

This video on venture administration workflows addresses widespread buyer ache factors instantly: “In the present day, I’ll present you how you can set priorities, align on targets, handle sources, and extra.”

Screenshot of video on project management workflow

It then concisely demonstrates how can remedy these challenges and hints at superior options like cross-board automation.

Product demonstration movies are an efficient approach of speaking your product’s particular worth with out locking prospects right into a demo assembly and a sequence of gross sales follow-ups.

Hunt down synergistic media appearances 

Whereas conventional media efforts (press releases, journal write-ups, and so forth.) should still show worthwhile for sure audiences, they proceed to lose relevance as millennials and Gen Z make up an growing measurement of the shopping for inhabitants.

As an alternative, think about new media codecs (podcasts, streaming platforms, and on-line publications like TechCrunch) with present audiences related to your vertical.

Bear in mind Omnisend’s podcast?

It serves as a strong demand era tactic for Omnisend itself but in addition represents a possibility for leaders of related firms to contribute, tapping into Omnisend’s present viewers to construct curiosity in their very own product.

This episode, for instance, options Lucas Walker, Advertising Lead at Gorgias, an ecommerce helpdesk.

Lucas Walker on Holiday Insight Series Screenshot

When utilizing focused media appearances as a part of your demand gen technique, search out extremely synergistic alternatives similar to this.

Walker’s expertise (and his firm’s providing) is straight related to Omnisend’s viewers and vice versa. 

This enables each organizations to learn from reaching the prevailing viewers of the opposite whereas guaranteeing the content material of the dialog is very appropriate for and worthwhile to the listener.

Visitor posts are a simple place to go improper, particularly when handled completely as an train in constructing backlinks. 

Your strategy needs to be much like publishing content material by yourself weblog: serve the search intent, show experience and authority, ship distinctive worth.

Visitor submit content material must also be extraordinarily focused. Whereas weblog content material can prolong to cowl matters which can be adjoining to your product (e.g., CRM platforms commonly talk about gross sales ways), visitor submit matters needs to be squarely in your area.

Take this article from Antara Agarwal, advertising and marketing advisor at Outgrow, an interactive content material advertising and marketing agency.

Screenshot of Antara Agarwal Article

This can be a sturdy instance of a requirement gen-focused visitor submit as a result of:

  • The writer, CIENCE, is industry-relevant (sits throughout the gross sales and advertising and marketing umbrella);
  • The subject (how interactive content material can increase your lead era) is straight in Outgrow’s wheelhouse;
  • It’s additionally extremely related to CIENCE’s viewers, being a lead era firm;
  • The article supplies strategic examples that readers can implement instantly.

Supply unequalled worth to generate high-intent leads

Lead era operates two levers that contribute to progress:

  1. Variety of new leads generated (measured as a month-to-month amount);
  2. High quality of recent leads generated (usually measured with a conversion metric).

To affect the primary, lead era efforts must current a compelling provide. Put your self within the sneakers of the client and ask, “Would this be price handing over my e-mail tackle?”

To affect the second, lead gen content material needs to be focused towards bottom-of-funnel prospects. Step into these sneakers once more and ask, “How shut am I to buying?”

Differentiate free and gated content material 

Gated content material (book, guides, reviews, and whitepapers) is the most typical catalyst for lead era. It’s simple to place inside your demand era content material construction (provided as a content material improve) and is definitely scalable.

Nonetheless, the road between free content material choices, like weblog posts, and gated content material varieties, similar to ebooks, is changing into more and more blurry. Demand era entrepreneurs regularly step up their efforts to ship extra worth in free sources.

To compete with the standard of free content material obtainable, commerce “state of the {industry}” reviews for content material that guides readers by actionable, confirmed methods for fixing an important problem.

Traction Complete is a lead routing resolution for enterprise Salesforce customers.

Their book “The 7 step technique to supercharge your velocity to steer” is an instance of high-value gated content material that delivers instantly actionable methods for fixing a related ache level.

Screenshot to Traction Complete The Ultimate Speed to Lead Guide

The provide is compelling as a result of it:

  • Speaks on to the meant outcomes (dramatically enhance rep response occasions);
  • Leverages social proof by calling out well-known firms similar to DocuSign, Zendesk, and Zoom;
  • Tells you precisely what you’re getting (a seven-step technique).

The content material can also be strategically designed to teach readers on the promised methods whereas weaving in testimonials and case research from their very own purchasers, demonstrating Traction Full’s experience.

