Marketing terms get tossed around like nothing these days:

“Full stack marketer”

“Marketing evangelist”

“Growth hacker”

Do they have any substantive difference?

Or do marketing pros make these terms up to inflate their egos?

I suppose a little of both are going on in each case.

So, let’s take a look at “demand generation.” Does any real difference exist between that and marketing?

First, Let’s Define Demand Generation

I searched around some blogs to attempt to find a clear definition of demand generation. Kapost is a highly reputable company that discusses B2B marketing at depth.

At their blog, they define demand generation like this:

Demand gen typically gives away content freely in order to build awareness. There might be a CTA, but it will come at the end of the piece (“Want to know more? Contact us/click here!”).

1. The Goal of Demand Generation Differs from Marketing’s Goal

With demand generation, you’re looking to build awareness. You will get some leads. But they’ll take longer to close because they’re not intimately familiar with your solution.

In marketing, you could say “branding” works similarly. But, the ultimate goal of marketing is to generate qualified leads sales can close, right?

So that’s one key difference there.

2. How You Use Forms Will Differ

With marketing lead generation, you want to talk to the right people, ones fairly close to being ready to buy. So, you qualify your leads with forms. In fact, you may have 10 or more fields to make sure you only talk to the most qualified leads, according to your lead scoring system.

With demand generation, since your goal is awareness, you won’t want to use forms at all. That gives your readers the least resistance in reading your content, and makes it easier to share.

However, the fact that tools are identifying prospect information without them actually having to enter it in your forms blurs this a little.

3. Demand Generation Leads to Buying Activity

Of course, you’re going to want leads from your demand generation activity. However, demand generation is what precedes lead-generating marketing.

So, for example, you may write a few guest blog posts at popular blogs as part of your “demand generation” strategy. Each post then has a CTA that drives the readers to a white paper, which they must fill out a form to get (and therefore generates qualified leads).

Demand Generation Works Together with Lead Generation in Every Marketing Strategy

So yes, demand generation is a unique marketing technique. What’s its place in your next marketing campaign?