Explain Demand Generation vs Lead Generation Difference


Are you planning your content marketing strategy? You will surely have this question whether you are going to generate a lead or demand. Which do you think – is the right method for your business and can affect it greatly? No, you cannot use the two terms interchangeably and hence, in this article we will see Demand Generation vs Lead Generation difference.


Most of the businesses do but they have a separate role in content marketing. Both the processes are important for a business because if people have to buy, they need to know about the product & it has to be advertised in such a way that they feel the need to buy. Once this is done, you will get leads and thus business.

We are brothers 😉


How can you tell the Demand Generation vs Lead Generation difference?

What is the objective of the Demand Generation?

To generate leads by first creating awareness about your products or your brand as a whole. According to this concept, it captures the subconscious of a visitor by attracting them towards your content (audio, video, text) followed by methods to nurture them to the bottom of the funnel.

What is the objective of the Lead Generation?

To capture contact information to follow-up later on. Lead generation is used to initiate a strong relationship with people who have shown organic interest. Lead generation ranks second in inbound marketing strategy. After you have attracted the audience, you need the Lead generation to convert these visitors into leads.

Let us see by example.

If you want to increase sign-ups for your app, you can make an eBook for that. You need to know demand generation vs Lead generation to decide on this. If it’s going to be demand generation, you will have to give the content for free without making them fill the form. However, for lead generation, you won’t give the info without them filling the form. So, your content serves for both of the methods but you really need to have balance.


8 Demand marketing strategies for your upcoming brands

Demand Generation vs Lead Generation difference has mystified us all as they sound similar but they have a different impact on our business. Which one we apply first is a major deciding factor.


So far, we have seen how they leverage content because it is important to understand their role in content marketing. Let us brainstorm a few things about their differences.


  1. Lead generation focuses on getting new subscriptions by creating value for your content, thus you need a lead management tool like Salesforce, Marketo, or WebCRM. However, demand generation directly focuses only on creating interest in your products & services.


  1. Example of demand generation content can be your current market research or content that favors your products & services more in comparison with your competitors. Using videos, blog posts, and accessible resource will create exceptional demand. Lead generation content does not much focus on branding and usually, it uses a very detailed content by providing on insights from influencers who have done an analysis of recent trends or who has gained a lot of experience on the subject. Example of that can be white papers, reports, eBooks, webinars, and panels


  1. The contacts that you get from demand generation want to hear about your product. If they have contacted you, there are rare chances that you will lose them. In Lead Generation, you might get many leads, but they still need to be nurtured a lot before they reach BOFU.


  1. Drip-based email marketing, social media networks, blogs, cold calling, etc channels are used to make online and offline presence where prospects can turn into leads by giving contact information through ‘Contact us’ forms or ‘Learn more’ buttons.

lead generation guide


Source: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/beginner-inbound-lead-generation eration-guide-ht#strategy


In lead generation, you start by targeting your vast audience through different channels as mentioned above. The interested ones are then directed to your landing page.

Facebook lookalike audiences

Source: https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2015/10/22/demand-generation


Whereas Demand generation is more comprehensive and identifies potential prospects based on their initial actions and they are further scored using the lead scoring method.

lead scoring method

Once after you qualify your potential prospects, they are sent through your sales team for further nurturing. In Demand Generation, you can use visitors’ behavioral information to form strategies and nurture them further.

demand behavioral information


Simple Illustration to understand Demand Generation vs Lead Generation difference –


If your mother prepares (1) the food & gives (3) you after you ask (2) her, this describes an ideal lead generation process.


But if your mother prepares (1) the food, and comes to know, identifies, or makes you aware (2) that you are hungry or it’s time for you to eat, and then you too readily eat (3); this could be called ideal demand generation process.

5. People usually avoid filling the forms and the content is usually secured behind the forms. Hence, the conversion rate for lead generation is lesser as compared to demand generation.


With the increased use of the internet, the marketing approach has changed and prospects are contacting the brands rather than brands contacting customers and thus using demand generation does well because you can use the insights gained about the prospects.


6. Lead generation focuses on educating with a minimum of branding initially. You share product demos, give free trials at the end of the sales process when your leads are ready to buy. Whereas, Demand generation gives you an opportunity to share product demos and so on in the initial stage itself.


In demand generation, if people have heard about your niche and similar products before, so it works well with you with demos and free trials in the initial stages. However, a lot of branding in the initial stages of lead generation is not suggested.


However, in both the cases if you want to highlight any particular feature of your product in your content then you can do remarketing to educate your leads.


Sometimes, you can do both demand generation & lead generation, depending on the requirement.

Make your prospects choose your products through combined efforts of both demand generation & lead generation and this will surely give you increased ROI.


Here we are, sharing a few for you. To generate more demand –


  1. Optimize your content for SEO
  2. Write guest posts as it will bring some amount of traffic to your website.
  3. Run display ads, share sponsored posts on the industry blogs where your target audience visits.
  4. Run a viral contest which your connections will share on the social media to their connections. This will increase awareness about you to a certain extent.


And To generate more leads –


  1. Create any type of gated content such as an eBook, PDF, checklist, cheat sheet, whitepaper, etc.
  2. Show product demos & webinars & give free trials in exchange of contact info.
  3. Create content upgrade which can be a pdf version of the same blog post, a checklist, step by step instructions, a cheat sheet, etc which is related to what your visitor is reading currently.


We have seen enough points that make Demand Generation vs Lead Generation difference clear but ultimately, they help in increasing your sale. You are the best person to decide which goes first, whether demand generation or lead generation or both at the same time. There have been a number of old & new marketing methods so far. You need to hone your marketing skills whether it is automated email marketing, telemarketing, social media marketing. You also need to have a clear idea of your target audience and then you can go on to implement these marketing methods.


Let us know more about your business or write in the comment section below about your experience. We are happy to share insights for mutual concerns.

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Kartik Jha

Author Kartik Jha

Digital Marketing Manager of Only-B2B.com with 4.5+ years of experience in Internet Marketing.

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