As the owner of a B2B service-based business, your success relies directly on your ability to nurture more qualified leads so you can convert more people to customers and make more sales.

Of course, the most effective way to make this happen is through lead generation marketing, right?

Well… not exactly.

In fact, it’s time to shift your thinking when it comes to lead generation marketing.

Why? Because lead generation relies far too heavily on the current existence of demand. But do you have enough demand in the first place? Without demand, you won’t be able to attract, convert leads and make sales.

You cannot sit and wait for demand to happen. You need to create it yourself.

How? Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to discuss with you today. Using demand generation, you can build more qualified leads for your B2B service-based business and, in turn, make more sales and increase your bottom line.

Let me show you how.

What is the difference between demand generation and lead generation?

Let’s start by defining each of these marketing practices to determine the differences between the two.

According to HubSpot, demand generation is how your business reaches new markets and gets audiences excited about what you have to offer. This helps to increase brand awareness, generate trust and educate your audiences on how your solution offers them relatable value.

This is as opposed to lead generation, which HubSpot defines as the process of convincing those same people that they need your solution now that they know enough about you. This is achieved through nurturing their demand into action, with the end goal of converting these audiences into customers.

Essentially when it comes to service-based B2B businesses, the most effective approach is to create demand through marketing, generate leads from this demand through sales, drive conversion and then focus on ongoing retention.

As you can see, demand generation and lead generation are two very different things –however, when used together, they do help to bring your business more clients.

The key difference between the two is that with lead generation, the demand must already be there to achieve the desired results. It is reactive.

Now, let’s look at each approach in more depth.

Demand Generation: the proactive approach to more sales

As the name suggests, demand generation is all about creating a demand for your services.

This involves becoming a thought leader within your industry, providing value to your audience, pushing your brand first and using content that positions your brand to become the first thing a prospect thinks of when they need what you offer.

Essentially, demand generation is about increasing the number of touchpoints for your business, which is ideal when you consider that on average, it takes ten touchpoints to close a sale.

When done properly, demand generation can become a huge competitive advantage for your B2B business, as it will drastically increase your marketing’s contribution to your qualified pipeline, and it means that you don’t have to rely so heavily on advertising and outdated marketing attribution to get results.

Watch this 1 minute video below where I explain more about this new and proactive approach to over 30 Business Leaders from Club Of United Business.

Lead Generation: the reactive approach to more sales

As I previously mentioned, lead generation relies on the demand for your services to already be there. Unfortunately, however, this is not always the case, meaning that your lead generation marketing may be either falling on deaf ears or attracting low-quality leads that are unlikely to convert.

A classic example of lead generation marketing is Google, Facebook and LinkedIn advertising. While these ads may appear in front of a large audience, if the demand for your services is not there, the chances of anyone clicking on your ad and converting are extremely low.

It is risky to simply assume that demand is already there, and if demand is there and has been generated from a source you have little control over it’s inefficient to spend resources trying to direct it back to you. These risks and inefficiencies are only exacerbated by current market shifts and changing economic conditions.

This is why being proactive with demand generation via an omnichannel approach is the smartest approach, as you have much more control and far greater reach.

Watch this 1 minute video below where I explain more on why this old and reactive approach is no longer valid to over 30 Business Leaders from Club Of United Business.

The real opportunity only comes when you shift your mindset

To successfully gather and convert high-quality leads for your business, you need to switch off the old mentality of ‘money in, leads out’, and instead shift to creating demand and excitement around your brand using an omnichannel approach.

This is also about being a proactive thought leader in your space. The more you take ownership, the more you will get recognised, which automatically creates a strong demand not only for your service but also directly for you and your brand too.

The reality is that B2B clients are looking for a whole lot more trust in your brand than what lead generation marketing alone can provide. They’re not the type of clients who will simply click on your website for the first time and easily convert into a customer.

Content created through demand generation marketing, however, will fill your entire marketing funnel, from top to bottom.

So, it’s clear that utilising demand generation as part of your overall digital marketing strategy is a great way to take control of your pipeline and greatly improve results for your B2B service-based business.

Do you need help with demand generation marketing in your business?

All you have to do is Ask!

At Ask Digital Marketing, we combine decisive digital strategy and managed marketing execution to help B2B service-based businesses build demand, establish thought leadership and own their industry through digital business marketing.

Stop waiting. Start building. Experience success.

Just get in touch with us and we can discuss your business to help you navigate the digital marketing landscape towards success.

Let’s harness the power of digital marketing today!

For more great marketing content, connect with our company leaders, Alexandra King and Stephanie King, or follow our Ask Marketing LinkedIn page.

Alexandra King

Ali has a proven track record of aligning with commercial business objectives and translating research into key insights that result in exceptional marketing strategies, online user experiences and positive financial results.