Demand Generation vs Lead generation: What, Why and How To Do Both


Demand Generation v/s Lead generation: What’s the difference?

Most of us have bumped into the terms “Demand generation” and “lead generation” at least once in our lifetime. But not all of us understand the real meaning of the two. 

In fact, I have seen people using both these terms simultaneously like there’s no difference between the two.

When in reality, both have distinct definitions, where each serves a different purpose for the organization employing it.

To clear the air, we’ve curated this post that will talk about both individually, chalk out the differences, and finally discuss the winner. So, let’s take a step back and start from the basics.   

What is demand generation?

Demand generation (or demand ‘gen’) is a process of marketing that focuses on spreading awareness about your products and services, in an attempt to trigger interest in the audience which will further create a demand for it.

This approach to selling instills in the minds of the prospects that you have a solution to their problem. You reach out to people who are unaware of your presence and get them to notice you. Once they pay attention to your offerings, you guide them through a series of steps, with the ultimate aim to keep them interested in your firm.

Strategies to adopt demand generation

If you’re just beginning with demand gen, you could use these, easy, and super-effective strategies to get started.

1. SEO-inspired content

SEO-inspired content

Today, when most B2B marketers start their journey with online queries, appearing on SERPs is a good strategy of reaching out. Research your industry-related keywords, incorporate them into your content to climb up the SEO rankings, and increase your chances at discoverability, 70% believe it’s more effective than PPC.

RELATED POST: B2B SEO: Beginner’s Guide | Digital Marketing

2. Guest Posts

guest posts

Guest posts can help you leverage your content creation to a great extent. In this process, you contribute a piece of content for another company’s blog as a guest post.  If your marketing efforts have not gone down well, you can use this method to not only build a relationship with an associate but also advertise to their audience.

3. Expert Roundups

Expert Roundups

These are commentaries, advice, or quotes from the experts in your industry on topics that your audience may find germane at the time. This helps you develop a connection with the thought leaders of the industry, tap into the following of the expert, and also establishes you as an authoritative voice.

4. Blogging


Blogging is the new way of generating interest in your prospects. You create a blog, offer valuable insights, channelize your content, give them glimpses of your workplace, and display your authority and expertise in your field. In fact, Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.

Look at our blogging page here.

our blog page

What is lead generation?

Lead generation, a subset of demand generation is the process of qualifying your leads, that is, segregating prospects that have a genuine interest in your company products. It is a way of bringing consumers to the sales funnel, and then eventually converting them into loyal consumers through your marketing and relationship-building efforts.

Strategies to adopt lead generation

A few strategies that you can adopt to implement lead generation are:

1. Gated content

Gated content

Gated content is the easiest way of generating leads. It is a method in which you allow access to your insightful content, only after readers agree to provide their information in exchange. Usually, it is only an email address, but it gives you a head start on people who might be interested in your product/service. You can also use pop-ups that give your subscribers an idea of the kind of content they’re signing up for. This can further push your opt-in rate by almost 85%.

2. E-Book


E-Books are one of the most effective lead magnets. When you create eBooks or white papers with broad and in-depth content, marketers are incentivized to share their contact information with you in return for your unique content. 80 percent of users said they’d provide their email for a white paper or eBook.

3. Content upgrade

Content upgrade

Content Upgrade has an amazing track record of enticing visitors to enter their email. In this method, you offer an upgrade in content to prospects who share their information with you. Upgrades are usually given with regard to a particular post, and it comes in the forms of cheat sheets, checklists, and PDF format of the blog.

4. Webinars


With more and more companies shifting their work to digital platforms, now is the best time to acquire leads through webinars. Having industry experts to conduct a webinar will attract prospects in the greed of hot-shot information, and in return, you can ask them to sign up, and then nurture them as leads. 48% of B2B marketers said webinars were their top choice and most valuable content format in the mid-stage of their buying journey.

RELATED POST: Top 5 Best Strategies for B2B Lead Generation

Difference between the two

Lead generation is a part of demand generation. Though both of them use similar tactics, it is the intent that creates a difference in identifying the action.

If you are promoting your content freely, to create awareness about your brand and build an image among the prospects for brand awareness, you are generating demand for your products. Here, your aim is to expand your reach or be visible to the maximum number of marketers.

When you gate the very same content behind a form or a sign-up, that gives you access to the prospect’s personal information, you are running a lead generation campaign. You want people to engage with your content, but the ultimate aim is to capture as many leads you can to later funnel them through the sales cycle.

Understanding with an example

Let’s assume that you have created a blog as a part of your marketing strategy, providing detailed and high-quality content that you know prospects will look forward to. You are hitting on their pain points, expressing your concern over it, disguising your products as a solution, and in the process building brand trust. This is a demand generation campaign.


As soon as you put in CTAs and lead them to pop-ups or forms asking them to sign-up for more exclusive content, eBooks, newsletters, or downloadable white papers, you are acquiring more leads.

This is a healthy combination of both, lead generation and demand generation.

Most of the organization usually start with demand generation which is followed by lead generation to capitalize on the benefits of both.

RELATED POST: 7 Selling Strategies to Boost Sales in a Tough Economy

Demand gen v/s Lead gen: Which is better for your business?

This is one of the most asked questions amidst the marketing teams of the organizations. The right answer is No answer.


There’s no definite answer to this except that you need to look at the bigger picture, stock your goals, and make effective use of both.

However, in the long run, you will see it’s nearly impossible to go with one without the other.

Hence, lead and demand generation campaigns must be used simultaneously, in a healthy balance to maximize your customer base and establish brand trust.  

Final Thoughts!

For the marketers, who are just starting out, these terms can be very intimidating, let alone strategizing it. But you can’t afford to start late in the already competitive industry and put off your prospects. Thus, in this case, it’s best to seek consultancy from B2B marketing and sales consulting firm who can offer you expertise in demand gen and lead gen creation.

Confused where to start?
Contact us today
and our expert team will help you craft specialized demand and lead gen channels.