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Demand Generation Vs. Lead Generation: Which One is More Effective?

Lead Generation vs Demand Generation

Table of Contents

Within the realm of marketing, demand generation and lead generation are frequently used in a synonymous manner. However, they possess distinct meanings. In fact, understanding the demand generation vs. lead generation strategies is essential to target ideal customers and increase sales effectively. 

Demand generation is vast and involves creating interest in a product or service through the funnel and beyond that. On the contrary, lead generation focuses on capturing the contact information of potential customers. In short, lead generation is a subset of demand generation.

demand gen vs lead gen

This article will explore the nuances of these two approaches and their importance for your business.

Quick Overview Of Demand Generation Vs. Lead Generation

Demand Generation  Lead Generation 
The strategy focuses on making prospects aware of the problem.  The strategy offers to solve prospects' problems.
It aims to boost your brand authority. It focuses on presenting your product's solution.
Demand generation campaigns focus on long-term benefits.  Lead generation campaigns focus on short-term benefits.  
Follows educational based strategy to generate leads Follows sales focused strategy to generate leads
Demand gen aims for wider audience engagement. Lead gen aims only to generate quality leads.
KPIs - Traffic, Impressions, Clicks, Video Watchthrough rates, Avg time spent on landing page KPI - MQLs, SQLs, SALs
Best for Mid to Large Size Companies and who want benefits in the longer run Best for startups and those who want revenue significantly

A Detailed Look At Demand Generation Vs. Lead Generation

Here we will compare the lead and demand generation strategies in a more detailed and informative manner. The comparison involves each of these strategies' roles and stages.

demand generation vs lead generation

I. Demand Generation

Here you'll cover all essential demand generation related information, including what it does and the processes involved.

A. Role Of Demand Generation 

Demand generation aims to generate interest in a product or service well in advance of the actual sales process. By targeting the right audience and using effective marketing techniques, demand generation can:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Increase high value sales opportunities
  • Increase win rate
  • Shortening the sales cycle
  • Ultimately drive revenue growth

Successful demand generation requires a deep understanding of the target audience. Plus, it involves an integrated approach to marketing and sales.

B. What Are The Stages Of Demand Generation?

Here are the 3 prime stages involved in an effective demand generation framework:


Stages Of Demand Generation

1. Demand Creation

It's a B2B marketing approach that creates brand awareness and drives interest in your business and its offerings. First, it identifies the common pain points of your ideal customers. Next, it leverages various marketing channels to create demand for your products or services. 

Your content should be able to persuade the business message to prospects via:

  • Storytelling
  • Social proof
  • Information gap theory
  • Empathy
  • Trust building

To create a successful demand creation strategy, it is essential to:

  • Set clear objectives and goals
  • Identify the right audience
  • Create compelling content that speaks to your Ideal Customer Profile's (ICP) requirements and pain points

6 Examples Of Demand Creation Tactics

The below mentioned examples focus on creating demand for the product/services.  They do so by generating awareness or offering some form of incentive or value. Explore about the demand gen best practices here: 

1. Distribute Educational Content 

One of the B2B demand generation tactics is to distribute educational content to prospective customers through various channels like is to distribute educational content to prospective customers through various channels like:

  • Magazines
  • Physical mail
  • Emails

This tactic aims to provide valuable, informative content to educate and engage your potential customers. 

For instance, you may create a whitepaper on how your product can help businesses increase productivity. Then you can distribute it to relevant audiences via email, direct mail, or industry publications.

2. Offer Free Trials and Services

Another effective demand generation tactic is offering your prospects free trials or services. The approach lets prospective clients experiment with your product or service before they buy it. 

Suppose you offer 7 to 14 days of the cost-free trial of your product. It'll encourage people to explore your offering, product's features, and capabilities, helping them decide whether to buy the product.

3. Host Events And Webinars

Organizing events and webinars helps you exhibit your offerings, address inquiries, and engage with potential customers.

Suppose you are a marketing automation software company. You may host a webinar on how to optimize email campaigns by doing webinar marketing. It will attract marketers interested in improving their email marketing results.

4. Focus On Public Relations 

This B2B demand generation plan can generate media coverage and buzz around your product or service. The approach aims to position your business as an expert in its field and to increase your brand visibility. 

For example, you could release a statement to the press revealing a fresh partnership with a reputable organization in your niche. Thus, your enterprise will spark media attention and arouse people’s curiosity.

5. Hold Co-marketing Campaigns 

Collaborating with other businesses to create joint marketing campaigns is a powerful demand generation tactic. Such collaborations help you connect with a broader audience and extend your marketing outreach. 

