What is the Difference Between Demand Gen, Demand Capture, and Lead Gen?

What is the Difference Between Demand Gen and Demand Capture?

Based on some conversations I’ve had recently (perhaps as founders transition away from a traditional lead-gen model) there still seems to be some confusion around the difference between Demand Gen and Demand Capture.

What is Demand Gen?

As the name implies, Demand Gen is all about generating demand through attracting and educating buyers, (i.e. social, display ads, influencers, content, website, etc.).

These buyers may not be actively looking for a solution, they may not even be aware they have a problem.

It looks like this: Buyer sees an ad about XYZ solution they didn’t know about > follows curiosity and clicks through to the website > completes checkout (I admit, this almost never happens, but bare with me as I try to simplify the example).

What is Demand Capture?

Demand Capture (also as the name implies) is all about capturing a percentage of buyers who are already ‘in-market’, actively looking for a solution to their problem.

It looks like this: Buyer has problem Y > Goes to Google and searches “Solution to problem Y’ > Sees your ad > Clicks through > Completes purchase.

In the first case, you created a buyer when there wasn’t one.

In the second case, you captured an existing buyer who already had a demand for a solution, they just may not necessarily have known about your solution. So you captured, or stole, that buyer from going with a competitor.

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What is Lead Gen?

Lead Gen – Is the approach of collecting leads at all costs.

Traditionally, marketing was measured on MQLs so they optimized their approach to get more MQLs by gating everything.

Anytime they collected an email through a webinar, newsletter, demo request, gated content, etc. marketing would get credit (leading to increase in budget and headcount).

But what ends up happening is sales becomes inundated with junk leads that have no intention of buying. Thus, wasting everyone’s time, money, and creating negative affinity among visitors and internal teams.

  • Demand Gen and Demand Capture > Marketing doing most of the selling.
  • Lead Gen > Sales is doing most of the selling.

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