4 min read

Demand Generation Marketing vs. Lead Generation Marketing: What's It All About?

Demand Generation Marketing vs. Lead Generation Marketing: What's It All About?

Understanding the nuances between different marketing strategies is crucial for growing your business effectively. 

Two commonly used approaches are demand generation marketing and lead generation marketing. You may have heard these terms bandied about but what do they actually mean, what is the difference between them and how can they be used?

Don’t fret, we have all the answers. In our latest blog, we explore these two strategies, and their differences, and shed light on how they should be leveraged to drive success. Additionally, we will touch upon account-based marketing and provide insights on the next steps to take in order to deliver tailored marketing campaigns that make a real difference to your recruitment business. After all, if your marketing isn’t making a positive impact on your business then what’s the point, right?


1. Demand Generation Marketing:

Demand generation marketing focuses on creating and nurturing interest and awareness from your target audience. It aims to generate interest, curiosity, and hopefully even some excitement around your services. By employing various tactics such as content marketing, social media campaigns, and events, demand generation seeks to build a strong brand presence and attract potential clients and candidates. The ultimate goal is to create demand and generate leads that can be nurtured further down the sales funnel and for the service to remain top of mind when the buying decisions are being made. 

Demand generation is not about a quick win and should never look or feel like a sales message. The content you generate at this stage should seek to inform the audience and offer a solution to a problem. 

"Essentially, demand generation is a long-term, education-focused marketing strategy that prioritises reaching and engaging “out of market” buyers." Hubspot

Let’s talk tactics 

We touched on them above but here is a closer look into the tactics that drive demand generation marketing: 

  • Blogs – articles on your website that educate your audience and aid with SEO helping you get found in organic search. 
  • Videos – YouTube or Vimeo content that explores your product or topics relevant to your target audience.
  • eBooks – long-form guides or whitepapers that you can give away on your site, either gated or ungated.
  • Podcasts/webinars – explore specific industry themes around recruitment or business practices or issues affecting the industry such as IR35 or Modern Slavery, normally with external guest speakers. 
  • PR - sharing newsworthy content about your business in the media 


2. Lead Generation Marketing:

Lead generation marketing, on the other hand, is specifically focused on identifying and capturing potential customers who have shown interest in your services. It aims to collect contact information, such as email addresses or phone numbers, to enable direct communication and further nurture these leads. Strategies like landing pages, forms, and gated content are often used to capture these valuable leads. The objective is to gather qualified prospects who are more likely to convert into clients.

Let’s talk tactics 

  • Email Marketing - by tracking recipient actions, such as opening emails, clicking links, or downloading content, leads can be segmented and qualified based on their engagement level. Engaged prospects can then be handed over to the sales team as warm leads for further follow-up.
  • Social Media Paid Advertising - social media platforms offer powerful targeting options to reach the right audience for lead generation. Utilising lead ads, businesses can present customised forms to users interested in their services. These forms are often pre-filled with the user's contact information, making it easier for them to sign up and provide their details.
  • PPC (Pay per click) - PPC campaigns drive targeted traffic to a landing page or a form on your website. To access specific information or gated content, visitors are required to enter their contact details. This approach allows businesses to capture leads who are actively seeking relevant information and are more likely to convert.
  • Event sign-up forms - if your business hosts or participates in events, utilising sign-up forms can be an effective lead generation tactic. By offering event registration forms on your website or social media platforms, you can collect valuable contact information from individuals interested in attending or learning more about your events. These leads can then be further nurtured through targeted follow-up communication.
  • Webinars and Workshops - hosting informative webinars or workshops is an excellent way to attract leads interested in learning from industry experts. By requiring attendees to register with their contact information, businesses can generate a list of qualified leads who have shown a genuine interest in the topic.

To ensure your lead generation campaign is successful you’ll need to work closely with your sales team as leads will need to be handed over and actioned quickly to maximise the return. It is worth building a good relationship with your sales team and educating them on the benefits whilst managing their expectations before you start. Or, if the relationship exists, you should consider improving the flow of communication and formalising a sales process.

Lead vs Demand Generation table

Source HubSpot 


3. Account-Based Marketing:

Account-based marketing (ABM) takes a more targeted approach by focusing on specific high-value accounts rather than a broad audience. It involves tailoring marketing efforts to engage key decision-makers within those accounts and aligning marketing and sales teams to drive personalised experiences. ABM leverages a variety of tactics, including personalised outreach, targeted advertising on platforms such as LinkedIn, and customised content, to establish strong relationships and drive revenue growth.


4. What’s next? 

To maximise the impact of your marketing efforts, it's important to strike a balance between demand generation and lead generation strategies. Consider implementing the following steps:

  1. Align Marketing and Sales: Collaboration and strong communication between your marketing and sales teams is imperative to ensuring a seamless transition from generating demand to nurturing leads. Can you honestly say you have one single sales and marketing plan? Or do you have two plans, operating in silos? If you want a successful marketing function, sales and marketing are like a knife and fork - both can work quite well independently but much more successfully as a team.
  2. Create Engaging Content: Develop compelling and educational content that resonates with your target audience, driving both demand and lead generation efforts. And (please!) don’t just copy and paste a quick blog generated with ChatGPT - this is not going to create a winning ABM strategy! You need to utilise the knowledge of experts within your business and the skills of a professional content writer. 
  3. Leverage Marketing Automation: Utilise marketing automation tools to streamline processes, nurture leads, and track campaign performance effectively, such as HubSpot.
  4. Measure and Optimise: Continuously analyse data, track key metrics, and optimise your marketing strategies based on insights gained. This will enable you to refine your approach and drive better results.

Demand generation and lead generation are two distinct yet interconnected strategies that play vital roles in growing your recruitment business through marketing. By understanding their differences and implementing a balanced approach, you can effectively attract, nurture, and convert potential customers, driving sustainable business growth.

To explore these concepts further and gain actionable insights, be sure to check out our eBook, "Think Marketing Is Colouring In? Think Again! The Art of Growing Your Business Through Marketing." It further explores demand generation, lead generation, and account-based marketing, whilst showing you how to implement these strategies concurrently, and much more.

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