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    06/30/2022 |

    Inbound Marketing Vs. Demand Generation: Is There A Difference?

    As marketers, we’re often asked if inbound marketing and demand generation are the same.

    Our answer? Not exactly.

    While both inbound marketing and demand generation help drive visitors, leads and revenue for your business, the two concepts aren’t identical.

    In this blog, we’ll discuss the differences between the two and explain how they fit together.

    Demand Generation

    HubSpot defines demand generation as:

    “The marketing system and engine that bridges the gap with your company’s sales and revenue operations. It may include multiple touch points, from blogging to email list creation to social media promotion – all inbound marketing tactics that are part of a company’s overall demand generation strategy.”

    Still, demand generation is not inbound marketing.

    Demand generation is a sales-centric approach to generating awareness and interest for your brand among users who are not yet active in their buyer journey. It encompasses all stages of the buyer’s journey and is designed to build long-term relationships with key prospects and customers that can help grow your business. 

    To do this effectively, you need to help your target audience identify and understand their pain points and how your solution can help. Demand generation takes a proactive approach, using marketing tactics such as webinars, podcasts, paid digital advertising and account-based marketing (ABM).

    Demand generation tactics will use inbound marketing, but it’s a single piece to your company’s larger demand strategy.

    Inbound Marketing

    HubSpot defines inbound marketing as

    “A business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them.”

    Not only does inbound – a marketing-centric approach – attract qualified prospects but it also builds trust and credibility for your business. It’s one component of a comprehensive demand generation strategy that’s required to secure both a high quantity of leads and high-quality leads.

    Inbound marketing helps deploy the methods needed so people notice your company when looking for products and services like yours. In addition to blogging and conversion-oriented landing pages, some inbound marketing tactics to consider to help you reach your marketing goals include:

    • Lead Nurturing: Continue to build relationships with potential customers and keep them engaged throughout the sales process.
    • Website Design: Start generating leads and converting customers with a website designed to set you apart from the competition and guide prospects through the buyer journey.
    • Email Marketing: Provide leads with valuable information that aligns with where they’re at in the buyer’s journey.
    • Video Marketing: Reach a wider audience and enhance your ability to connect with prospects and customers using engaging video.
    • Content Marketing: Generate new leads and turn them into customers with educational content delivered in perfect context to their buyer journey.
    • Social Media Marketing: Expand your reach and increase engagement with those who’ve expressed interest in your business through a targeted social media strategy that meets your audience where they are.
    • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Drive meaningful traffic to your site and engage with more prospects searching for the solutions you provide through comprehensive on-page and off-page SEO strategies.

    Learn all you need to know about inbound marketing by downloading our beginner’s guide.

    The Relationship Between Inbound Marketing And Demand Generation

    Even though inbound marketing and demand generation are different, the two concepts complement each other. In fact, companies that execute a blend of inbound and demand generation tactics see favorable results. Together, they:

    • Create interest or awareness in your company’s products or services
    • Focus on both the quality and the quantity of the leads you’re generating
    • Build a comprehensive revenue acceleration methodology

    Regardless of your specific lead generation goals, consider implementing demand generation and inbound methods in your sales and marketing strategy.

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    Paul Barney, Copywriter headshot
    CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

    Paul Barney, Copywriter

    Paul joined the Square 2 team in April 2022, bringing with him 10-plus years of experience as a writer and editor. He has helped develop the creative voice for countless B2B and B2C clients across a wide range of industries, including manufacturing and distribution, transportation and logistics, and professional services.

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