Total Customer Growth Marketing vs Demand Generation

Total Customer Growth Marketing vs Demand Generation

In this post, we compare Total Customer Growth Marketing vs Demand Generation. There is confusion about growth marketing and demand generation. The short story is that one is a holistic business model to win and grow customers for life. The other is a part of this approach and is the initial stage of customer acquisition. Both are part of developing a long-term growth strategy.


Let’s start by defining Total Customer Growth Marketing vs Demand Generation. We used ChatGPT to define Growth Marketing and Demand Generation. The definition of Total Customer Growth is from the book we published by the same name.

Total Customer Growth Marketing

Total Customer Growth is a system involving sales, marketing, and customer success to find, engage, convert, and grow profitable customers for life. It is a holistic approach to building a sustainable, long-term business model.

Demand Generation

As defined by ChatGPT: A targeted marketing strategy designed to create awareness and interest in a company’s products or services, often involving content marketing, SEO, and email campaigns to nurture leads and convert them into customers.

This may appear like a short-term approach, but it is part of an end-to-end vision.

Total Customer Growth Marketing 

Total Customer Growth Marketing is based on the buyer journey, as this animation depicts.

Total Customer Growth Marketing

You can see that the middle wavy arrow starts with the typical buyer journey stages, where buyers define the problem and how to solve it. Next, they evaluate vendors and make a decision.

Then, they go through an onboarding process to learn how to use your solution, integrate it with other systems, train their teams, and grow adoption. They are then using the solution day-to-day.

As the solution becomes embedded in their organization, they expand their use. This expansion includes adding more users, adding features, upgrading, etc. This is where retention and referrals come into play.

Lastly, as customers experience the solution, they may share their opinions. This influence can be negative, neutral, or positive. These have a significant impact on future sales.

A New Take on ABM and ABX

One of the reasons we wrote Total Customer Growth was confusion about ABM and ABX, We wanted to simplify this. This video explains this a little more.

There is a great deal of debate about Accout-based Marketing (ABM) and Account-based Experience (ABX). The most common view is that ABM supports the marketing and sales stages. And ABX is primarily about helping you grow your existing business. We go into how shortly.

In our view, it has become confusing and gets away from the most important issue, THE CUSTOMER and the buyer journey.

With Total Customer Growth, there are four distinct stages to this model:

  1. Identify Intent – You identify which best-fit prospect accounts are in-market for your solution
  2. Engage – You help these prospects conclude that you should be considered and facilitate contact through an orchestrated marketing program
  3. Convert – You continue to engage the prospect to convert into a sale
  4. Grow – You monitor customer satisfaction and intent for other solutions, upsell them, and convert them into evangelists for your business creating a longer-term growth model

The fundamental principles of ABM do not change, but they are applied differently. For example, you use intent data to determine which prospective accounts are in-market. Additionally, you use intent data to identify other solutions your current customers are interested in.

You use what you learn about your most profitable and most highly regarded customers to refine your definition of a best-fit customer so that you can improve how you target equally profitable new customers.

It’s a virtuous cycle.

Demand Generation is Part of Total Customer Growth Marketing

So is Demand Generation a different thing?

In our view, demand generation is a strategy you use in the early phase of the Total Customer Growth approach.

You use it when trying to identify intent and engage the buyers.

Most recently, we have refined the way we approach demand generation.

Our Approach to Demand Generation

Intent-based Demand Generation

We call this the Intent-based Demand Generation process. It’s an ABM approach to new customer acquisition. Strictly speaking, demand generation focuses on the front half of this process. It’s about finding the right buyers, making them aware and interested in your product or service, and moving them toward action.

