Demand Generation vs Lead Generation: What’s the Difference?

Demand Generation vs Lead Generation

To run and grow your business smoothly, do you need to master demand generation or lead generation?

BOTH, actually! But don’t think of them as completely separate strategies. 

Even though there are many differences between demand gen vs lead gen, they should always work together.

So, let’s get clear on what they are and, most importantly, how you can take control of both (hint hint: with a quiz).

What is demand generation?

Demand generation is a long-term marketing strategy to reach new potential customers, grow your audience and increase brand awareness

It focuses on educating your target market on their problems and potential solutions while also creating engagement, trust and interest in your products or services. 

Some examples of demand generation are:

  • SEO-friendly blog posts for top-of-the-funnel leads who are trying to understand their problem
  • Value-led and educational social media media posts
  • Influencer marketing to reach a new portion of your target audience
  • Quiz marketing that makes your potential customers aware of a specific problem

What is lead generation?

Lead generation is a marketing strategy to attract and identify your potential customers and then nurture them until they buy from you.

In most cases, these are people who have already been engaging with your brand (thanks to your demand gen efforts, in particular). 

Now? You’re focusing on taking more of them from cold leads to qualified prospects, ready to buy or speak to your sales team.

Some examples of lead generation are:

  • SEO-friendly comparison blog posts for bottom-of-the-funnel leads
  • Social proof content like case studies and eBooks
  • Contact and application forms
  • Landing pages
  • Outbound tactics like paid ads and cold outreach
  • Email marketing to nurture leads in a personalised way
  • Lead magnets and quiz marketing that show people the best next step for them

The main differences between demand generation and lead generation

As teased before, your demand and lead generation must work together. 

In fact, the latter is often used as an umbrella term when talking about strategies that are technically about demand generation. However, there are some key differences between the two.

1. Goals

  • Demand generation – Reaching new markets and building brand awareness to create interest (or demand) in your products or services
  • Lead generation – Turning some of this interest into potential customers. So, it’s about identifying those who are more likely to convert, capturing their contact information (for example, through a lead magnet or form) and nurturing them in a personalised way. Then, when the time is right, you can pass them on to your sales team

2. Strategies

  • Demand generation –  It mainly relies on a marketing mix of content and inbound tactics to reach a wider audience. So, demand generation focuses on free ungated content like blogging, social media, SEO and so on. You can boost both your engagement and chances of success with a compelling demand generation quiz (more on that soon!)
  • Lead generation – Some tactics can overlap with demand generation. However, they still target people at different stages of the customer journey (we’ll go more in-depth in the next point). For example, when blogging for lead generation, you should focus on bottom-of-the-funnel pieces, like comparison articles. Overall, however, lead gen prioritises tactics to gather people’s contact details! So, it often includes gated content like eBooks, case studies and lead magnets. The most effective ones? Quizzes! While traditional lead magnets (like PDFs) only convert at 3-10%, quizzes average a whopping 30-50%

3. Customer journey stages

  • Demand generation – It focuses on the top and middle of the funnel: potential customers who are unaware of what’s causing their problems or are starting to look for solutions. So, demand generation helps these people understand their situation while building brand awareness
  • Lead generation – It mainly targets the middle and bottom of the funnel. These potential customers are already aware of their problem (especially thanks to your demand gen efforts). Now, it’s time to compel them to take that next step, like signing up for your lead magnet or finding the right product or service for them

So, what’s the difference between demand generation and lead generation (in a nutshell)?

Overall, the main difference is:

demand generation is about reaching more people and creating interest around your brand, products or services. Then, lead generation captures their details and nurtures them strategically, sending the right ones into your sales pipeline.

So, in most cases, demand generation comes first, and lead generation is its natural follow-up. 

The best way of making the most of both and even bringing them together? A quiz lead magnet, of course!

Quiz marketing for demand generation

A demand generation quiz can focus on engagement while helping your audience better understand their problem.

For example, a business coach could build a demand generation quiz along the lines of “Discover your entrepreneurial profile” or “Why your business isn’t growing.”

So, to create a strong demand generation quiz, prioritise the following:

  • Engagement and education Because they’re personalised and engaging, quizzes can introduce more people to your business in a fun and memorable way. So, use them to grab your audience’s attention, get them to interact with your brand and give them value (like educating them on their problem and situation). For example, with ScoreApp, you can share valuable Scorecards. Their results will tell them what they’re already doing well and what they still need to work on, offering them tailored advice
  • Shareability The shareable nature of quizzes makes it easier to reach more people, especially on social media. Even better? Encourage your participants to share their results. Of course, you must first set up valuable and compelling results that are actually worth sharing! Luckily, with ScoreApp, you can create a viral quiz and make it easier for people to share it, from social share buttons to engaging prompts
  • Content variety – Many businesses are now using content marketing, from blog posts to social media. Not that many are wowing their audience with valuable quizzes! So, by spicing up your content formats, your demand generation quiz will also make you stand out online. And guess what? You can use it to complement your existing content marketing strategy, too. A win-win!

Create your demand generation quiz for FREE with ScoreApp

Quiz marketing for lead generation

A lead generation quiz will make it easier to get to know your audience, pre-qualify the right leads, nurture them in a personalised way and then send them to your sales team.

For example, a content marketing agency could create quizzes like “Are you ready to outsource your content?” or “Discover your content marketing score and how to improve it.”

Overall, lead generation quizzes tend to prioritise: 

  • Lead capture – Forget about BuzzFeed-style quiz results that disappear as soon as that participant clicks away! A lead generation quiz will always capture your audience’s contact details. That way, you will be able to contact them directly, and they will receive their valuable results via email (and actually get to refer to them again whenever they wish)
  • Segmentation and personalisation – Ask strategic questions to really get to know each participant: who are they? What problem are they trying to solve? What are their likes and dislikes? Have they got any misconceptions about your industry or type of business? Then, divide them into groups based on their answers. That way, you can nurture them with more personalised content, which is A LOT more effective. With ScoreApp, you get to create different email sequences for each segment. So, your lead generation quiz will keep segmenting and nurturing your audience for you, all automatically. You can then share their results with your sales team for a more personalised approach, boosting your conversion rate even further. Smart, isn’t it?
  • Qualification – You don’t want to waste your time, energy and money on wrong-fit prospects! Instead, use around 10% of your quiz questions to pre-qualify your participants. This will really depend on your type of business and strategy. To give you an example, though: you could ask them about their budget or if they’ve already tried to solve their problem. Then, send them more sales-enablement content through your email sequences and only invite the hottest leads on a sales call 

Create your lead generation quiz for FREE with ScoreApp

Take full control of your demand and lead generation strategy with a ScoreApp quiz

To run your business smoothly and grow it, you need to master both demand and lead generation. That’s when you can keep reaching more people, nurturing those with the highest potential of becoming customers and filling your sales pipeline.

With ScoreApp, you get to create an entire demand and lead generation funnel for FREE!

  • Grab your audience’s attention with a captivating quiz
  • Use it to complement all your demand generation and lead generation tactics
  • Impress your potential customers right from the start with valuable questions and results 
  • Segment them automatically
  • Target them with strategic email sequences
  • Win them over with a personalised sales approach

Ready to make that happen? Then, create your demand and lead generation quiz today and for FREE.

About the author
Martin Huntbach Head of SEO
Martin Huntbach
Head of Content
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