Let us take an example of a possible marketing partnership between a pet food  producer and a veterinary clinic.  Here the pet food producer may run a co-marketing campaign with a veterinary clinic to offer its products at a reduced price for people visiting the clinic. Thus, both entities can generate higher revenues.

6. Master Content Marketing

Content marketing is a popular demand-generation tactic that creates and distributes valuable content to attract and engage your potential customers. You can convey your company's message through various content formats like:

  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Blog posts
  • Social media posts

For example, create a series of videos showcasing different pain points that can be solved using your products. Thus, it will attract businesses interested in trying these solutions.

2. Demand Capture

Demand capture is about converting an audience already aware of or searching for your business's solutions. To capture this demand effectively, you must choose the right channels and tactics to reach your target audience. Paid ads, intent data, content hubs, social sellings and email marketing are practical options for capturing demand. In fact, these are benefits of a demand generation agency that you will gain while working with them.

Implementing funnel tracking and analysis is also critical to monitor metrics such as:

  • Total number of new contacts
  • Cost-per-click
  • Marketing cycle length
  • Landing page performance

By analyzing these metrics, you can identify areas for improvement and optimize your demand capture strategy. 


  • Consistently optimize content
  • Test new variants
  • Gain feedback from your sales and marketing team

It'll help adjust and improve the effectiveness of your overall demand generation funnel.

3. Demand Management

It involves effectively planning, coordinating, and managing customer requirements, sales, and marketing efforts. However, having the appropriate tools and processes is essential for attaining this objective.

Firstly, set up project management tools that promote cross-collaboration. It ensures all teams and departments are coordinated towards a common goal. Project management software such as Trello, Asana, and Basecamp can help organize demand management tasks and processes.

Secondly, use an efficient CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. It helps manage, track, and organize relationships with prospects and customers in a unified manner. You can effectively customize your offerings by storing critical data such as user behavior, customer longevity, and interactions.

Popular CRM tools like Salesforce, Monday Sales CRM, HubSpot, and Pipedrive can help businesses of all sizes manage their demand effectively.  

II. Lead Generation

The next focus of this lead generation vs. demand generation guide is the role, stages, and examples of lead generation. Let's explore: 

difference between lead generation and demand generation

A. Role Of Lead Generation

B2B Lead generation generates interest and gathers information from prospects with high interest in making a purchase. It offers multiple benefits:

  • Helps you build a database of potential customers
  • Provides a way to nurture relationships
  • Convert leads into sales
  • Significant ROI

You can increase revenue and grow your customer base by generating high-quality leads. It's an essential aspect of your marketing and sales strategy. However, effective lead generation requires a combination of:

  • Targeted messaging
  • Engaging content
  • Strategic outreach

B. What Are The Stages Of Lead Generation?

91% of marketers consider lead generation as their most important goal. It makes sense, as no new leads indicate no business growth. 

So, let's learn about the crucial steps in the lead generation process that are followed by the B2B demand generation agencies

1. Lead Awareness

A potential customer becomes aware of your product/service in the lead awareness stage. Therefore, it's the best time to generate interest and educate potential customers about your products. However, it is important to understand the 5 levels of awareness your target leads go through in this stage. It will help you approach them better. These are as follows:

difference between demand and lead generation

  • Unaware: When the target prospect isn’t aware of the problem that is halting their business growth. Here you’ll need to educate and demonstrate about their current scenario and what can be improved. 
  • Aware of the problem: When the target prospect identifies the issue within their business system. Here, you need to emphasize the seriousness of the pain point and share how target prospects can benefit from your product. 
  • Aware of the solution: The target prospect is more likely to explore solutions for their pain point. Here, you’ll have to prove you can provide the best solution for them. 
  • Aware of the product:  The target prospect is now well aware of what kind of solution they require to completely tackle the issue. Plus, they know your product exists. But they are not well-informed enough about it. Here, you have to focus on delivering all the details about your product to them. 
  • Most aware: The target prospect is now well-informed of your product but hasn’t moved ahead to purchase it. Thus, it is the perfect time to introduce your unique offering to them. 

The awareness stage incorporates advertising, business promotion, and content distribution. You can share product/service details like: 

  • Features and benefits
  • Demonstrating how it works
  • Offering content such as white papers or case studies 

2. Lead Education

After lead awareness, you must focus on winning the lead's trust for your products/services. You need to demonstrate your experience and expertise in your industry. 

Thus, having high-quality content to share with target prospects becomes essential. However, 83% of marketers say creating higher quality content less often is more effective. So, keep that in mind while sharing your knowledge and content. 

You can try out these two mediums: 

  • Send consistent newsletters, as they have a 62% read rate. 
  • Arrange events or seminars; 83% of marketers say virtual event marketing has consistently increased sales. Hence, hosting webinars or online seminars can be helpful. 

