In the first episode of All Things Considered, we discuss the difference between lead generation and demand generation (and why it matters).


Lead generation” and “demand generation” get used interchangeably all the time, but there are fundamental differences between them.

In lead generation, we’re looking to gain exposure to and convert in-market buyers, people who are actually in buying-mode for your product right about now.

That really just accounts for a very small amount of potential buyers.

So there are estimates saying that at any one time there’s probably only about 5% of buyers that are in that mode of actively looking for a solution.

Demand generation is different. In demand generation, we’re looking to widen your exposure to the 95% who are not in buying mode yet.

We’re looking to gain mental availability with them. So when they think about a solution in your category, they should think about your brand.

We’re looking to show them that they have a challenge, an issue, a problem that is important and urgent.

It’s there to motivate them to make a change, to do something different than they’re doing at the moment, which may be just to begin researching a category.

Now the issue comes when you confuse the two, because if you use lead generation tactics expecting to grow the market, you will fail.

However, if you use demand generation tactics to gain in-market buyers, again, you’re likely to underperform.

So this distinction matters.