What is Lead Generation and How is it used?

The definition and significance of Lead Generation

Lead generation is the term which defines how the products and services of a business can stimulate consumer interest and further consumer exploration into that product or service. Businesses need “quality” leads, where the “quality” is determined by the likelihood of the consumer to actually consider and make that purchase. Generating high quality leads is the number one challenge and lead quality is the omnipotent factor that can make or break an organizations success.

According to a report from WebMarketing123, 54% of B2B marketers consider lead generation the number one digital marketing goal. Brand awareness is number 2 at 28%. Developing a stronger online presence and building reputation among prospects has become more important within the last few years, and more businesses are actively marketing on the web. Businesses want to improve sales, but the reason that an increase in sales is not the number one priority is because developing lead generation methods will more likely produce more opportunity for converting leads into quality leads and sales.


The difference between lead generation and demand generation:

Lead generation includes collecting registration information (for example, creating an account) often in exchange for viewing the content of a site. This way, a marketing database for email or telemarketing is built up. The direct outcome of creating leads is that new contacts are now available for sales and online marketing. On the other hand, demand generation is the practice of creating demand for an organization’s products or services through marketing. The direct outcome is that the audience is more likely to purchase the product or service. To clearly state, demand generation focuses on changing the audiences perspective about a product/service through marketing, while lead generation focuses on capturing their information, so that they can be marketed directly to.

1. Content marketing for lead generation:

• The focus of lead generation is creating demand for the content, not the product

• The message, promotions, navigation paths, all focus on the content being offered and individuals into a registration page to access the content.

2. Content marketing for demand generation:

• The focus is creating demand for specific products or services

• The content must be broadly distributed.

• Any barriers that stand in the way of discovering content, consuming content, and sharing content, must be removed.

Lead generation and demand generation must work together in a sequence, and either one can come first. In the case that lead generation is first, lead generation programs are used to create a database by collecting emails and other information. Then, one-to-one marketing drives the demand from a smaller audience with targeting sharing. In the case that demand generation comes first in the sequence, the demand generation programs are used to create interest and buzz about the product. Then, leads are captured as a means to fulfill one specific interest that was created by the demand generation programs.


Webmarketing123. (2012). Webmarketing 123Reports on the 2012 state of digital marketing. Retrieved on April 9th, 2013, from


About.com. (n.d). Marketing Benefits of Using Lead Generation. Retrieved on April 9th, 2013, from


Marketo.(n.d). Demand Generation. Retrieved on April 9th, 2013, from


Content Marketing Institute. (2012). What is Content Marketing? Retrieved on April 9th, 2013, from



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