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The Difference Between Demand Generation and Lead Capture

There is a difference between demand generation and demand capture. The two terms are often used interchangeably, but that leads to confusion about the buyer journey stage and the content required for moving it along.

1. Demand generation involves the passive acquisition of new names for the organization’s database (i.e. event attendee lists) nurturing leads, and accelerating their progression to “qualified”—when they can be handed off to sales.

2. Demand capture, on the other hand, identifies active demand. That means people who are ready to talk about the organization’s products and solutions (i.e. they filled out a contact form).

These two require different content approaches.

Demand generation content needs to be clever, creative, funny, unique, eye-catching, and resonant. The content should rarely be gated; stick to formats that are shared and consumed, like blog posts, videos and infographics.

Demand capture content can be gated because the organization is catering to an audience with active interest. This content can also include lower-funnel pieces—whitepapers, webinars, and solution sheets—that explicitly discuss products and services. When people engage with this type of content, it indicates they are ready to speak with sales.

The whole idea here is that content needs to be geared toward level of interest.

1. Don’t gate high level content for people that have expressed little interest (or no interest) in your offering.

2. Don’t offer a gated, fluff marketing piece as an incentive for people filling out a website contact form.

More importantly, don’t dismiss leads captured through demand generation as too much trouble to guide through the sales funnel; and don’t take active leads for granted. Both demand generation and demand capture involve work. Work smartly; spend time and energy where it matters.

Much of the above (and for sure the main ideas) are from Gurdeep Dhillon’s excellent post” Demand Generation’s Secret Sauce? Strategic Content” for Marketo:

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