Here are the steps:

  1. Account Selection: Using a “Best-fit Customer” approach, you create a target account list. We typically use third-party intent data to narrow this down further to a narrower list of accounts that appear to be in-market.
  2. Analysis, Segmentation, and Buyer Circle Contacts: Once you have narrowed the target account list of potential customers down, you segment these accounts into clusters you will market to differently, for example, by size, geography, or other characteristics. We use ABM intent data to do this. Then you create a contact list of individuals who match the likely members of the buyer circle, including potential champions and influencers. We call these High Intent Contacts.
  3. Targeted Marketing: Once you have a highly targeted list of accounts and high-intent contacts representing your potential in-market audience, it’s time to generate demand. This is principally about using digital marketing to reach them with messages and content (blog posts etc) regarding the problems they are trying to solve. This also includes more solution-oriented messaging. In addition to creating awareness and building consideration, this helps to identify who has a need based on how individual contacts engage with your messaging.
  4. Lead Generation and Demand Capture: The second phase of the model is converting demand. As you pinpoint accounts and contacts that are responding to your demand generation messaging, it’s time to turn these into leads. You will use a variety of tactics here, including outbound calling, email, lead-generation ads, special offers, webinars, forms on your website, social selling, and more.
  5. Personalized Engagement: A key part of demand capture is personalized engagement. As you narrow down the high-intent contacts who appear to be most responsive to your messaging, it’s time to double down and amp up your personalized outreach. As you manage a shorter list of contacts, you should dive into their social profiles and understand more about them. Tailor your outreach to what you learn about them. Use social selling techniques to nurture a relationship with them.
  6. Sales Handover – Eventually, and after a great deal of lead nurturing, you will have a call with some of these high-intent contacts. As you learn more about them, you qualify them and transition the opportunity to the sales team.

Learning More About Total Customer Growth Marketing vs Demand Generation

In our book, we dive deep into Total Customer Growth Marketing and Demand Generation.

We wrote this book as a comprehensive practical guide to ABM, ABX, and Total Customer Growth. The book includes how-to guides, strategic rationales, examples, and references to online resources to help in your journey.

 The book is divided into four parts. Here is what each covers:

 Part 1 – Strategic Foundations of Total Customer Growth
  • Why ABM Is Transforming B2B Sales and Marketing
  • The Total Customer Growth Framework
  • Intent data and how to use it
  • Targeting methodologies
  • The Buyer Journey
  • ABM Campaign Strategies and Personalization
  • Engagement and Content Planning
 Part 2 – Putting ABM into Action
  • The ABM Technology Platform
  • SDRs: ABM’s Secret Weapon
  • Developing an ABM measurement model
 Part 3 – ABM to ABX
  • Envisioning ABX and Total Customer Growth
  • How to use account insights to drive growth
  • How to turn customers into positive influencers
 Part 4 – Get Moving. Get Scaling.
  • The Think/Crawl/Walk/Run approach
  • How to scale and Evolve ABM
  • The Agile Marketing Process in action
  • The Total Customer Growth Organization

If you are interested or need help, we can help you on your ABM journey. Here are some ways to get started:

  1. Check out the book. Here is our page about our book on ABM, or you can buy it on Amazon.
  2. Check out more posts like this in the Healthtech MarketingLearning Center. It is chock-full of articles, use cases, how-to’s, tools like the ABM Campaign Planning Template, and ideas to get you started on your ABM journey.
  3. Follow me or connect with me on LinkedIn. I publish videos and articles on ABM and healthtech marketing.

Work with me directly. Let’s book a growth session and we can explore ways you can improve your marketing using the latest techniques in account-based marketing.

Posted by Adam Turinas
Posted in ABM Strategy Blogs on August 21, 2023

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About the Author Adam Turinas

Hi, I am Adam Turinas, Health Launchpad's founder. I am passionate about helping healthtech firms succeed through better sales and marketing. I have hard-earned experience in healthcare technolgy as I started two healthcare businesses in the US, the first with zero healthcare experience. We sold the second business to a strategic buyer seven years later. Over 9 years building a healhtech businesses, I have learned how to sell and market effectively to healthcare organizations. Prior to this, I spent two decades in digital marketing across healthcare and other consumer industries where I sold over $100 million in products and services to corporations and healthcare orgs. I would love to talk with you. You can book a call with me on the right hand side. Best Adam (This is page 0 of many)Enter your text here...