Screenshot to Traction Complete Veracode

Goal webinars towards bottom-of-funnel prospects

Webinars are a helpful tactic for separating excessive and low-intent leads. The place downloadable content material can solely inform you when the content material is downloaded, webinar platforms like Demio present helpful engagement metrics similar to:

  • Variety of webinar attendees (as a amount and as a proportion of signups);
  • Proportion of webinar watched (with drop off factors for every attendee);
  • Engagement with polls, handouts, and Q&As.

Use this information to attain leads in your advertising and marketing automation platform, and qualify high-intent leads (e.g., those that watched till the top) to distribute to gross sales reps.

Take into account taking a product-focused strategy, concentrating on potential patrons towards the underside finish of the gross sales funnel who’re evaluating a purchase order.

Intercom’s webinar sequence focuses particularly on serving to prospects perceive whether or not a product line fits their wants.

Screenshot to Intercom Webinar Page

This webinar caters on to bottom-of-funnel prospects, and since it’s hosted by two of Intercom’s gross sales engineers, it supplies a context for his or her reps to comply with up with leads post-webinar and open up the gross sales dialog.

Use direct advertising and marketing to proceed the dialog

Keep away from taking a “spray and pray” strategy. Cater direct advertising and marketing to prospects who’ve already demonstrated curiosity and engaged along with your demand era content material.

For instance, use thought management content material on social media to interact a dialog along with your viewers. 

Those that have interaction with this content material and meet your preliminary qualification standards (e.g., they suit your purchaser personas and show a necessity on your resolution) develop into appropriate candidates for direct advertising and marketing outreach. 

This LinkedIn message from Dripify following a webinar I watched is an ideal instance:

Screenshot to LinkedIn Message from Dripify

Make conversational advertising and marketing really feel human

Chatbots are highly effective instruments, however many firms don’t make investments sufficient effort into guaranteeing conversational sequences are useful and related, in order that they don’t convert guests into leads.

Drift will get it proper.

First, their chatbot sequence makes it simple to attach with a real-life human. That is useful from a lead era perspective but in addition solves a typical frustration with chatbots.

Screenshot to Drift Chatbot

Subsequent, guests are guided towards reserving an indication with a gross sales rep however are additionally given a second choice to proceed the dialog. 

This prevents the chat sequence from coming throughout as too aggressive and serves as a type of intent-screening.

Screenshot of Drift Chatbot Guiding Visitiors toward booking a demonstration

Guests who decline to e book a gathering are more likely to be decrease intent, in order that they’re directed towards a useful useful resource.

Screenshot of Drift Chatbot Guiding Visitiors to helpful resources

Observe Drift’s rules when creating chatbot dialog flows:

  • Make it simple for guests to attach with a human;
  • Present a number of choices to proceed;
  • Attempt to pinpoint the place guests are within the purchaser’s journey early;
  • Embody a lead era alternative at every step that matches customer intent.

Cut back friction in free trial signups 

Free trials are a strong and dependable technique for producing high-quality leads utilizing an inbound advertising and marketing strategy.

The place lead era ways like gated content material run the chance of attracting prospects which can be nonetheless on the high of the funnel, trial customers point out intent to buy in that they’re actively evaluating potential options.

Cut back friction by minimizing the quantity of labor required to enroll. 

Take a look at Pipedrive once more. Their free trial provide requires only a work e-mail to entry, although guests can join extra shortly by connecting a Google or LinkedIn account.

Screenshot of Pipedrive Free Trial

Different related info is captured post-activation, serving the twin goal of making a custom-made onboarding expertise (automated) and offering pertinent info to assist gross sales’ strategy to changing the lead right into a paying buyer.

Screenshot of Pipedrive Captured Post Activation

Make it simple for potential prospects to register their curiosity in your product by eradicating the obstacles in your free trial signups. Determine what’s mandatory for signup and accumulate any additional info later.


Demand and lead era entrepreneurs have a tendency to face in separate worlds. Demand era focuses on creating curiosity in your product; lead era capitalizes on that curiosity to provide high-intent gross sales leads.

Each methods are essentially the most impactful once they work collectively.

To make sure the efforts of every show fruitful, draw a transparent distinction (make tasks express) however encourage collaboration so demand era efforts feed easily into lead gen ways.

Study from {industry} specialists in CXL’s Progress Advertising Minidegree and get your lead era and demand era groups working in concord.

The submit Demand Technology vs. Lead Technology: Integrating To Drive Progress appeared first on CXL.

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