Growth marketing vs. demand generation: which is better? Which one should you focus on as a B2B marketer? What are the differences between the two?
If you find yourself struggling to answer these questions, then you’ve reached the right place.
Growth marketing and demand generation are two separate but important B2B marketing tactics. As the former is broader in scope, it does have some overlap with demand generation, but the similarities end there.
In this post, you’ll learn what each of these tactics entails, the differences between the two, and when to use each.
Let’s get started.
What is Growth Marketing?
Growth marketing is a broad marketing strategy that aims to grow business revenue by winning over new customers and engaging and retaining existing ones.
The ultimate goal is achieving business growth in an organic and sustainable manner, using a variety of strategies, across the sales funnel.
Let’s understand growth marketing better by studying its benefits and strategies.
The top growth marketing strategies for B2B businesses
Here are some of the most popular growth marketing strategies that you can use to take your business to the next level:
- Email marketing: Since growth marketing is applicable to all stages of the funnel, email marketing is a great tactic to use.
From sending cold emails to prospects to offering discounts to existing customers to encourage repeat purchases, email marketing can help you achieve multiple growth marketing goals.
You can also update your customers about a new feature or new version of your product to re-engage them, just like this email from Asana.
Referral marketing: This tactic uses existing customers to bring in new ones by incentivizing them to promote your brand.
This not only engages your existing customers and builds loyalty, but also helps you in acquiring new customers who might be interested in your products or services.
Social media marketing: Social media marketing is a great way to engage with current and prospective customers on platforms where they’re most active.
SEO and CRO: Growth marketing requires a seamless combination of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization).
One important point to note is that growth marketing relies heavily on analytics and A/B testing to see what works. Irrespective of which tactics you choose, you need data-driven marketing for your campaigns.
Benefits of growth marketing
Here are some reasons why you should invest in a solid growth marketing strategy:
- Rapid business growth: Growth marketing helps you grow your business in terms of revenue, number of clients, online presence, and other important growth parameters.
- Efficient use of resources: Since growth marketing involves engaging prospects across the sales funnel, you can use existing resources like your social media channels and website, and integrate your efforts to achieve better results.
- Scalability: Growth marketing aims to achieve organic and sustainable business growth and uses a mix of tactics instead of relying on just a few. This allows you to run marketing campaigns at scale using a mix of different channels and strategies.
What is Demand Generation?
Demand generation is a marketing tactic that aims to boost brand awareness and stimulate interest in a brand’s products or services.
While growth marketing involves both customer acquisition and retention, demand generation focuses only on the acquisition part.
Let’s understand the strategies involved in demand generation campaigns and their key benefits.
The top demand generation strategies for B2B businesses
Here are some strategies that you can use for your demand generation campaigns:
- Content marketing: Using informative content you can educate your target consumers about your business idea, innovative products, unique value proposition, and key benefits. This will help you move them down your demand generation funnel.
For example, we leveraged account-based content syndication to help an HR tech firm showcase the payroll and employee management features of their new tool in the best light.
This helped boost their HR solution signups by 180%.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): SEO is one of the best ways to bring traffic (leads) to your website. By targeting the right keywords, you can rank for relevant search queries and help prospective customers discover your brand.
- Influencer marketing: Social media is a great place to reach new customers and influencer partnerships can further boost your efforts. Find influencers who have followers similar to your target customers and collaborate with them to get exposure to your brand and products.
- Webinars and events: Host webinars, podcasts, and online events to capture the attention of your target audiences and introduce them to your brand. Be sure to add a compelling CTA to direct them to the next steps you want them to take.
Benefits of demand generation
Here are some reasons why you should invest in a dedicated demand generation campaign:
- Generating leads and sales: Demand generation helps you introduce your brand to prospective customers and brings in tons of leads. The more leads you generate, the more sales/conversions you are likely to get.
- Increasing brand awareness: When you start a new business, your first priority should be to let potential clients learn about your company and what it offers. A good demand generation campaign can help you achieve that goal.
- Building customer relationships: By analyzing the performance of your demand generation campaigns, you can understand your target customers better and deliver better solutions. This effectively helps improve customer relationships over time.
The Differences Between Growth Marketing and Demand Generation
When comparing growth marketing vs. demand generation, the latter is more specific and narrow in scope. In a way, you can say that demand generation is a small, yet important part of growth marketing.
Here are the key differences between growth marketing and demand generation:
Business growth, including a boost in sales and customer base
Brand awareness and interest generation in a brand and its offerings
Spans across a customer’s entire lifecycle
Aims only at generating demand and bringing in new customers
New and existing customers
Email marketing, referral marketing, social media marketing, SEO, and CRO
Content marketing, SEO, influencer marketing, webinars, events, ads, etc.
Revenue growth, customer lifetime value, etc.
Increase in website traffic and qualified leads
Data-driven decision making
Heavily relies on data and analytics
Relies on consumer data and interactions with marketing materials
Best suited for
New businesses or businesses that launch a new product or service
Both growth marketing and demand generation are important and solve different purposes. You will need one or both depending on several factors, which we’ll discuss in the next section.
When to Use Growth Marketing vs. Demand Generation
You will need both at some point depending on the following factors:
1. Your current stage of business growth
For new businesses, customer acquisition and brand awareness are the first order of business. In this case, you’ll need a demand generation campaign to build the initial momentum and acquire your first clients.
Established businesses, on the other hand, already have brand recognition and need to focus more on growing their business, which requires growth marketing.
However, if you’re launching a new product or expanding your business to a slightly different niche, you’ll need to leverage demand generation again. In this case, you may also consider making a choice between demand generation vs. lead generation.
2. Your marketing goals
Growth marketing is the better option if your goal is to increase revenue, customer lifetime value, number of repeat customers, etc.
Basically, growth marketing will help you achieve overall business growth.
If you aim to spread brand awareness and strengthen your brand recognition, demand generation is the way to go.
While demand generation may help you generate qualified leads and website traffic, they may not necessarily convert into paying customers.
So, if you want a quick revenue boost, demand generation is not the best option for you.
3. Available resources
While the first two factors are the main parameters you should consider for making a choice between growth marketing vs. demand generation, resource availability may also affect your decision.
Broadly speaking, growth marketing campaigns span across multiple channels and involve various strategies, and are often expensive. They are responsible for engaging customers from the awareness stage to the loyalty stage.
If you do not have the budget, time, or human resources to execute a full-fledged growth marketing campaign, you may have to use demand generation to get prospects into your sales funnel.
After all, the more qualified leads you get, the more the chances for conversion.
Growth Marketing vs. Demand Generation: Which One Will You Choose?
Now that you understand the scope, objectives, and benefits of growth marketing and demand generation, you should be able to make a choice.
Remember, demand generation is a top-of-the-funnel strategy while growth marketing spans across all stages of the funnel.
So, if you have an established business that you want to grow, you will need growth marketing. And if you have a new business or launch a new product, then you will need demand generation to generate demand for your offerings.
Need help to generate demand for your products or services and not sure where to start? Leverage our professional demand generation services and quickly build a strong customer base. Reach out to our team to learn more.