Digital Marketing Agency versus Demand Generation Agency

What’s the difference between a Demand Generation Agency and a Digital Marketing agency?

We often get asked what the difference between Digital Marketing and Demand Generation is and so in the spirit of sharing we thought we’d bring you a definitive guide to solve it once and for all.

Let’s start by considering the breadth of what a Digital Agency might do – typically most digital agencies will support your plans across Web design and builds, perhaps Content Creation, definitely Paid Media (PPC, Social, Shopping, Display etc). They might also support some branding and perhaps some PR and there are some phenomenal agencies out there – having been “client side” for a good many years – trust us we know.

A good digital marketing agency will look to help support your brand and products by increasing exposure, building engagement with new audiences and driving traffic to your web properties (especially ones they’ve built).

Ok so what’s the difference? One word – SALES

Unlike a traditional Digital Marketing Agency, a good Demand Generation agency will have a much broader, more complete view of both the Sales and Marketing spectrums. Yes we can build websites, yes we can execute Search, Social, Shopping and any other type of campaign but Demand Generation should be 100% focused on how to create Demand that converts into Sales. Think of it as a strategic approach rather than a tool or tactic.

Starting with the buyer

We all know that the ultimate end goal for any business choosing to outsource their marketing (or parts thereof) to an agency will be increasing revenue.  When you’re focused on creating growth going back to the heart of the buyer can seem a little frustrating but it’s a critical step for Demand Generation.

Focusing on the real needs of your buyers (not why you want them to buy your product!) and understanding why and how they start their buyer journey means that your Demand Generation can strategically plan and design tactics that increase exposure in the right areas with the right journey plan.

If you’re new to MAP journeys check this out

Connected Thinking – Digital Agency v Demand Gen

Digital tactics will always be a core part of Demand Generation but a good Demand Agency should support you in connecting each stage of your Sales and Marketing funnel for maximum effect.

Websites and content are a great example of Demand Generation in practice – building a great looking website with content that really speaks to your buyers, helps them identify well with your brand and convert into opportunities for your Sales team is an ideal scenario for most Marketing and Sales leaders. The reality however often involves research, testing (lots of it!) numerous touch points across the buyer journey not to mention extensive mapping into the Sales process.

Demand Generation considers the whole of the buyer journey, from awareness and commitment to action through attraction (across ALL channels) and engagement to conversion and sales development. Connecting and optimisation each of these stages to deliver revenue is the core difference between Demand Gen v Digital.

Combining Sales and Marketing – What can you take to the bank?

A good friend of ours here at The Demand Generation team always asks us “What can I take to the bank?” i.e. what will this activity really add to my bottom line and it’s a great place to consider the impact of Demand Generation instead of pure Digital Marketing.

It’s a question we should all be asking ourselves, especially when looking at results. Hopefully your organisation already has a great relationship between Sales and Marketing but often there’s a disconnect between the two. Sales teams are often disappointed with the quality of opportunities from Marketing and Marketing teams are often underwhelmed by the conversion rates from what should be “high quality leads”. All too often digital agencies will fail to consider the impact of any tactics or activities on Sales – aiming instead for early stage metrics or engagement measures like impressions of form fills instead of pipeline or closed revenue.

So for those that adopt Demand Generation – What you can take to the bank – should be a key difference, planning, executing and optimising strategy and campaigns to deliver real returns not just digital metrics.

If you’re thinking of adopting Demand Generation or want to see what Demand Generation can do for you we’d love to help – give us a call or email us today.

Posted by Helen Brookes on Saturday 9th January 2021