You must develop a process of teaching people about your products/services. If done correctly, you may get an invitation to places where you can sell. 

Ensure to measure the B2B lead generation KPIs (Key Performance Metrics) to track the effectiveness of your efforts.

3. Lead Sampling  

96% of your site visitors may not be ready to purchase from you. Thus, you must offer a sample or trial of your product/service. By enabling visitors to test the product, you let them evaluate its suitability for their business. 

Prospects get to experience the product's benefits firsthand and gain confidence in their purchase decision. 

The lead sampling stage allows you to gather feedback from the potential customer. Use it to improve the product/service and tailor future sales pitches. 

4. Lead Conversion

In this stage, your Assistant Executives (AEs) focus on the sales lead conversion process. They ensure a smooth transition of target prospects to become a paying customer. It may involve:

  • Providing pricing information and negotiating terms.
  • Addressing customers' questions/concerns.

Once the sale is finalized, the lead becomes a part of your business's customer base. Hence, you must focus on creating a lasting relationship with the lead. It'll ensure their continued satisfaction and repeat business. 

10 Examples Of Lead Generation Tactics

Below mentioned examples focus on connecting with leads through various targeted outreach methods. Let's explore them here:

1. Direct Mail Marketing

You'll send physical mail to prospects in direct mail marketing. It's particularly effective when targeting a specific demographic or geographic area. 

You need to create personalized, eye-catching mail pieces and target prospects. However, direct mail suits prospects who have previously shown high interest in your product or service.

For example, a prospect belonging to your target account downloads a couple of pieces of your website's content and speaks to a rep from your company during an event. In such a scenario, sending direct emails will be an excellent move to tune them into potential leads. 

2. Incentive-Based Referral System 

An incentive-based referral system rewards current customers for referring new businesses to the company. Not only is it a cost-efficient means of producing fresh leads, but it can also reinforce customer allegiance. 

Therefore, you need to offer compelling incentives, making it easy for customers to refer others. Additionally, ensure to track and reward referrals promptly.

3. Cold Emailing

Lead generation involves contacting prospects via email without any prior contact or relationship. However, cold emailing is only effective when done correctly, as it may be seen as intrusive and spammy. 

Thus, to execute it well, you need to research and personalize your outreach emails. Focus on the prospect's pain points and needs, and include a clear call-to-action.

4. Linkedin Ads

It involves running targeted LinkedIn ads for your targeted B2B audiences, as it helps increase brand awareness and generate leads. 

These ads target specific job titles and industries through compelling ad copy and visuals. Furthermore, you'll also need to track and optimize ad performance.

5. Linkedin Outreach

The method involves reaching potential LinkedIn leads through direct messaging or posting content. The aim is to get their attention. This practice helps to initiate a conversation and build a relationship that could eventually lead to a sale.

6. Telemarketing

It involves making phone calls to potential leads to introduce them to a product or service. In this scenario, Sales Development Reps (SDRs) have a direct conversation with potential customers and address any questions or concerns they may have timely.

7. Business Newsletter 

It's a great way to generate leads by providing valuable content to your potential customers. You can share industry-related insights, tips, and news here through your newsletter. It'll help you establish yourself as a field expert. Ultimately, it'll build trust within your audience.

8. Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

A targeted Account Based Marketing strategy for lead generation involves:

  • Identifying a small number of high-value accounts
  • Tailoring your marketing efforts specifically to them

It may include personalized content distribution, special offers, personalized follow-up after the first interaction or event, etc. 

These tactics are designed to catch prospects' attention and generate interest in your product or service.

9. Content Syndication

A well crafted content syndication campaign encompasses distributing your content, such as infographics, blogs, or videos, to relevant publishers and websites. 

It helps reach a wider audience. Further, creating and sharing valuable content with relevant websites can attract potential leads and build your brand's reputation.

10. Warm Calling

It's a technique where you need to reach potential leads who previously showed interest in your offering. It may entail completing a form on your site or participating in a webinar.

You can contact these leads with a targeted message that meets their needs. It increases the chances of converting them into customers.


By exploring the lead generation vs. demand generation guide, we learned both strategies are essential components of a successful marketing strategy. While demand generation focuses on creating awareness and interest in a product or service, lead generation prioritizes capturing and nurturing leads to convert them into customers.

A well-rounded marketing strategy should involve a mix of demand and lead generation tactics tailored to the specific needs and preferences of the target audience. Connecting with a reliable demand generation service provider like Revnew can simplify all the lead and demand generation related complex tasks. We at Revnew have expertise in helping businesses attract high-value leads that convert.

Here's a case study on how Revnew helped a client generate over 114 leads in 6 months

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